Today, Mom met her oncologist, and with all due respect to Dr. D., I hate associating that word--oncologist--with my parent. But, there you have it.
Mom being mom and Meg being Meg, we both later admitted to some anxiety as the appointment approached. What would Dr. D. say? Would she say it's a lost cause? What would she recommend?
Mom and Dad called me on the way home from the appointment, both in excellent spirits. Turns out Dr. D. is, in their words, "very, very knowledgeable, and also personable." Obviously, the "knowledgeable" part is the most important to all of us, but I'm enough like Mom to know that the "personable" bit goes a long way, too, especially in terms of keeping us calm.
Dr. D. believes, as does Mom's GI doc, that surgery first is best. She wants Mom in immediately, to get the mass and some surrounding lymph nodes removed. Then they'll start six months of chemo. Mom meets her surgeon tomorrow, whose reputation precedes him--he's excellent. A friend of mine from work knows of him--he operated on her mom, also for colon cancer, a few years ago. They think he's awesome (though, apparently, he's a bit more awkward in the people skills department).
So the ball is rolling now. I hope they will get Mom on the surgery schedule within the next week or so. We are all anxious to get the bad stuff out of there!
As for the chemo, Dr. D. told Mom that it won't make her lose her hair. In the grand scheme of things, Mom was willing to bear that, but she is, of course, happy that she won't. And knowing how good it makes Mom feel to have her hair and makeup looking nice, I'm glad she'll have that still, as she goes through chemo, which will be taxing on her. Sometimes the little things help keep our spirits up.
As Mom was signing in this morning, another patient came through the waiting room, and saw Mom filling out the paperwork.
"Are you new?" she asked Mom.
"Yes..." Mom replied.
"It's going to be just fine," the lady replied, as she walked into the exam area.
And so it will be.