Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A really long wait

Two years ago, I remember sitting in my surgeon's office waiting for him to come in and talk about the next steps in my treatment. As I was waiting, I could hear him talking to another patient (in his 'church whisper' voice which always carries) and say to her "You are fine. Come back and see me in a year." I was very jealous as I wished he would say that to me. Finally after two years, that's what he told me.

I went for my mammogram yesterday morning. They took the images (and I found out don't talk during the images - you can breathe but not talk - or they have to retake them but its all digital so they know in 15 seconds if they have to retake them) and sent me back to wait in the waiting room so the radiologist could read them. But then they called me back in to say they needed more images and they wanted to mark all my surgical scars first and sent me back to the waiting room. (How was my stress level? Well, I took 1/4 of an ativan which helped but I admit to being a tiny bit stressed.) Then they came and got me again and told me everything was fine. GIANT SIGH OF RELIEF. I went up to see the surgeon and heard the magic words. Yes, I am happy.

Then I asked the surgeon about what about follow ups, etc. He said I will now see his nurse practitioner once a year after my mammogram, unless I have any problems. He congratulated me on making it to two years - most of the time if you are going to have a recurrence it happens in the first two years. He did say due to my aggressive treatment that I have a 2%-5% chance of my cancer recurring at this point and a 10% chance of getting a new cancer in the next ten years. How does that make me feel? I don't know. It will be what it will be. We can't predict the future. They still don't have a cure or a cause. But maybe if it does come back, they will know more by then.

A note on taking 1/4 of an ativan and going anywhere. I thought I was fine. Well, I had to practically dump out my purse to find the stupid ticket for the parking garage, I paid and headed for my car, and started driving out of the garage. I couldn't find the damn ticket again so I pulled over and really started looking. It was in my pocket. I didn't remember putting it there at all. Ativan makes me loopy. I thought 1/4 of one would be okay. But perhaps not. I will remember this for the future.

Now, what am I going to do? My big goal is to get a life. I mean I have a life sort of but it was really focused on cancer. It would be nice to move on but unfortunately I think the next issue will be back pain. Two years of cancer followed by how long of back pain? My health should not run my life. But in the meantime, I will work on getting a life. I start my new job on Tuesday. I still have my first job. Perhaps I will take a third job but will see what happens in the next few weeks. To celebrate this on Friday I am going to the beach and going to have clams. I can't wait.

Today I think I have some contract work to do as well as go to work and for a walk and some gardening. The weeds are winning and gardening is known to cause back pain.

Kitty note: He is still getting around and being annoying. He wants treats. He wants more treats. No, he wants the other kind of treats. I made tuna fish for Walter's lunch while he was in the kitchen - big mistake. He is a pest. But he is hobbling around. He does not seem to be in any pain and his appetite is going strong.

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