The last time I visited Dr. FixIt, my plastic surgeon, was sometime during chemo for my final breast expander fill. We agreed at that visit that I should call him about six weeks after my final radiation therapy appointment to schedule my next appointment with him, at which point we would start discussing reconstruction. He explained that reconstruction could not happen until at least six months after the end of radiation, to allow plenty of time for everything to completely heal from the RT.
So of course I put that on my calendar, and last week, exactly six weeks after my final RT treatment, I called. At the time they were having computer difficulties, and said they’d call me back. Of course they never did, so a few days later I called again and made the appointment for late April. The next day someone called me back, not realizing that the appointment had already been scheduled. A few days after that, someone called me back AGAIN, very concerned that I’d made an appointment a whole month away for (gasp) BREAST CANCER! I patiently explained that the cancer part is done, this is a follow-up appointment, it’s not urgent, I know what I’m doing, but thanks for checking. Welcome to my life filled with minor acts of self-advocacy.
Then earlier this week, I got YET ANOTHER phone call from someone from Dr. FixIt’s office. Initially I thought it was lingering confusion about this simple scheduling issue. But the caller was Dr. FixIt’s scheduler herself, whom you might remember as my BFF waaay back during the mastectomy scheduling days – she’s the one who coordinated the surgeons and operating room schedules and was able to accommodate our London vacation, etc. She is awesome and very competent, and was not confused. She was calling because she knew that the reason for my follow-up visit with Dr. FixIt in late April is to discuss planning for my reconstructive surgery. She suggested that we go ahead and pencil in a surgery date now, before I even meet with Dr. FixIt. It may need to move depending on that visit, but it’s better to get it on the calendar now. As everyone knows, I love having dates penciled in, so I thought this was a great idea. We have penciled in Monday, September 11. It’s not exactly an auspicious date, but I’m not superstitious, so I’m fine with it. I have blocked the whole month of September off for this procedure and want to get it over with as soon as possible, so the Monday after Labor Day makes the most sense.