Jim took Ana to Columbia today for a check up with Dr. Martinez. She confirmed that Ana’s tumor appears to be getting larger, at least based on the physical examination. I was pretty sure that was happening because her abdomen is so distended now that some of her shirts don’t fit well around her middle. It’s a frightening thing to see.
Maria, the physician’s assistant who works with Dr. Martinez, confirmed with Jim that Ana is literally at the top of the list. She said when you do a search on the UNOS database, Ana comes up…first. FIRST!
DEEP BREATHS. DEEP BREATHS.
I requested that Dr. Kato save a bit of Ana’s liver for possible future use. Who knows what the future holds. Two of my clients suggested this and Dr. Kato actually called me when I emailed him about this. He said typically they only save tissue for research purposes (diseased tissue) but agreed to remove a part of Ana’s healthy liver and store it for us. I have no idea if this is going to be worthwhile or not, but it gives me the illusion of control and I’ll take what I can get.
Ana had a very emotional day today. She’s feeling angry and isolated. She’s stressed about schoolwork, and she’s directing a lot of her anger at the doctors, nurses and other staff (*ahem* phlebotomists beware) who cause her the most pain. I am at a loss to help her. I tried to talk to her but she feels as if I’m dismissing her anger and concerns if I say something like, “These people are all working hard to help you.” I finally told her that she has every right to feel angry and depressed, but she should not be taking this anger out on the physicians (or me, or Emily). We are all trying to help her.
She said, “Then where can I take out my anger?”
I don’t know. I don’t know!! I am going to ask my shiny new therapist on Wednesday. Maybe she’ll have some ideas on how to help Ana accept some of what’s happening to her. It’s been four months since this all started and we’ve still got a long way to go.