Last week I was in the hospital for five days with unmentionably awful symptoms. I underwent all kinds of procedures and tests, none of which garnered a result by the time they let me go on Easter Sunday, after my continued begging and imploring and standing around in street clothes (such as they were: the only clothes I had with me were the outfit I threw on in haste and great sickness on my way to the emergency room that first day).
But there were not yet any results, or findings, when they let me leave the hospital.
Instead, I left with a list of further appointments for more tests and procedures. My primary care practice called me on Monday to make an appointment for me to be told the findings from the procedures done while I was in the hospital, which would be relayed to them by each of the specialists there. That appointment to get the results was set for this morning.
Meanwhile, Tuesday I had another procedure, and yet another one was set for this afternoon. Whew!
What happened today was this:
At 8:30 sharp, I was told I have cancer. I immediately went into shock, although apparently I seemed rational to the outside eye.
But I didn’t ask the kinds of probing questions that I would have, if I had had my wits about me.
You see, my older brother died of this same cancer at age 56, when I was 53. Now I am 66. But I have been screened for cancer continuously since I was 40, because my mother had also had it but survived, and my brother had not been screened. By the time they discovered his cancer, it was Stage 4 and quickly, but tortuously, terminal.
My many screenings throughout the years had indicated some potential trouble, giving me yet more motivation to continue with the hassle of getting checked out. I wish that Ray had–he might have been here today. 😦
But anyway, back to this morning’s appointment and aftermath: SHOCK AND TERROR! Meanwhile, and bizarrely, a friend, after hearing my news, commented how calm and in control of myself I seemed, and possessing such a good attitude!
INSIDE MY HEAD I was running AMOK and SCREAMING!
Then came the afternoon procedure, where I told the nurse about my cancer diagnosis. The specialist came in before the procedure and said, “No, there’s nothing in those biopsies you’re referring to that indicates cancer.” And she showed me the results, the analysis, and my chart online, explaining most of the terms. Such dreaded words as “cancer” or “carcinoma” were nowhere in evidence.
Both doctors, from the morning and the afternoon, were looking at the same biopsy results and analysis, and the same chart, because they are both part of a huge medical practice centering on the hospital I went to.
The procedure went on as planned and didn’t show anything bad, but once again biopsies will be sent out for analysis, and I’m due back at her office for still another procedure in 4 weeks.
At least that would seem to indicate that she thinks I’ll live that long!
Tomorrow I will call the super-specialists pertaining to my maybe-yes-or-maybe-no cancer to set up a followup with them, since they did the main procedures in the hospital whose biopsy results are the bone of contention.
They will have the deciding vote, best two out of three. I’m betting the second doctor, the one who said, “No cancer,” is the right one!
There’s also a second area of concern, which may be benign or may be cancer, in a different area of my body, found accidentally during a procedure for the symptoms that took me to the ER in the first place. I have to call tomorrow to set up a third procedure to look further into this second area of concern.
Meanwhile, I feel like today I went to Hell and back again. I’m exhausted!