Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Bone First Please
I’ve started to lie and that is something I never do. But I’m coming clean so that I won’t have to lie again.
Even though I know when I get my results, I tell my family that I am not sure when I will get them. But I have come clean and told them that I will not tell anyone when I get the results because I feel too much pressure.
Imagine having everyone in your family’s hopes resting on your shoulders. They are all so hopeful and anxious that the test results be okay that I feel more anxious about hearing the results. It is like I am not only waiting for the axe to fall on me, but to fall on my family too. And with the nature of Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer, the axe will fall at some point.
The other morning Jacquie was driving me to the hospital and she kept asking me ‘So, what do you have today? Is it blood work and x-rays?’ I answer yes twice and then she asks me again. “For fuck sake Jacquie, you know fucking well I am getting the results, why are you asking me. I didn’t want to say because now I feel more pressure that you are going to be sitting for an hour worrying and now I have your fucking pressure too. Christ.” I am crying and Jacquie starts crying. I feel better that I have passed on some of my angst to her.
The tears have given me some relief. Notice how I deflect my pain.
I am such a beast I have just been yelling at an angel. And in angel fashion, Jacquie apologizes to me.
My appointment is for 9 a.m. and I get brought in to the room. I change and put on a gown and then have to leave the room walking down the hallway with a bare back and my tail hanging down because I was placed in the wrong room. No big deal.
If you can believe it, I am feeling much more relaxed than I was the last time I came. Back then I almost had a panic attack.
In the new room I sit with my eyes closed thinking that if I keep them closed when the doctor talks to me I won’t have to see the axe swing down. It is sheer torture having to see all this come at you. Some of you might remember my post ‘Some Fantasies Are Better Left As Fantasies’ http://circlingmyhead.blogspot.com/2008/02/not-many-people-know-this-about-me-but.html where I talk about not having to see what is coming at me.
I often wonder how others cope with impending doom. What are other strategies people use while waiting for test results that may change their and their family’s lives again? Over the last few years I have learned to live a lot in the now, but when the now is the waiting room and the possible axe it is a difficult now to live in. It is hard to be present when the present situation is extremely stressful.
In the end, sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called and then being brought to the examining room waiting to be examined I continue my self-talk. ‘Fear is the mind killer. The results will be what they are. I am doing the best I can. Please God help me.’
I tell myself that it will be okay. The bottom line is that I know I want it to be okay, but I know that it just might not be okay. I know that the possibility that it is not going to be okay and that the disease may not be responding to Femara any longer is real. I know that the cancer will spread even if I am tough and brave and believe. I know that the cancer will find its way around the treatment I am on and will bring me closer to my death; and I wonder if this is the time that will happen.
I have had to deal with the knowledge that since the word cancer came out of my doctor’s mouth that nothing will ever be okay again. Since that word ‘cancer’ and in the hours and days and months since; I knew it would never be clearly okay again.
I tell the nurse I want the results from my blood tests and tumor markers and she gets me all the forms. My hemoglobin is dropping and that explains my fatigue. My platelets are going up and that is a good thing as it means my bone marrow is doing better. My tumor markers are going up and that is not a good thing.
Dr. Grenier comes in within five minutes of me sitting in the new room and I am surprised because I’m usually waiting there forever.
‘How are you feeling Renee? Oh I know you want your results right away from the scans. They are stable. That is good news.’
Yes, yes it is indeed.