Friday, April 5, 2013

Tests and pricks

Today was the big day. I got to Huntsman this morning at 8:30 for labs and lots and lots of tests, as well as meeting with my distinguished doctor, John Ward, M.D. & G.P. (Great Person).

After getting an IV, I went for my first ever MRI. (This is a week of firsts.) The MRI was very noisy, and more boring than a c-section. That was just of the breasts. By the way, if you're scared of the word "breast," you may want to skip this blog for, I don't know, the next year.

When the MRI was done, I met with Dr. Ward, G.P. He really is the greatest. I might say I am already be doing the "fall in love with the person saving your life" thing, except that I've loved Dr. Ward since I was Sabrina's age. He did the new patient interview and a quick physical, including tests I think are only for the doctor's amusement, like touching my nose, then his finger, then my nose again. I had a hard time with that one because I was laughing so much. He told me that other than the ENORMOUS MASS in my breast (there's that word again!) I was the picture of perfect health. No other masses, great blood work, negative tumor marker, etc., etc.

Then, everyone offered me food, juice, whatever I wanted. I can't, despite the fact that I'm starving, due to a PET scan at 1:30. (Mom likes PETs better than CATs, because she is non-speciest.) Instead, I met with a woman who just happened to be in for her yearly I-don't-have-cancer checkup. She got cancer almost identical to mine at 36. It was nice to talk to someone who went through it, although she didn't have kids at the time. She adopted the day she finished Herceptin. Or whatever that drug is.

At 1:30 I went back to Radiology for my PET. First, you have to get a radioactive sugar thing in your IV. Then, you have to sit and not do anything (except, of course, think about your cancer), not read, not work, nothing, for over an hour. They don't want your brain too busy, because they want the sugar to go to the tumors, not your brain. Whatevs. Then the PET. I think I fell asleep. It was quiet, soothing, and moved me back and forth. Also, more boring than a c-section.

After the PET, I went back to Dr. Ward to get my results. In the room, besides me, were Dr. Ward, his nurse, his PA, and my mom. A tight fit. Looking through the PET, he told me there is some lymph node involvement, it looks like, but nothing else. Combined with my negative tumor marker, it looks like this cancer can be sucker punched and beaten into submission. Hooray! I honestly didn't know what good news it was until I saw my mom's face. Then I knew. This is great, great news. This impression was seconded by a nurse walking by and giving me the big smile and thumbs up. Yes, cancer, we will pummel you until you die.

I know this post is long already, but I wanted to put in this poem. I've always liked it, now I love it. It's how I plan to live my life from now on. It's how I always planned on living my life, but the minutia of life got in the way. Cancer sure has a way of boiling life down to its essence. Oh, and I, like the poet, plan on fifty more springs.

LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

A.E. Housman

1 comment:

lisa said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I know you won't want to recount the same thing over and over, but I am so happy to get the details. And yay for a great prognosis!