So my hiatus from here was long. I have a feeling it will become frequent again. On Friday I had a dreaded Quarterly Cancer Check Up.
For those of us who have to go through this routine torture, it is nothing short of torture. When you don’t have this appointment looming, you forget about the anvil over the head. You forget that there is this huge risk to your life that you are always facing. However, leading up to the checkup when you have to do whatever tests they want you to do, you are reminded with the very real reality that something may be going wrong with your body. Something completely out of your control. So for a few days before that appointment you are scared, nervous and just overall unhappy. At least that is how I am.
So I am patiently sitting in the exam room. Okay, maybe not patiently. But I am sitting there. When my oncologist walks in I can tell there is something wrong. She is usually very upbeat. She is usually smiles and “how are you doing?”. Not this time. She gets right to work. She bombards me with questions:
Have you had any surgeries since I saw you last? – No….
Any major illnesses or accidents since I saw you last? — I fell from my horse, does that count?
And on and on she goes. Finally I ask what my results were. Then she turns and looks me in the eyes and says “We need to talk about that, it isn’t good.” My heart sinks. My world stops. Everything ends. She goes on to tell me that my blood work had some oddities in it. I am anemic which is odd for me. Also the cancer trackers in my blood are elevated (which they never were even during my last bout with cancer). Then we discuss the CT scan I had done three weeks ago. There is a mass on the adrenal gland and/or lung.
Everything ends. Tears slowly stream down my face. It is back. I have something again. Somehow my body has failed me again. I run through my brain as to how I am going to handle it this time. This time I have no significant other. This time I am single. This time I am alone. I am away from my family. I have a new job. I have no money saved up as cancer ate a lot of it last time. I don’t know how I am going to do it this time.
We continue to discuss what the options are. What we are going to do. The next business day (tuesday) I will be getting a biopsy of the mass. Friday I will get a PET scan of my whole body. The following Tuesday I will meet with my doctor to talk about options. So the outcomes as we see it right now rated rarest to worst
- No mass is actually there and thus no cancer—- this is like asking for the unicorn
- It is a new form of cancer which we will attack and take care of appropriately
- It is colon cancer that has now spread through my body and there is no cure. I will need to manage it for the rest of my life. – This is the nightmare.
So while I hope #1 I know it is completely unreasonable, but hey I still hope a little. #2 is the best/most realistic option. and #3 is the nightmare.
There is a huge part of me that doesn’t want to fight any more. There is a huge part of me that said I wouldn’t do chemo again. That I didn’t want to go through abdominal surgery again. I don’t have much fight left in me. The last 2 some years have drained it all.
But at the end of the day I know one thing. I will keep fighting. I have no choice. Kiddo needs her mom and I will do what I need so she doesn’t lose that. I may be unhappy. I may be furious. I may be debating changing my name to Job. But I will keep taking steps forward. I will keep trying. I won’t be happy about it. But …. well it is what I have to do. Liking it has nothing to do about it.