Tag Archive | how to deal with a lab error

Lab Error

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As you know, for the last few days, I’ve been battling another feverish worry about my tumor marker results which came in over normal.  Honestly they had been creeping up and were just over normal back in August.  So when I got the call back saying that I needed a retest, my heart dropped, my brain went into overload and I cried.  Fear took over as I’ve been there, done that and I don’t ever want to relive the harrowing hell of cancer a second time.  Who am I kidding?  Nobody ever wants to live it the first time, let alone any encores!

It works the same with any illness I think ~ or any sort of test for health.  We go into the test hoping for the best, worrying about the results and trying our best to stay calm.  At least, I can say that this is how it works for me.  You’d think that after 12 years of this, I’d get used to it, but I’ve never quite gotten used to the fear factor in testing about my breast cancer.  As the years have progressed and I’ve been blessed to live without recurrence, it still matters not when the time comes for testing or for that dreaded wait period for results.  I’m sure you’ll agree that,  The Waiting is the Hardest Part (click for blog post).

My 2nd waiting period was cut short this time due to my favorite sympathetic vampire (my oncologist’s amazing phlebotomist whom I adore ~ thanks Robin) who put my retest in STAT as she understood my anxiety was over the top high this time.  My blood pressure was 190 over something high and it was sheer will that kept me upright in the chair and not passing out, again when she took my blood.  Yes, another of my special charms, I pass out when I see a needle ~ and you’d think I”d get over that as well since I’ve endured countless needles over my lifetime with the C-word, but nope, that one continues.

So when the phone rang  late yesterday afternoon, I knew I had to answer.  I was at a stop light.  I saw it was the doctor’s office.  So I quickly answered and asked the caller to wait a moment while I pulled over.  Breathing deeply, car in park, I gave her my full attention.

“Yes, I’m here.  Thanks for waiting. I am driving so I pulled over so I can talk with you.”

“Great.  Glad to hear it, but I wouldn’t have called your cell if I didn’t have this news.”

“And….”  Butterflies are doing the mambo in my tummy.  I can hear the blood whooshing in my ears and my heart is beating like a loud drum.  Yes, I am afraid.

“Good news.  It was a lab error.  Your numbers are safely within the normal range.”

“Really?  Are you sure?  Everything is good?  I’m fine?” I stuttered, beginning to cry.

“Yes, you are fine.”

“Oh my gosh, thank you, thank you.  I feel like I’m going to throw up!  Thank you!”

“On don’t throw up.  Are you crying?”

“Oh yes, I was so upset.  Yes, I”m crying.  Happy tears.  Thank you so much.  Oh, I”m so happy!”

Giggles in the background, mine and hers, like a symphony.

“Enjoy.  Be happy.  These are my favorite calls to make.”

“I’m sure.  I’ve been on the other end so I understand,” I answered somberly.

“I know you do.   Big hugs to you.  Enjoy your night.”

“Oh you know I will.  Thank you!”

I hung up the phone.  Tears spilling everywhere down my cheeks.  I can’t catch my breath.  I am so relieved.  I feel like the floodgates have opened and I am swooshed away with the pent up worry that is now fully releasing itself from my body.  Giggles, tears, relief flooding everywhere.  Thank goodness I pulled over to park!

“Thank you God.  Thank you body.  Thank you so much.”  I repeat aloud in my car by myself.  And of course, I began to thank all of you, my friends, my family, our loving community.

This morning I awoke wanting to write so much to you.  But I wanted you to have the story here first so please bear with me if I write another post because the story’s not finished here.  It’s just that I don’t want you to have more than a 5 minute post to read today.  And please know that…

appreciate

Shine On!

xo