Archive for the ‘A Latina colon cancer story’ category

Chapter 7, Back to work

February 16, 2010

A warm reception greeted me when I went back to work. A stream of coworkers would come by and wished me well and how it was nice to see me as I was at my desk going over a month’s worth of emails. It took a couple of days to get back into the “work” mentality but by the end of the first week I was back into the groove. The second week I got an email regarding the interview for Channel 7 news.

It was on.

It’s scheduled for the following week at 10:30, it will be between the surgeon and I, the interviewer would be Dr. Jay Adlersberg.

I’m both excited and scared.

Then I got another email from the hospital publicist saying that something has come up and it’s off.
The next day I go about my work when I got another email from the hospital publicist – it’s on again. The interview will be at the surgeon’s office in Union Square East – on the 2nd floor – my primary Dr. is in the 3rd floor.

I scheduled the interview after my appointment with my primary doctor. I figured I’ll kill 2 birds with one stone.
In my primary Dr’s office I tell her of the interview-
“Are you excited?” asked my doctor.
“I’m more nervous than excited” I replied.
“Oh, you’ll do fine, I’m going to have a patient that’s going to be on TV! you have to let me know when you’re on”.

I’m in my surgeon’s clinic, escorted to an exam room by the floor nurse. She tells me that the TV crew isn’t in yet. I read a pamphlet as I hear voices of both the Physician’s Assistant and Surgeon in the office across the hall.

“Where is Cynthia?” the surgeon asked the PA.

I immediately closed the pamphlet and ran to them.

“Here I am!” I exclaimed.

The surgeon turned, we say our hellos and escorts me to another exam room.
“They’re here” he said as he and I enter the room.

In the room is the producer of the segment, the cameraman and Dr. Jay Adlersberg. We all introduce each other and Dr. Adlersberg tells the surgeon and I what will happen.

I’m interviewed first, then the surgeon.

“Cindy, you will sit on the exam table and I will ask you a series of questions – look at me when you respond – not the camera” said Dr. Adlersberg.

Easier said than done since there is a glaring light sticking out at the end of the camera.

So I sit at the exam table as the mic is hooked on the front of my blouse, I’m nervous as hell and trying my best not to show it. Dr. Jay Adlersberg is sitting across from me.

“Now, before we start I need you to say and spell your name”

I said and spelled my name.

Then Dr. Adlesberg asked me how I was diagnosed, I told him about the Oprah show and how I recognized the symptoms by watching Dr. Oz talk about “Good poop, bad poop”.

This fascinated Dr. Adlesberg, he asked me how old I was.

“I was 45 when I was diagnosed” I replied.

The interview seemed to have gone on forever with lots of questions.

Then the subject of my scar came about as well as the CT scan, Dr. Adlesberg said if they could film me with the scar, I said sure.

Next thing I know I’m lying with the sheet over me – the surgeon on one side and the cameraman on the other – Dr. Adlesberg told the doctor to make it seem like a consult and ask me typical questions.

That went smoothly.

Then Dr. Adlesberg wanted the surgeon to bring up the CT scan in the monitor that was sitting on the desk in the room. So there we are, me in the chair – the surgeon and the CT scan with the tumor in fill glory – and the cameraman catching all of this.

At one point it was just the cameraman, the surgeon and I in the room and we were started a conversation.

The cameraman wanted to know where both the surgeon and I lived.

“Midtown Manhattan” I replied.

The surgeon mentioned a place in New Jersey.

“Oh, that’s where I live” replied the cameraman, “yeah, someone bought the house in back of us and is expanding it, Sometimes my wife and I look out and see the progress – they are putting in this large addition- almost the size of the original house and we were wondering who on earth is doing that?”

Then he went on to say “I found out that this big shot Doctor from the city is doing that” the cameraman continued.

At that point the surgeon stretched out his hand and said “Welcome neighbor”

The shocked cameraman shook his hand.

“Come on” the surgeon said, “The house isn’t that big”

The cameraman and surgeon were talking about the neighborhood when Dr. Adlesberg came in and told me that he will interview the surgeon and my part is done, but he wanted a shot of me walking into the office.

I was outside when the producer approached me and said that Dr. Oz is going to have his own show and If I would be interested in being a guest.

I said “I love Dr. Oz, yes, I would love to be a guest, would his show be in New York?”

“Yes” she said, “The show will be in the former Conan O’ Brian studios”.
I tried to conceal my excitement as the conversation continued.

Dr. Oz. is going to have his own show and I might be a guest? this is beyond exciting! I kept saying to myself as I left the surgeon’s office and on my way to Port Authority.

I said my goodbyes and went to work.
At Port Authority waiting for the bus to Ridgefield Park, NJ (I couldn’t afford to drive to work anymore so I managed to find a garage in Mt Vernon, Westchester to house the car for $85.00 a month)  I called my friend (she’s was the one who accompanied me when I was discharged from the hospital) and told her about the interview and the news that Dr. Oz is going to have his own show and that I might be a guest.

“Dr. Oz is going to have his own show, wow! that’s news” she replied.

“Yes, and there is a possibility that I might be a guest!”
At that moment the bus comes and I board.

I grabbed a sandwich at the deli in the located a floor below my job, sat down at my desk going through assignments left for me by the marketing manager. I’m grateful that it’s lunch hour and most of the staff is out to lunch. I did tell everyone that I had a Dr’s appointment but said nothing about the interview.

The interview took just under an hour.

Here’s the clip:

Colon Cancer test