Searching for rats

Published by pam on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 7:18pm

Once they discover a rat in one part of your body, it is important to make sure there aren't more.  I have a tumor in my breast.  That much we know for sure.  Now I get to find out what might be lurking elsewhere.  Lung cancer?  A brain tumor?  Is that tailbone bruise something more?  What about those uterine fibroids?  Or that pain around my left ovary?  


Monday and Tuesday I will have MRIs (2 - breast and brain), a PET scan, a CT scan, and a bone scan.  I will also meet my oncologist to review the most likely course of treatment.  Wednesday (my birthday) will be left open for follow up procedures.  Thursday I will see the surgeon to finalize mastectomy plans and  with the oncologist to finalize an oncology plan.  Friday I will watch my daughter's last school gymnastics competition of the season.  The following week, the fun begins.


I have stepped into the world of corporate medicine and even though I know what I am going through will most likely save my life, I cannot help but feel like a product.  I am twisted and scanned and injected and punctured all week long.  I rush from one appointment to the next.  My veins are surveyed for one that isn't bruised.  I begin to wonder if this is the new normal.  Will I look back on this as the easy time?  At least I go home feeling like myself.  I have hair.  I don't feel the need to sleep all day.   This might be as good as it gets for a while.


For the most part, I pass my tests.  I am a good student.  I am glad to find out my lungs and brain are clear.  There is a suspicious internal mammary node they would like to biopsy and there is some question about a spot on my kidney.  My birthday (the open day) will need to be spent doing an ultrasound guided biopsy of a lymph node deep in my chest.  The following day, I will not be spending with the surgeon and the oncologist, rather I will need to have one last ultrasound to study the spot on my kidney as well as my ovaries and uterus.  The oncologist and surgeon are pushed to Friday and I will miss my daughter's gymnastics meet.  


It is the first of many things I will miss and for that I am deeply sad.