Day 43: Results? (Saturday 10 December)


What on earth was I thinking? *slapping myself on the wrist* When I was told yesterday that I’d get my results this morning, I should’ve moderated receipt of this information with the fact that any reference to time is calculated in Chinese time (it’s sort of like Island time or Broome time but is nowhere near as relaxing or balmy).

I arrived at the hospital on time at 10am and was still waiting at 1030am for someone to come and do my blood test. In that respect, this place can be a lot like Perth hospitals… To be fair though, the nurses are generally very prompt and efficient so I guess that was just a cheap shot.

The nurses finally showed up but they were definitely not interested in using my PICC line to take blood. They faffed around a bit and pretended to try and take blood from the line but came up with some incomprehensible excuses about why it was too hard so they really just wanted to stick a needle in my hand. I didn’t have the energy to argue so a jab in the hand it was to be. To the nurse’s credit, she got the vein first time with minimal pain. The needle appeared to come from a sterile packet too…

Yesterday the interpreter said that the doctor would discuss my PET scan results with me today at 10am. This morning she said that it might be around 11am. At 11am I was told the doctor would be in a meeting and couldn’t see me until later on, but in any event, he wanted to do more comparison studies before he presented the report to me so he would see me on Monday.

I tend to prefer the direction approach (have you picked up on that)? The Chinese do not. I know this is a fact, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I feel like I’m being at least misled, if not lied to. But I’m supposed to let that go in favour of accepting and understanding other people’s customs and cultures. There’s one catch to this – I’m paying. A lot. What about my culture and custom?

I was clearly exasperated and explained to the interpreter that even if the doctor couldn’t give me the full set of results I would still like to see him and get any preliminary results that he could offer based on his cursory perusal of the images. After that request just after 11am I never saw anyone but non-English speaking nurses for the rest of the day. I was definitely put in the ‘too hard’ basket that day.

I wonder what the Mandarin translation is for “Not happy, Jan?”


3 Responses to Day 43: Results? (Saturday 10 December)

  1. Ann Layton says:

    Dear Jaye, we hope the news is positive, and your PET scan shows alot of change.It is a bit like waiting for Christmas, and hoping for the best gift of all, the gift of life. Here is hoping…Ann

  2. helen says:

    hi jaye
    my name is helen and i’m from willetton, i’m 53 years old, 2 sons, let’s not forget an alcoholic husband. i had a breast cancer lumpectomy last october, the cancer got into my lymph nodes, i now have lymphoedema from the removal of nodes. every year i will have a mammogram and should i have any suspicious aches or pains i’ll be off to my oncologist. every day i live with the fear of the cancer spreading. i take anxiety medication and anti breast cancer drug tamoxifin. when i’m having a shit of a day mentally or physically i think of you and your amazing journey. you are very fortunate to have a partner supporting you. i think i should have written a daily blog called ‘my cancer journey with an alcoholic husband’. it was tough and still is, the thought of my cancer returning and not having a partner to lean on is frightening. it’s also been interesting seeing how friends respond, the ones you expected to be there for you were not, and others who came forward whom i least expected. i have a girlfriend living in darlington who sent me a written note of inspiration every week. i don’t think she released my cancer treatment would be 9 months, she never failed and once my treatment was over we went out for a celebration dinner.

    i thank you for allowing us to be part of of your life and do know that your an inspiration.


  3. Es says:

    Don’t know how u do it! I had issues with my doc’s weird bed side manner and lack of nuance in delivering shit news. But I think apple cross had lame els prog in early 90s. I so admire you for being able to get the information you need and understand their hierarchical culture. I’m still at the go on hug an oncologist a day thing.. Diff countries have such diff distant / power relationships huh.

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