Sunday, September 19, 2010

Professional Patient

I became a card-carrying patient at Johns Hopkins this week. It's true. The card is orange and plastic. It has a long number on it. But I'm not telling you the number. Like I'd let you take MY number, pretend to be me, and get to take MY breast cancer treatments. Forget about it.

The life of a professional pregnant cancer patient is pretty glamorous after all. The hospital people are always squeezing you in for liver sonograms and genetic counseling appointments at the last minute - other people sometimes wait for weeks for this kind of stuff. Then people stare at you, especially once you lose your hair. (Not that I've lost mine yet. But I sure took some sly double-takes at my fellow patients this week).

Plus who else gets to talk to a chemo doctor for close to three hours? Who else gets to visit a fetal anesthesiologist, a maternal fetal specialist, a dermatologist, a dentist for work to help prevent chemo mouth sores, a flu shot clinic, an OB-GYN, three wig specialists, the liver sonogram woman and the genetic doctors all in one week. And that doesn't even count the lab work. I pee-ed in 3 cups this week and had my blood drawn 2 times. All those other losers in the lab waiting area had one paper requesting their test. I had two papers full of tests.

The fun and excitement doesn't end there. The sonogram lady had not just one doctor but two look at the pictures to confirm there weren't any obvious tumors that had spread to my liver. Then she moved the sonogram paddle down so we could see Flicker waving his/her arms and legs and twisting around. That's right. On this sonogram machine, there was no fuzzy black-and-white blob. There was a definite baby profile. You could see arms, legs, feet, hands and even the umbilical cord.

Now that's special. So sorry. Again, I'm not giving you that card number. Get your own.


  1. KJ! I guess this is what I get for never getting on FB. I am JUST finding out about your pregnancy AND your cancer!!!!! GIRL! I am beyond words! I am so sorry that what is an AMAZING blessing is tainted by an OVERWHELMING challenge. I know you will be successful on both fronts, though. Getting that baby out healthy and kicking your cancer's A$$! :) PLEASE let me know if there is ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING I can do for you!!!!!


  2. Girl, way to keep a positive attitude about all this stuff that is not fun at all. You are fun,and cancer can't stop that!

    I love you tons,

  3. Well if you're going to have a blog about a very scary and not fun event - you might as well be a writer to talk about it so effectively! You are awesome Kathy - we're praying for you!

  4. I just heard the news and got your blog link from Felicity. I miss your awesome humor. I hate, hate, hate the news of cancer in such a sweet friend. Maybe God has given you this beautiful little life within you to see the silver lining and know that your future is filled with light. You're on the Johnson family prayer list. Hang in there!

  5. Kathy,
    We just heard about your wonderful and terrible news this week. What a mix of emotions! Since I burn almost everything that I cook, I am offering a ton of babysitting help. We can also provide some really fun sleep overs and camp outs in the back yard for Henry and Naomi. We are thinking of you and your family and sending all of our positive energy your way.

  6. Love you... and your writing. I've smiled, laughed and cried most the way through. Thanks for creating this blog.

    Love, Deb

  7. Tomorrow is the big day. Thinking of you in that special dome of healing and learning and caring that is Hopkins.

    p.s. we are big Regina Spektor fans!