In 1998, I knew very little about cancer except that I had it. My surgeon was a young woman six months out of medical residency who answered all my questions and discussed all options as if I was her equal. She was straight-forward and compassionate.
In 2016, one of my first thoughts after diagnosis is, “I want Dr. RL.” I don’t want to start from scratch with all new doctors. I need a sense of continuity and someone I trust with my life.
My husband Les calls several times before he speaks with the nurse. The doctor has no open appointments until May, which is too late for me to wait. Les insists. “She’ll remember my wife.”
Three days later, I have a consultation with the surgeon. Les drives and accompanies me to all my appointments.
She smiles warmly. “It’s good seeing you again, although I wish circumstances were better.”
Eighteen years was a good run. A new journey, both the same as and different from last time, and at least one familiar face.