(16-03-23) There’s a Time and a Place, AZ Cardiology Personnel

(Pre-blog side-note: That website front page for AZ Cardiology is kind of ridiculous.  Maybe it’s just me … but look at it.  I mean, really look at it,  Notice anything just … off… about any part of it?)

8:19.  I know i am late – by four minutes.  Normally, i’d be all harried and apologetic … but cancer has seriously impacted my daily pace and pretty much everything i try to do; i no longer seem to feel guilty when i am late anymore.  I check in but don’t get too comfortable; i anticipate them calling me back for my echocardiogram any moment.

8:30.  I look around at the almost empty waiting room and wonder what’s taking so long.  Maybe i am being punished, for being late.  My dentist does that.  Whenever i am early or on time, i get sent into one of the rooms right away … but when i am late, there is always a 10-30 minute wait.  It’s passive-aggressive, but i don’t blame them; i am pretty sure i would do the exact same thing if i were a doctor, and my patients were late to my appointments.


8:46.  “Miss Ashburn?”

There’s no “h” in my name, but that’s cool.  I’ve heard it all my life.  Hooked on Phonics didn’t work for everyone.

I follow the technician into a room and proceed to change into a 3XL dressing gown.  Pink.  Again.  This makes the third time.

I wonder if they give males blue gowns.  I ponder what they would say if i brought my own dressing gown with me.  (I have two.  They’re my size, and they’re pretty.  I wore one for my mastectomy and will wear the other for my reconstructive surgery in a few months.)


I lay down and stick my head inside the slightly enclosed part of the machine.  I wait.  for minutes.  I think about getting up and grabbing my phone to track how long this will take.  I wonder why i care; i am in absolutely no hurry to get to work.  I pass time by recalling the 87-point word i played in the waiting room on my Words With Friends game, criticizing myself for playing that word but STILL being behind in the game.  I have a coughing spasm, and my nose starts to run; i wipe it on the dressing gown because i have no tissue with me.  I end up being glad that i didn’t bring my own gown after all.

Seriously, what time is it?!

The technician comes in and starts fiddling with the machine.  I hear some noises.  I can’t, for the life of me, remember how my last echocardiogram went.  I don’t even remember when it was.  Was it before chemo started?  How long does it take?  What’s the difference between an EKG and an echocardiogram again?  Why can’t i seem to remember any of this???

More time passes.  Slowly.  Suddenly, from inside the machine, i hear the technician pipe up.  “Either there’s something wrong with you, or there’s something wrong with the machine.”

“That’s not funny,” i instantly reply.


“Um… hello?”

It turned out there was something wrong with the machine, so i had to reschedule for tomorrow.  Twelve hours later, as i sit here typing this, i am *still* wondering what the heck is wrong with some of these medical personnel.  Last month, i had that Lab Corp lady tell me all about her parent dying of cancer as she’s doing my blood work for chemo, and now i have this AZ Cardiology technician making jokes about my heart when there is actually a serious risk of heart complications from taking Perjeta.


I mean, seriously lady – CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE is a potential risk of this chemo drug.  It’s serious enough that my oncologist has required that i get echocardiograms each month for the duration of treatment, and you think that it’s a good idea to be cracking jokes about my well-being while i am inside of your ultrasound machine?

Author: breastcancerat35

I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Invasive Breast Cancer in October/November, 2015. This blog is my way to process my experience and allow my loved ones to have ongoing updates about my journey.

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