Thursday, June 23, 2016
Mixed results on the last cancer tests I underwent a few hours ago… The doctor was pleased that my bladder was free of tumors. He smiled, congratulated me, and then added, “But there’s something else going on.”
Ah crap. Goodness and bonté. What is it? We don’t know. Bad cells showed up in the last batch of tests. It’s impossible to pinpoint where they might originate, and I promised Arielle I would not do any medical research on Web MD (I did that earlier this week and was left pretty discouraged. Apparently bladder cancer is on the upswing and survival rates are not looking good after several surgeries. I was apparently resistant to the BCG chemo—not a good sign, etc.)
So the merriment was attenuated.
My experience is that four years ago it took my HMO almost five months to originally diagnose my cancer. I was given various opinions and fed various antibiotics until my General Practitioner saw something that gave her pause. She sent me to a urologist who took another half-month before he scheduled and performed the first of many cystoscopies. In a rare twist, it turned out this particular doctor had himself recently been diagnosed with a form of cancer, and when I asked what was wrong with me, he steadfastly refused to use the C Word, until asked point blank, “Is it cancer?”
He nodded. It was.
All this to say I’m a bit unhappy with today’s results, only because I know it might take months to get this new whatever-it-is situation examined. I am very, very tired of all this, the blood and urine tests, the scans, the cystoscopies and surgeries and chemo and sleeplessness and sadness and silly drama that seem attendant. I am weary of making demands on my friends and feeling less-than. Additionally, on two occasions in the last few years, tests have come back false-positive and engendered more anxiety. This is not cause for celebration. I—and others—have noticed that my mood spirals down around test-time and that I’ve been known to become less than rational.
Still and all, there’s some relief. One cancer down, at least for three months, and I’ll deal with whatever is coming as best I can.
Like the tee shirt says, Cancer Sucks. Now it’s time to write about cheerier stuff.