My Doctor Appointment

Yesterday I went to my doctor appointment in Rochester to the Mayo Clinic.  If you’ve been following my saga, you know I have returned thyroid cancer and have been referred onto the Mayo Clinic.  I had a miserable time with the endocrinologist I was seeing and asked to be seen by someone else.  They referred me on to Doctor Ryder and I’m so very happy as she is everything my previous doctor wasn’t.  Best of all she is an oncologist AND and endocrinologist…which in reality is really who I need to be seeing.

Parking was a little more than it typically is but not terrible.  I’ve learned that now when I go to appointments on my own, I always take a picture of my level with my camera so I don’t forget where I parked….silly I know but it’s one of the quirky things about me.

So for my appointment, I got in fine by my wait time in the doctor’s office was long.  It was okay and totally worth it though.  I felt like all the questions I’ve had over the last 4 years of dealing with this were finally answered.  I left feeling so much better.

So here are some of the things I’m learning.  Although some people can be cured if they get to the point I am, it’s also very normal for people to deal with this chronically…meaning, I never get cured and this going back and forth to appointments never really ends.  The good news though, this is typically slow growing…like years to grow, so she really only wants to see me every six months and even then, I won’t have to go through as many tests as I’ve had to do lately.  That was good news for me to hear.  The testing and diet gets to be a lot.

The other news is even if they find the specific source of where the cancer is at, it doesn’t mean I’ll get treated right away.  With my kind of cancer they watch and wait as the treatment can often be harder on the patient than having the slow growing cancer.

One of the problems that arises for people with return thyroid cancer is that often the new cancer becomes resistant to radioactive iodine and radioactive iodine is the treatment for thyroid cancer.  So, for me, …once the cancer is found for sure, there is a drug I can take that might make my body do a better job with accepting the radioactive iodine…at least that is the hope.

She said that at the point my tumor marker (it’s 117 now) is when the cancer typically shows itself so she is hopeful that when I return in December, we’ll know where it is.  No guarantee, as I was told again and again, that each patient is different.

I felt confident in what I was told.  I felt listened to.  I felt she cared about me.  I didn’t feel dismissed.  I felt she was very competent and at the top of her field.  All of that, is what is most important to me.   I left the doctor’s office feeling good.  I felt like I understood what was happening to my body…and I felt like I was seeing a doctor who actually knew what they were doing.  That is so much better than I felt two weeks ago when I went.

So on my way home, all masked up, I did something I haven’t done before…can you guess what it is?Here’s a picture for a clue.

I’m sure some of you recognize this immediately…others, maybe not.

I went through the Chick-fil-A drive through.  I’ve never ate at Chick-fil-A before.  My niece Jody, who died from breast cancer last year, went often after she had doctor visits.  Being there is a store just off the highway I come into town on, I thought I’d go through and give it a try.  Jody’s kids always think it’s so weird that I’ve never been to Chick-fil-A before as it’s probably their favorite fast food place.

So what did I think…I liked it only next time I’d take the pickles off my sandwich.  I like pickles but not on sandwiches.  The shake was two HUGE thumbs up.   Like Jody, I just might make this my tradition when I go to appointments.  I love and miss her so much.  Even though it’s silly I’m glad I have little things like a trip through the drive thru to keep her close to me.

All in all, it was a good trip.  I’m not dreading going back in December as at least I like my doctor….and there’s a promise of a Chick-fil-A shake for the drive home.  Sometimes, life is about the little things.

37 thoughts on “My Doctor Appointment”

  1. Gaining the feeling of partnership with one’s Doctor makes everything so much more manageable. Then finding a new way to celebrate the success of an appointment makes everything sweeter.

  2. Mary Ann Mettler

    Love it – my granddaughter who just turned 16 is just taking training to work at Chik-Fil-A in CO. Such nice memories of your niece – and I just need to tell you that I think Kayla looks a lot like your niece.

  3. I’m soooooo glad you like your new doctor! One time when I went to Mayo, I left in tears because the doctor was so dismissive. I was distraught! So – a shake, hmmm! I’ve also never eaten at Chick Filet! The next time I see one, I’m going to stop and eat!

  4. Jo! This is the BEST NEWS that I’ve heard about your returned Thyroid cancer fiasco!! It sure seemed like you were going through the ringer at least every 3 months!☹️☹️ In my opinion, a good physician is worth their weight in gold. Regardless of the diagnosis.

    I know that I don’t comment often, but I do read your blog religiously twice daily and have done so for at least the last 2 years. Our hobbies and interests are so similar that I often dream of being sisters or at least close neighbors so we could compare our finds and share tips, etc. Thank you for sharing your blog!!

  5. Such wonderful news! I can’t imagine how relieved you are! Enjoy your chick filet! I do the same thing every year after my annual physical!! Head right to the ice cream shop!

  6. YEA!!!!! For a Dr that is good to you and takes time to explain everything to your satisfaction. For getting answers AND a long term plan of care. For not having to go through the last month’s hell in the future. For traveling twice/year to see a Dr you like. Yea for learning that you will most likely live a long time with or without the cancer. Those 7 grandies are lucky kiddos Jo :-)

    Hugs to you.

  7. Sounds like both you and I had good medical days yesterday. I had to go in and have my right “gal” re-mammogramed because there was something that they saw that was a worry. Well, I kept putting it off but then my doctor said, “I’m not asking, you’re going back.” So I did, and whatever was going on last year was gone. So if I would have known that chick-fil-a was a Necessary stop after good medical news, I would have stopped. I’m glad your happy with your new doctor, sometimes that’s the most important part of healthcare. I know, I changed my healthcare provider to keep my doctor. Good Job, Jo!! Gold starts to both of us!

