Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things change, but they don't really

Last night I was lying in bed listening (with a tiny bit of insomnia) to the heavy rain come down and realized that I wasn't concerned that the roof might leak. This is a significant change, there were a few years where I would dread every forecasted rain storm and even make a point not to be home in case the roof did leak.

When we bought the house in early 2005, we knew we needed a new roof. We had some ice dam issues that first year which caused some ceiling damage too. We had the roof replaced in the summer of 2005. On New Year's Day 2006, I was working in my office upstairs and heard a drip. The roof was leaking in my office. We found a new roofer who would come that day and did some repairs. A few trips by the roofer and several hundred dollars later, we no longer had any drips but I had learned to hate rain. It would stress me out. What if the roof leaked again? We couldn't keep spending money on the roof, we had to pay for other things - a furnace, driveway paving, etc. I was stressed for every storm.

Last night I was not stressed by the rain and I started thinking. I knew the roof could leak at any time. This does happen sometimes. Roofs do leak - during hurricanes, or when big debris lands on them, or with ice dams, not just in regular rainstorms. But I wasn't concerned.

Last week I had my annual mammogram and physical and I wasn't stressed about cancer issues. I was stressed about other health issues on my never ending list of new medical issues. Have things changed? Not really. Just because I was not stressed about cancer cooties, doesn't mean the concern they may reappear has disappeared. It never really does.

After my first cancer diagnosis, I learned to despise the words 'but with your medical history we need to be sure...' Every little medical blip put me to the front of the cancer line. Eventually, my stress settled down and I wouldn't be as concerned about every issue. Then another cancer diagnosis, totally unrelated but very stressful, came along and I returned to the front of the cancer line for everything.

With two cancer diagnoses and three years of waiting for a clean mammogram, my stress level is finally settling down. Maybe my breast cancer is not going to come back but 'with my medical history, they always need to be sure'.

So last week, I wasn't as concerned that they might find cancer cooties related to my breast cancer as it has not been as problematic in the past year. In fact I passed last year's mammogram and with a second clean one this year, I was feeling pretty comfortable with it and wasn't freaking out that they might find something else during it.

Its the other cancer issues that cause me stress but that doctor isn't until July. I have another thyroid ultrasound in July to see if they can figure out what is the 'detectable but too small to biopsy' thing is that is hanging out where my thyroid used to be. So I think I have just deferred my stress for a different doctor appointment.

I can still stress about my mysteriously caused heart rate issues but that doesn't look like cancer. It could be caused by my thyroid levels being messed up but it doesn't look like cancer. I'll have my echocardiogram in a few weeks and learn more then. I'll save more stress for then.

So things did change, the roof didn't leak and my mammogram was clean and I wasn't stressed. I have learned that I can always find something new to stress about with my health. And with 'my medical history, they need to be sure'.

4 comments:

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Sea Veg said...

Thanks for shearing your own comments.

Prostate Cancer said...

Keep holding on! I know that acing cancer and even other complications and diseases can be tough. However, please keep fighting and trust that the cancer treatments would truly help you overcome the disease.