My back hurts.
It's been hurting on and off for a week or two (maybe more). It hurt enough that I knew I should mention it to my doctor, but not so much that I remembered right away.
My oncologist was out for a while, and I didn't want to disturb him. I figured most things could wait.
I saw him briefly this past Sunday, when I went in for chemo (I postponed the previous Tuesday’s chemo to Sunday, so I could go away on the Beit Natan retreat). So, during my five minutes with the doctor, I mentioned the back pain. My back didn’t hurt that much at the time, so it was just one other item on my list.
On Wednesday night, my back hurt a LOT.
The kind of pain that makes you want to cry. (but not so bad that you actually cry)
I took some drugs and went to sleep.
Thursday morning it still hurt, but not as much.
Still, I knew that I should let my oncologist know that the pain was increasing.
Finally, on Thursday night, I sent him an email.
I received the following email in response:
WE NEED TO DO A CT AIMED SPECIFICALLY AT THE BACK IN THE AREA OF THE PAIN. IF IT GETS A LOT WORSE EVEN ON THE WEEKEND GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.
Now I was worried.
Have I ever mentioned that I hate going the emergency room? The only thing worse than going to the emergency room, is going there on Shabbat. Once the life-threatening concern is over, you are stuck there, missing Shabbat with your family. YUCK.
Of course, you can walk home. But given my back pain (new), my hip pain (old), and my ankle pain (arthritis), I knew that I wouldn’t be up for an hour and a half walk home. So, in short, I’d be stuck there. YUCK.
And, given that this past Shabbat was my mom’s birthday, and she’s only here for one more Shabbat, I really didn’t want to miss out on Shabbat with my mom and my family.
I wrote back and forth a few times with my oncologist, and then the phone rang. He decided that it would be easier to clarify the situation with a conversation.
Have I mentioned how much I appreciate my oncologist?
It turns out that I didn’t have to be worried, but I did have to be aware of the back pain, and maybe go to the ER for a CT. Not the best, but not the worst either. I could go on Friday, early.
If the pain continued to increase, I would have to go. I prepared myself to go on Friday morning. But Friday, the pain wasn’t so bad. And there was a lot to do to prepare for Shabbat.
On Shabbat, I had pain from sciatica. Not fun, but not cancer. So I suffered, but didn’t feel the need to go to the ER.
Now it’s Saturday night, and I have more serious back pain again.
But, in Israel, Saturday night in the ER is a ZOO!
And you spend hours just sitting around waiting. And sitting is not so comfortable for me right now.
So, even though I should probably go, I’m just lying down and resting.
Soon I’ll take some drugs and go to sleep.
After Star Trek.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
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