Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Get the News

Early in June, I get this message on my phone to call my oncologist, she urgently needed to speak with me.  It had been a month since my pap smear so I thought no news was good news.  I call them back and they won't tell me what's going on, only they had to get me in as soon as possible.  The only opening on the schedule is 4 days away.  I make the appointment and hang up.  I try to go back to what I was doing at work only to keep cycling on what she wanted to see me about.  When your oncologist calls urgently needing to see you, it can't be good news.  I call back and plead, "Can't you get me in any sooner?  I'm going to have an anxiety attack if you don't."   There is nothing available but she will call if there are any cancellations.  I wait all week and they call to say they can get me in at 9am instead of 4pm.  I take it and fly over there.  The doctor tells me that the pap smear showed squamous cells indicating the cancer had returned in the vaginal area where they took the uterus out and she was going to do a biopsy of the area and send me for a CAT scan to be sure.  In my mind I am thinking, "How can this be?  They took the uterus out, it's over and done with."  But it's so not over.

The following Monday I go for the CAT scan.  They take me into a room after making me drink a gallon of berry barium.  What the heck?  Is that some kind of cruel joke to make the stuff sound tasty?  I get inside and lay down inside the huge ring that looks like a Stargate entrance.  The medical assistant puts a pick line in me and says she is going to put this stuff in my vein.  It will make everything light up inside you.  She's moving around the room.  She comes over to me and bends over quickly close to my face to tell me the stuff is going to make me feel like I am peeing but I'm really not.  I ask "And when am I going to feel that? Oh god, I'm peeing!"  She laughs, leaves the room and in a few minutes it's over.  Tells me I can get the film before I leave.  A week later I am seeing the oncologist again.  I told her I looked at the film.  She asked me what I saw.  I told her I saw I needed several years at medical school to be able to determine what I was looking at.  She says there is nothing on the film, it's clear, but the biopsy definitely shows cancer and that she is recommending I go see a radiologist and she's already made an appointment for me to see one the next day.  It's happening all too fast.  The Summer Solstice is here.  Two days later, I am seeing a psychologist.  Think I am long overdue.

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