the doctor and nurses I love

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I have an amazing team of medical professionals.  My hematologist-oncologist, Dr. McDonald, is quite possibly the most amazing, wonderful woman on the planet.  You see, it took me two years to get a diagnosis.  Two years of unexplained itching, trying different meds, blood tests, fatigue, stress, you get the picture.  In September, when my lymph nodes started going haywire, my general practitioner sent me to a hematologist-oncologist here in Hiram.  Bobby and I weren’t in love with her.  That’s when we heard that one of the new doctors in Bobby’s practice (Resurgens Orthopaedics) was married to a hematologist-oncologist.  Dr. Grimm (no joke, that’s his name, thank God she kept hers!) referred me, and I was seen in less than a week.  Unheard of.  She really took the time to talk to me, ask questions, look at my labs, order labs she thought had been left out, and physically touch my body to feel the problem areas.  She’s straightforward, kind, compassionate, and has a great sense of humor.  When the first biopsy didn’t give us an answer, she kept digging.  When the bone marrow biopsy, mammogram, and ultrasounds didn’t give us an answer, she kept going.  When the PET scan showed bright spots, she convinced both me and the breast surgeon to do one more biopsy – a large lymph node under my left arm.  So we did it.  And lo and behold, there it was.  Classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Praise God, an answer!  A real answer with a real plan for how to treat it.  I was amazed at how quickly Georgia Cancer Specialists worked with the surgeon and Wellstar (the hospital system here) to get me on my way to treatment.  In less than two weeks, I did pulmonary function testing, an echocardiogram, a brain CT, another PET, had surgery to place my port, and did my first chemotherapy treatment.  I guess when you’re at stage IV they don’t mess around.  But I’m so thankful they didn’t!  It may have taken her from September to January to figure it out, but Dr. McDonald truly did save my life.  And she continues to do so, every week.  She’s proactive about all aspects of my treatment, and to be honest, if she told me to stand on my head every day, I’d do it.  

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Did I mention she’s also named Kristy?  And she has a daughter named Fiona?  Kismet, I  tell you.  This is Tuova, Dr. McDonald’s amazing, sweet, thoughtful, and PATIENT nurse, me ready for chemo treatment #3, and Dr. McDonald.  Two of my favorite people in the world right here.  

Here are two more favorites:

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This is Derby, my chemo nurse.  She’s always ready with a warm blanket, a ginger ale, and the good drugs.  She’s also so patient and hardworking.  She’s always checking on me to make sure I have everything I need.  I’m usually the last one to leave since my treatments take so long (4-5 hours), so we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well already!  Derby’s wearing a party hat because it was a doctor’s birthday that day.  I love that they like to have fun at the office.

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And this, my friends, is Tay, the lab tech.  Now I have become a connoisseur of phlebotomists, and this woman is the real deal.  The absolute best.  She can stick a needle in my arm and make it not hurt.  She can get blood out of any vein.  She’s fun and hilarious and always puts me at ease, even when she’s having to flush my port a million times because I’m dehydrated.  If I could, I’d take her with me to every other doctor I go to.

So these are some of the people I spend A LOT of my time with lately.  They are awesome, and they were all kind enough to allow me to write about them.  There are a ton of other people at Georgia Cancer Specialists that do awesome work: the receptionists, the office manager, the social worker…all of these people know me and greet me by name when I walk in the door.  It’s like Cheers.  Except there’s no beer.  But there are drugs, definitely a lot of drugs.  The life-saving kind.

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5 responses »

  1. This is Kathy MANNING Hamlin, Bob’s first cousin. You are a brave lady. My church prays for you on Wednesday nights. Also, I forward Frances and Emmett a copy of your See Girl Write. We will keep praying and it seems your staff of doctors and support team are amazing.

  2. Hi. I love your positive vibe and good nature in the face of what you are enduring. I am so glad you have such wonderful people looking after you. It makes such a huge difference. I have a feeling they are pretty fond of you too. I think that’s always a good plan, to be so charming and lovely that people work even harder to help you. 😉

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