No one will give you news and no one will call you so you don't know... you sit waiting... then it's the day you go to the oncologist they check your temperature, ask you a few questions and you sit in a waiting room, then you go get lab test results.
Today the blood pressure was 154. The lab nurse, who's a friend says "Good luck with your results try to relax get your blood pressure down." They take me and walk me into the room. We make jokes and she leaves I tell her," I love you, have a good day" and she says "I love you too." Many would think this exchange might be odd but you get to know these nurses and being that I've had cancer twice I sadly have got to know them very well. I wait in the office with bated breath for a doctor, resident, or nurse practitioner to come into the room. A new resident comes in, his very first day, poor boy and he has me, the girl who questions everything, who's the difficult patient, who's the rare case, and the 1%.
We go around talking about symptoms, feelings, blood pressure, pain level. We talk about my elevated liver enzymes and finally, I can't wait anymore for him to tell me so I asked him the results of the CAT scan. He informs me as calmly as he can that there was a nodule and in 3 months it has grown.
What breath I had has all escaped from me now.
I take as big of breath as I can to try and not lose control. I hear him say the growth and while I realize .9 cm to 1 cm is not a large amount of growth, it still is growing and that means they cannot give me no evidence of disease diagnosis today. While it doesn't say that I do have true evidence of disease it also isn't comforting on the other side, either.
He goes out and talks to the oncologist. I hear them outside the door reiterating things that I've told him but in a more dignified clear-cut unified form. The oncologist comes into the office. He has some smile as I can see in his eyes and he can tell my feeling and apprehension we discuss options of a pet scans in 6 weeks, he wants to do 8, I want to do sooner. I finally push and push until he gives in so I can tell he's not happy with the decision. I try to iron it out with him and he agrees it's okay we'll do it in 6 weeks.
Partially I want it that soon because I know that this year that pet scan will be taken care of on my insurance because we have already met ours out of pocket. I want one on the books because I know my out-of-pocket is met and we will have to pay for the next one at the beginning of next year. We will hear later about the elevated liver enzymes and make some decisions.
I keep asking more and more questions, though he's already answered them, I don't know why.
Perhaps I was waiting for a different answer though in my mind I know he will say the same things. He tells me once again the nodule is small there's no surgeon that will remove it because it's too small and the surgeon would be concerned about taking more so it's a waiting game.
Not what you want to hear is that a nodule needs to grow more before they can remove it. Not what you want to hear is that we will wait longer.
Logically, to me, it seems like "GET THIS OUT OF MY BODY! LET'S TAKE CARE OF THIS!"
I understand logically his words that he says though I am looking straight at him, I feel like he is talking in a tunnel...
"There would be no further action it's just something to watch."
Again not things you want to hear.
We agree to a 6-week PET scan and he tells me he will allow me treatment today but I need to keep my blood pressure down cuz if it's 170 he cannot give me treatment. Today Bp was 154. I hear his words and I know that partially my blood pressure is high because of the scanxiety but also because I have been in a great deal amount of pain for other reasons.
I told my husband yesterday I was afraid of the pain I was having because it felt very similar to the last time I had cancer and now here I sit carrying those words to be affirmed.
I post my picture on Facebook with my thumbs down and my mask on and share the news with others.
I am a social being and I need to reach out and have that support from my friends where others would keep silent. I know I need to share.
It's not about wanting the spotlight it's about needing that love and reassurance from friends that this will be okay.
We complete the appointment and I go find my chair in the infusion room.
I cry as the nurse walks up to me to get ready for treatment as I retell the story of what I was just told.
She is as comforting as she can be and hands me tissues. There's not much more that she can do. I could never be a nurse I would want to hug everyone and I would cry with them.
The treatment is prepared and I take my time during my half-hour plus 45 minutes of saline. As soon as my treatment is done I get up and walk out and come to the car.
My heart starts beating faster and my nose starts dripping through my mask. I can feel myself getting upset again and I try not to get worked up. I step into the car and as I turn it on the radio station is on a Christian station the song on is "It's going to be okay" by Tasha something. I have never heard it before today.
Immediately I burst into tears.
I cry heavy heaving sobs barely able to catch my breath... whispering...
"This is not fair, this is not fair, this is not fair..."
I cry the duration of the song and more...I try and hear the words...
"Though the mountains may be moved into the sea Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way I can hear my Father singing over me "It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok"I feel divinely inspired...My Heavenly Father is speaking to me through this music...He is trying to comfort me, he is trying to tell me, "IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY"
I cry again thinking about what that means. His world is not our world. Okay to him is not the same as okay to us. It will be okay, but in what way?
I slowly stop crying.
My breaths become normal again.
I dry my tears and share these thoughts with you via talk to text so I can edit it later as I am now.
This is out of my hands.
I have to dust myself off, metaphorically speaking, pull up my boots straps and keep moving.
Life will not stop moving.
I remind myself that
"We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience"
and I pull out of the drive and carry on for now.
My resiliency prevails for another moment, for another day, for now. <3
"Verse 1:My heart is breaking In a way I never thought it could My mind is racing With the question, "are you still good?" Pre-Chorus: Can you make something From the wreckage? Would you take this heart And make it whole again? Chorus: Though the mountains may be moved into the sea Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way I can hear my Father singing over me "It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok" Verse 2: I’ve blamed myself And if I’m honest, maybe I’ve blamed you too But You would not forsake me ‘Cause only good things come from You Bridge: From beginning to the end You’re so close You have never let me down and you won’t In the valley, in the shadow, I know You’re so close You’re so close Chorus: Though the mountains may be moved into the sea Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way I can hear my Father singing over me "It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok” It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok I’m gonna be ok, I’m gonna be ok"