Step one: Here we go.
Olivia came down with the stomach flu last night, so our plan changed a bit. Mark dropped me off at the hospital with my mom planning to meet me there and later give me a ride home.
We wait. I look around. At the hospital where I work, we have transport carts and wheelchairs to move patients to and from procedures. It strikes me as funny that here at Mercy Hospital you go most everywhere in your bed. We wait some more. I sign a few consent forms without really reading them. Same stuff, different day. I bring my camera, so I can take a picture, but instead I get a big speech on why I can't take a photo of the tumor. MY tumor, mind you, though I would be happy not to claim it.
My mother is sequestered to another room with a stack of magazines. As my bed is pushed and pulled into the room, my heart sinks. This is the very same room I was wheeled into over 6 years ago. The same room where an ultrasound confirmed that I was pregnant. The same small animal chair in the corner that Larissa had sat in. The same mobile of colorful birds on the ceiling, gently circling above me. I feel myself transported to that day. The doctor and ultrasound tech measure the baby. We listen to her heartbeat. They happily take a picture of the image on the screen that day and put it in my hand. I struggle to look at it, slipping on that slippery slope that promises life is easier, love is easier, loss is easier somehow if hearts are protected from all things unknown. Empty promises. Outright lies.
Today, they numb my skin. The ultrasound goo is farted onto my abdomen, the transducer slides around while the doctor and the ultrasound tech discuss the best path to the largest tumor in the right lobe of my liver. A frighteningly long needle punctures my skin between my ribs and a sample is collected. Quickly, this part is done.
Two transport aides- either on an very tight schedule or on a mission- race me back up to my room where we wait to get the ok to go home.
Results: The liver tumor is ER+, PR-, HER-. My previous biopsies were all ER+, PR+, and HER-, so these tumor cells have changed/ mutated. Dr. Laudi does not change my current treatment.