A couple of weeks ago, my regularly scheduled CT scan showed everything looking pretty good. And my new oncologist Dr. G seemed encouraged. As he looked over the scan results once, then twice, then three times he looked at me and said, “any pains? Anything unusual? ” I told him I thought I felt something in my left breast while on vacation, but I wasn’t sure. He sort of sat up to attention at this point. ( I have only been with Dr. G since Dr.B’s retirement in December so I am still learning his “tells”. ) He scoured over the CT pictures again and decided it was strange that I had enlarged lymph nodes on my left side under my left arm, near the breast. At this point the radiologist had not read my results yet. Dr. G reads the film which Dr. B never did, so this is a whole new process to me. It was then that Dr. G made the call to investigate the lymph nodes “just in case”. He ordered an ultrasound-guided biopsy. Naturally, my biopsy was on a Thursday (they always are!) which means waiting through a long weekend until Monday to get the results.
Monday came and so did a phone call just before lunch, well Dr.G was personally calling me how nice? Not-so-much, he was calling to let me know that yes indeed the lymph nodes show cancer. Damn! So, close – I was literally 5 short months away from that 5 year mark!
I panicked, I cried, I got mad as hell and then as quickly as it all hit me I found my “Zen”. I found my sweet spot that says, we will just do it all over again. We will pick ourselves up and we will move forward. I say “we” because the kicking, screaming, crying that whole thing, well it was a group event. Yes, with the help of some kick ass friends and family all those lovely phases were worked out. I mourned the loss of that 5 year cancerversary, accepted the fact that the cancer was back and tried to just move forward.
Ah yes forward, forward would mean dozens of invasive, sometimes completely uncomfortable doctor appointments, procedures and diagnostics. Certainly, all totally worth dealing with for more days with my family and friends. The past 10 days have included a PETscan, CT scan, a breast biopsy, a mammogram, an MRI, a colonoscopy, an echocardiogram and waiting for dozens of different results and pathology reports. Frankly, after all this I am shocked I am not walking around in a halo of green radioactivity.
The worst part? Oh – it’s the waiting for sure. Does it suck that this stupid cancer is back? Heck yeah. But, I must admit that I am just so grateful that I have the opportunity to give a treatment plan a shot. My dad and brother were never given that opportunity.
Now, it’s the waiting, the wondering, the “googling” medical conditions. Good Lord, the googling! I need to stop maddening myself! I can’t thank my lovely husband and friends enough for putting up with my insanity. Soon, Dr. G will have a plan in place and I can commit myself to said plan.
It really reminds me of my first run at hard chemo back in 2010/2011. The hubs and I decided the kids could use a break and so could we, it was winter time and we decided a trip to an indoor waterpark in the Dells would be just what the doc ordered. Several things were learned from this experience – 1. Being a bald woman in a waterpark will illicit stares and gawking – making said bald woman hyperaware of her cancer. But – the more positive takeaway was simple – 2. When on a tube in the lazy river just pick up your feet! Yes, so simple, stop trying to fight it, pick up those feet and let the lazy river take you. I feel treatment is my lazy river, once I have a path I am completely willing to just “pick up my feet”.