  8. What great news that you now feel as if you have a doctor who talks to you, answers your questions and cares about you! That is so important! Even though you had the bad news that this may be a chronic thing rather than curable at least there now is a plan and that’s important. What an answer to prayers.

  9. Wonderful news! So glad you found a Dr. you can feel confident with. Take care of you. Keep getting those shakes. My favorite is chocolate. Prayers,

  10. Hi Jo – Glad to hear that you are more comfortable with the dr now. I don’t think there’s much worse than not feeling good about your dr when you have serious issues to confront. And a trip to Chick Fil A is a great way to indulge a little ( I don’t like pickles on sandwich either) with all the pressure you’ve been under. I hope you will see a good report in Dec and continue to establish a lasting trust with dr. God Bless

  11. Such good news! The right doctor can make all the difference. And yay for Chik-fil-a! I like spicy, so I get a couple of the buffalo sauce, one for my sandwich and one to dip my fries in. Louis (husband) likes honey mustard. If I forget, it’s no biggie, I like them without almost as much. Long time reader, First time commenter. I’m so happy to read good news!

  12. oh what wonderful glad you will have a great dr. and some chick fila. we also have some favorite spots to stop in after medical tests and appts. what a great way to feel close to your sister/cousin. Their chicken noodle soup is pretty terrific as well. something about those noodles brings memories of family get togethers with home made noodles. Hope you will try them sometime. your good news makes a happy spot here in so calif. today. thanks for sharing.

  13. So glad to hear that you found a doctor you can trust. That is so important. I haven’t been to a Chick Fil A – not something we have up here in Canada.

  14. Angie in SoCal

    Our prayers for you were heard! I’m so happy you’re with a new doctor who has a much better bedside manner AND answers your questions. That shake sounds like a good thing – Jody has a big smile on her face.

  15. So happy you have a new doctor who sounds wonderful! That’s so important!!! Glad you found Chick FIL A!!! It’s my nephew’s favorite restaurant!!!

  16. I take photos of where I park too. And before I had a cell phone that took photos I wrote it down. And I take a photo of the license plate of the vehicle I’m driving if I borrowed one from a friend or it’s a rental car. I’m so glad you found a doctor that will listen to you and you can put your trust in. And I love Chick-fil-A! Another sad part of missing the grandbabies as that’s when I have Chick-fil-A because I do not have a store in my hometown.

  17. Rosemary Koslap

    You should always get a treat on the way home. When my daughter was diagnosed with oral cancer a friend of mine who has breast cancer said pick something and treat yourself. So everytime we make a trip to Philadelphia to Upenn we each get our favorite Starbucks for the long trip home. Mocha Frappuccino!

  18. Great news that you now have a wonderful, caring doctor. That’s so important. I agree that it’s the little things that mean so much. Yay for treats!

  19. Jo, I am so happy for you that you have finally found a doctor that cares about you so much. Such a change from the last one. And now you can have a fun treat on your way home – we love Chick Fil A here – even with pickles.
    Love and prayers

  20. Great news on feeling that there is a plan! That is huge!

    I too take pictures of where I park. I find it just way less stressful that way.

    As far as Chick-Fil-A (CFA) goes, you can order the sandwich without pickles. And it is worth getting the phone app. You can order through the app and remove the pickles and add cheese and all of that. Plus the rewards add up and you can earn a free fries or sandwich!

    And if you think the shakes are good, which they are, the cookies, tortilla soup and mac and cheese are also pretty darn good too!

  21. I’m so glad this doctor was so kind and informative! It’s what every person should have! So glad you got all these answers! Yes! Chick Fil A is awesome! I get the tenders with the Chick Fil A sauce. So good! I’m guessing you got a lot of cross stitch done while you waited for the doctor?!?!

  22. What a blessing to hear you have some peace of mind! I’m so relieved for you. We all need some encouraging news. Blessings!

  23. So relieved you found such a competent physician both in terms of technical and interpersonal competence. Perhaps interpersonal and communication ability should be considered by medical schools when accepting medical students.

  24. Glad you liked Chik Fil A. My sister and I were all hepped up for it when we were on a trip, but really, it did not impress us! I much prefer Raising Canes. Have you tried it?

  25. SusanfromKentucky

    So glad you found a compassionate doctor! I am very happy with the doctor they set me up with after my hospital stay last year. She is super!
    As for ChickFilA, I eat it at least once a week and sometimes twice. The grilled chicken sandwich, with a fruit cup and unsweet tea has worked wonders for my diet plan. They have great lemonade, too! I am down 76 pounds and weigh 106 now.

  26. Gloria Gleason

    Great news!! Skip Canes – we found it loud & noisy. Chick fill a is much better! There! Nothing like two opinions! So glad your new doctor fills the bill for you!! Love & prayers to all the family!!

  27. I have never been to Chick-Fil-A. Not many in my area. I will have to try one soon. Good that things well at the MD.

  28. So happy you have both good news and a real acceptance of your new physician. Glad you took the leap and moved on!

  29. I’m so happy that you had a positive feeling from your new doctor in Rochester! how wonderful to have a game plan and a better understanding of the plan. We have Chick-fi-A here in Tn but I have never had a malt from them, I think I need to give that a try.

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