Monday, September 12, 2011

Being A Cancer Survivor…

It’s devastating to be diagnosed with cancer. Your whole world is turned upside down in an instant and you have no idea what the future holds for you or how much of a future remains. And, after the preliminary treatments of surgery, radiation and chemo, you have to be tested every three months for the first two or three years and then maybe every six months until you hit your fifth year. The fifth year is cause for celebration because they consider you “cured.” Yet, you still have to be tested annually. You have a history of cancer. You are never free from being under that cloud.

So in February, I was seven years cancer free and in June I went for my annual CT scan. Everything is fine except for this small spot on my rib. Now if I didn’t have a history, no one would think it’s suspicious, but I do have a history. My doctor asks if I injured my rib. I have to think about it. I injure myself every day. I can’t be sure. So she has to confer with other specialists about this to see how to proceed. Meanwhile, I come home and wrack my brain and try to remember something I may have done. I see an elastic support that I bought a few months ago, because I hurt my rib! I don’t have to rely on my lousy memory because I have proof. I write to the doctor and tell her. She replies, based on that information we will do a CT scan in 3 months instead of a bone biopsy. Ugh! Now I have this hanging over my head all summer. All the “what ifs” are swimming in my head again. I am good at distracting myself. Thank God for that. I still think it’s the injury, but who knows really.

I went for the CT scan this past Saturday and I will see the doctor this Friday for the results. They are looking for “evidence of healing” so they can eliminate any other concerns. I guess if there are any changes and no evidence of healing I’ll need the bone biopsy. I am hoping she gets the results and gives me a call if there is nothing to be concerned about. I hate the waiting. I practically sit in her office holding my breath, until she comes in and says everything is fine, as it is.

I guess I’ll make it through the next few days with a few more distractions and then see what their consensus of opinion is. I am glad my doctor is thorough and cautious, but I am just tired of worrying and anxiety. But, at least I am still here to do it!

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