Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sleuthing the culprit, more questions, more waiting

Monday December 18 2017

Today I had the PERFECT complete denial day! You know those stages of grief? I'm skipping over the "angry" because I need all that energy channeled into a positive mind-set, I had a two-minute "why me" but answered quickly "why not! me", no despair so far, I conveniently and efficiently package shock and disbelief with denial because I tend to not be so dramatic. Mostly I titter-totter between "a laughable medical mistake (aka denial)" and "let's get on with the chemo already (acceptance)."

I AM anxious, very eager to get to the treatment options part...but first I am forced to be patient and getting strangely curious at sleuthing the culprit of my maladies. Detached, almost, like I am investigating a medical mystery in someone else's body. And yet the bruises and the pain and the stress from test after test after test are very much real.

Today I had a great denial day! Walked in the park under chilly sunny skies, caught up on house chores (seem to take longer than I used to), napped a bit (seem to engage in this a bit more than I used to) and generally tried to keep myself calm for my first Oncology visit on Tuesday.

I did get results for my last CT scan which shows a large heart (aaaah, how sweet) and "unremarkable" bladder. I guess that's better than the other way around?! (that was a joke)

Tuesday December 19 2017

Finally! Answers will come pouring in today, I get to meet "my" Oncologist, I get to know what I have and how to fix it.
Well, not so fast apparently...
I started the day early by going to my dentist for routine cleaning and the only reason I mention this is because nobody would clean my father's teeth on the last year of his life. They just simply refused him at the door. He had a stroke in 1998 and survived for 12 years, but on the last year, no dentist would clean his teeth. So as long as my teeth are clean, I'm cool for a while.

Anyhow, afternoon comes and hubby and I head on to the Cancer Center. Cancer. Center. Cancer. Building being renovated, cracking paint and partially demolished corners and crevices here and there. I notice a lot of things now, more than before. Most patients are older than me with few exceptions, many on oxygen, wheelchairs, walkers...I consider myself lucky as I stride strongly to sign in. I am one of them, I will be on a wheelchair too perhaps someday, I am them. I am just like them. I am that lady. And then the usual, wait, fill out forms, wait, wait more past the appointment time.

Wonderful meeting with the Oncologist...except still no answers. Fortunately he has the same sleuthing instinct and he is intensely interested in everything I have to say about symptoms and such. I'm impressed. We speak casually of this disease, symptoms, causes, my husband quiet and panicked. Aaaand, no new answers, just more questions. The oncologist is narrowing the diagnosis down but no definitive yet. Finally scheduled a PET/CT scan to be done in January 2. That test shows the extent of the spread and possibly the most active part of the cancer cells so they can pin point and treat the origin.

More blood tests, this time for a specific protein that will either eliminate a possibility or confirm another. Tomorrow a biopsy scheduled of a mysterious mass on my left breast and an enlarged lymph node. Cells to be squashed and examined under a microscope.

Test, wait, test, wait, test...

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