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  • It was just one of those six month check-ups with all the blood work. A good chance to pick up some free samples of his more expensive medicines. They didn't have any this time, but maybe when he comes back in a week to talk about the results.

    That's how this particular nightmarish journey began. Two six hour trips to the doctors office a week apart.

    "Your sugar level looks good, but have you been feeling a little bit run down lately?"

    He gave a little Joan Rivers, "Can we talk?"

    "Sometimes I can hardly get out of bed" he complained. That wasn't entirely true, but he had been feeling more tired than usual. He just thought it was old age doing it's thing.

    "Your thyroid numbers are too low. I want you to have a bi-lateral thyroid ultrasound. I'll write you a prescription so you can take it to a facility where you live."

    No big deal, right? So after he drove the three hours back to his home, he turned on his computer and went to WEBmd.
    Kids, don't try this at home. It will scare the bejesus out of you. Mostly paragraph after paragraph of entrys concerning treatment for thyroid cancer. That's right, the big C.

    So he gave it a few days for the panic to subside before arranging to have the ultrasound. He carefully called multiple facilities to find the best price. With only Medicare for insurance, he was not going to dig himself into a deep financial hole.

    Friday he presented himself to the outpatient clinic for his nine o clock appointment. He arrived early in case he needed to fill out any forms and afterwards was sent around the corner to the waiting room. It was filling up fast and he was lucky to grab a seat. He grabbed a copy of all the news that's print to fit and after pointedly ignoring the political insults clammoring for his attention on the front page, started the Sudoko. He figured with that many patients in front of him it would be a while for his turn.

    But, right at nine they called his name and fifteen minutes later he was finished. No pain and only a hand towels worth of gel to wipe off his neck. He asked the tech if he should be concerned and she said, "I'm not allowed to tell you anything." He even asked it he should be making his final arrangements, but she just looked at him and promised to fax the results to his doctor's office that day. She suggested calling the doctors office later that afternoon to discuss the results with him.

    He just wasn't ready for any potentially bad news.

    He'll wait out the weekend before making that call.

    He's not all that sure he wants to know...
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