We received a 5-page packet in the mail yesterday from Dr. Keefer's office. On the back was a very nice colored map showing us EXACTLY where to go. Extremely helpful considering we went to the wrong building twice already in the past few weeks.
You can't even IMAGINE what a wonderful visit this was today. The complete opposite of the visit to the Spleen-Remover, Dr. Ellis, and Nurse Ratchet. Dr. Ellis is the one who ORDERED the biopsies. I have called his office twice this week begging for someone to let us know about the results. NOBODY called me back even though I was promised someone would. Still haven't called us.
Soooooooooo. We walked into Suite 375 which was a very nice, clean, organized office. The first thing I noticed was that all of the ladies/girls behind the glass window were smiling, friendly and well-dressed and well-manicured. No tattoos or piercings. Clean hair that was actually combed into a hairdo.
There was a mini bar with several pots of coffee -- caff and decaf -- and cold bottled water.
I'm a people-watcher -- as you know if you read my blog much -- and I notice EVERYTHING in a room. I look at the pictures, and the corners and the baseboards and the ceiling and the lamps and the light fixtures and the carpet and the tables and chairs and, of course, all the people sitting in them. Lots of women came and went, and they had on the NICEST outfits. I wanted to photograph the jackets and capes several were wearing.
One lady had a large bump of rumpled skin and thread all up and down the length of her nose with large hunks of skin poking through. I thought she must have had some kind of cancer removed from her nose. Nobody else had anything noticeable wrong with them.
Look at what I saw on one table:
And look at that carpet. Jerry noticed it. It is the exact same carpet we have in our Oklahoma City store.
Our appointment was at 11:15, but we were to be there at 10:45 to fill out paperwork. I don't know why, because Jerry had already filled it out. We waited 30 minutes. It was 11:15. A nice-looking young man named Shane walked out of the back rooms. He came over to us and asked "Are you the Bernhardt's"? We told him we were. He told us that he was sorry but Dr. Keefer had several things come up this morning, and he was about 45 minutes behind. He asked if we would like to go downstairs to the coffee shop and come back later. He took my cell phone number to call me in case the Dr. wanted to see us sooner.
NOW, HOW VERY, VERY, VERY NICE WAS THAT!? Remember two weeks ago when we waited in the exam room ONE AND A HALF HOURS? Nobody came in. Nobody spoke to us. I finally stuck my head out in the hallway that day where Nurse Ratchet was sitting. I said, "We have been in here an hour and a half." She said, "The doctor will be right in." I said, "You told me that an hour and a half ago." She glared daggers at me. I closed the door and went back inside to continue waiting.
Just because you are a doctor, does that mean you can't have SIMPLE, COMMON courtesy???? It is extremely rude, and so mean to treat a healthy person that way, never mind a very sick one!
Jerry and I left to go find Catherine's Corner -- the coffee shop -- after Shane gave us directions. "You go out into the hall -- turn left -- walk down the hall through the double doors -- turn right and keep walking."
We managed to get out of the office, turn left and go through the double doors before we got lost. OUT OF NOWHERE, a very pretty woman -- 30 something -- appeared. We, obviously, looked lost, and I have no problem asking complete strangers for directions. Jerry would have walked 8 miles the wrong direction before asking for them!
The very nice lady was Tracy. She just happened to be going to Catherine's Corner and offered to show us the way. On the way, I managed to tell her our entire life history. When she realized why we were there, she informed us that she was in charge of Oncology Services at the hospital. She said she would go back to her office -- get us some information -- and come back, which she did, and that was no small thing. It was a long walk back one hallway and then another one and then up the elevator and down another hallway.
I invited her to sit down with us at our table. She told us all about care groups and counselling and another lady that we could call anytime for help. She gave us her business card and the other lady's business card. Next to her name on her card was at least four sets of letters. The only one I recognized was "RN". She later walked us all the way back to Dr. Keefer's office.
BUT, I have to tell you about Catherine's Corner. It is just a little place like a Starbuck's inside a grocery store. You can get coffee or juice and a sandwich or a muffin or a few other delights. My little delight was so awesome, I took a picture to show you. I may have Phylly meet me there for lunch next week just so I can have another one!
Under the fruit is some kind of pudding, and under the pudding is chocolate, and under the chocolate is a pie crust. It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! I ate everything but the paper it was on.
And look at Bernsides (that's what I call him). He had a Triple Berry Muffin.
He said it was delicious too.
And does he look sick?
We ate those lovely desserts while talking to Tracy, and then we went back upstairs where we waited only a few more minutes. We went into the exam room where Shane did all the preliminary poking and prodding on Jerry. Very nice room.
Dr. Keefer came in and introduced himself. He was gentle, friendly and a VERY GOOD LISTENER. He didn't look at me like I was The Creature from the Black Lagoon. He listened intently to me and to Jerry and he took notes as we talked. This man should give classes on HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE. I told him how very impressed I was with his staff and his office. He thanked me for telling him.
Jerry and I kept waiting for the doctor to TELL US WHAT JERRY HAS. He didn't bring it up at all. After about 10 minutes, he said:
You DO know the biopsies were negative?
I about jumped off the chair onto that table and said, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We don't know anything!!!!"
I explained about Dr. Ellis and how I had even called his office two times this week and nobody had called me back. He acted shocked.
Actually, I had told Tracy the same thing earlier, and she said she was going to look into it. She could not believe it. I think she is the "Boss of Everything" there.
We talked and talked, and he listened and listened. He kept saying, "You don't LOOK sick at all!" He asked Jerry how he felt. Jerry said he felt fine. The doctor said that DID NOT SOUND LIKE CANCER, and it DID NOT LOOK LIKE CANCER.
I suggested that the lesions might be a fungus. The doctor didn't seem to think that was possible and kind of ignored the statement. Later -- and I had made no mention of fungus -- Tammy texted me and said that she and Len had been researching PET scans and what else could show up on them. GUESS WHAT they found out? Funguses show up like cancers on PET scans.
The appointment ended by the doctor sending Jerry to the lab to give them blood. He wanted to do a lot more tests on the blood than have been done. He also is going to talk to the biopsy doctor who won't be in until Monday. He says it is possible the doctor just got into the wrong spot. Since Jerry had THREE different biopsies done in 2008, and they all came back negative, I doubt that he got into the wrong spot.
We are very encouraged! Both of us feel like heavy weights have been lifted from our hearts. It is so much like five years ago when Jerry had the large tumor surrounding 3 of his vertebrae. He had NO chemo -- NO radiation -- the tumor was NOT removed, and it is TOTALLY GONE. Praise God forevermore!
Thank you all for you comments and your prayers and your advice.
You all hang in here with us, and I will keep you informed on how GREAT our God is!