yesterday was a big day that started
days and weeks before
when the big tests are set up - bone scan and then
CT scan - these are done every three months or so
the waiting to know results seems endless........
time stretches and I do mental gymnastics in an attempt
to keep myself from worrying.
I can say that I do get better at this over time
since I have been through this more times than I can count
and I'd rather not go back there
I forgot "not to eat" before my CT scan yesterday morning
ate just a little, but still, I forgot
I should have written one of the signs I write to myself
as a reminder
the CT scan specialist Ernie is my friend and is such a character
we rib each other all the time - he has this dry sense of humor
that I love to banter with!
after I get all hooked up with the portacath for the infusion
that is when my memory kicks in and so I confess to Ernie
about eating and so he casually informs me:
oh well, in that case, you'll just puke all over the place,
no going back now
well, he did the scans and when all was said and done
and he told me I could sit up I asked:
ok, Ernie, when can I expect to throw up?
oh, if you haven't already, it ain't gonna happen.
thanks, man, I'm outta here.
I was able to spend some time with my friend/therapist
and that was good for my spirit
11:30 came around and I came back for labs and vitals
noon was my scheduled time to see my doctor and it seemed
like the hands of the clock slowed down
finally my name was called
and I was escorted to one of my doctor's rooms...
my blood work looked good
and it was time to look at the scans together
he has me sit right next to him as we examine his computer screen
as we take a trip into my body together
first was the CT scan
and we jumped into my lungs and kept going through all
soft tissue organs
I do not remember breathing with those lungs I just looked at
I was in a kind of suspended animation
it was fascinating and frightening
what were we seeing exactly
was there cancer there?
he kept saying good things and I kept holding my breath
everything was clear
I was stunned in a happily quiet way
now to the bone scans
four little skeletons of me
two from last week
two from the previous time about six months ago
cancer lesions (bone tumors) show up as black spots
I know from the past that they are mostly along my spine
some on ribs, sternum, skull, pelvis...
my doctor is saying that there in no progression
actually, he says, there is a little less
the situation with the bone mets is stable
that's great news
again, my mouth is open, stunned, happy but it is still
pretty disconcerting to see where your cancer is on/in
your very own body.........
I breathe again
and we talk
we reach a decision:
it is time for a chemo vacation
hopefully up to six months
I am taking a drug that is an estrogen blocker
since estrogen feeds cancer cells and being
this offers me a buffer kind of protection
I will also go in once a month for labs and injection
of a bone strengthener
and to keep connected to my doctor as we observe my process
my doctor gave me a big hug
and it took me until waking up this morning to realize that I am
HAPPY about this news!
I became so guarded and self-protective in case of bad news
that I needed time to unwind
to open my eyes and mind to relief
there will be some side effects from the new med
and I can deal with that
since the blizzard meant that I missed one chemo treatment
last week, I can honestly say that even in that short time
I can feel the difference in my head first of all
it is hard to describe.
it makes me realize how intense being on chemo is.
there will be a time when I can verbalize that, not right now
I want to make the most of this freedom-time
I will find my way managing the new med, not a problem
there are things I want to do and accomplish externally
mostly my focus is going to be on "wellness" activities
the Holistic Healing seminars are going to fortify me
the books I read
music I listen to
the Tibetan singing bowls I will ring and make sing
the thoughts I engage with
the words I use when I speak and write
and most importantly the people I surround myself with
in the 2nd life I have been blessed to live
I want us to wrap each other with support and kindness
love that is expressed in surprising and warm ways
let us laugh together
and cry because of gratitude and beauty-filled moments
that we create for and with each other
let us find a new vocabulary of heart
and make it up if we want!
I want to live forward with energy, imagination & enthusiasm
If old ways of communicating need to be resurrected to a higher level
let us be brave enough to let go of old habits
and try on the new and be purely liberated
I refuse to be stuck in hopeless endless pits of negative bouts of hurting words
I am not entering that kind of ring again
I see these things happen in lives that are so precious
yet wasting precious time...
the fighting spirit inside of me has a positive focus directed
at the fight of a lifetime, for life itself,
not against people,
against a disease - that is where I enter the ring, every day of my life.
celebratory spirits in the face of great adversity inspire and empower me
I know these people and I want to enter their spheres
being away from chemo is a good thing and yet I already
feel an emotional vacuum if I am not going to be in
I miss my family/world there
oh, wow, I just had an IDEA!
perhaps on the Wednesdays that I have off from work due
to having treatment days, I could volunteer
at Missouri Cancer Associates!
I'm excited about that - ok, ok, we shall set that
so many words, many more inside.....