Well, it only took two days for Tricare to approve the radiologist’s request for a repeat PET scan. I knew they would come through for us … they always have …. Just seems frustrating to wait at a time like this. (Yes, my Canadian socialized-medicine friends are rolling their eyes and thinking, “Wait? You think two days is waiting for a test??? Lady, you don’t know NOTHING about waiting for no medical tests!!”) (Actually, that sounded more like Bronx friends, didn’t it???)
Without going further into boring, personal, medical stuff, suffice it to say this is not the first run-in Blaine has had this week …. With Tricare …. With the medical staff on base ……. With the pharmacy …. With the Air Force in general. So the waiting for this was just a teeny tiny straw on a teeny tiny camel’s back, and it will all be fine in the long run. (In through the nose, out through the mouth.)
Now, we …………… wait some more. Good thing Blaine’s cancer is a slow-growing kind, or all this waiting would have killed him. As it is, I think it might kill *ME*, considering I was born without the DNA for patience.
The radiation-oncologist wants to meet again with the head and neck surgeon, and they want to confer with the tumor board, to decide the best plan of action. Which is fine with us, because the more smart people you have reviewing your case, the better. But one doctor is on vacation next week, and probably the week after that it’s the Jamaican New Year, or annual Tumour Board Conference in Barbados, and then the hospital will flood,or there will be a fire, or a nationwide shortage of gauze, or some other such crap, and LET’S JUST GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD ALREADY!!! There are two tumors that have shown up in the previous site … and one new tumor on the other side of his head. Yippee, at least he’s symmetrical!!!! Now, let’s decide what to do about it!!!!!!! And, I’m using lots of exclamation caps to chase away the hysteria!!!!
Biopsying the new tumor is a strong possibility, but not definite. *IF* a biopsy takes place, the results might or might not affect the treatment plan, which is also undecided.
That’s about clear as mud, isn’t it?
Repeat radiation (same, but different) is very, very likely.
Both (biopsy and radiation) bring with them their own set of possible benefits and probable concerns. No sense delving into them today, though …. Until we know for sure. THEN I will bombard you with a whole list of complaints and worries and fears. Until then, rest easy --- this post only contains whining, but lots of it!!!
Thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your notes and e-mails and phone calls of support and kindness. I started out trying to reply to each one individually, but just got weighed down. My sense of organization and time-management seems to have taken a hit this week. I’m also (since a few of you were kind enough to ask) feeling a wee bit stressed. And cranky. This happens every time though. Or at least it happened the first time Blaine was diagnosed, and the first time he relapsed. And on a MUCH greater scale, when Kendrie was diagnosed as well. *THAT* time included early-morning awakening, crying in the shower, and perhaps even panic attacks, in hind-site. So really, what I'm feeling now is minor in comparison. I’ve never suffered from anxiety on any sort of regular basis, so I don’t know if that’s what this is. This feeling that I can’t concentrate, and am overwhelmed by daily life, and have a strong, serious, severe, CRIPPLING need for alcohol.
No, kidding again.
I deal with my stress by eating. Currently, as I type this, I have a bowl of chocolate-chip cookie dough in front of me with a big-ass wooden spoon in it. I type a paragraph, then take a bite. Probably not good for my cortisol level, …. Definitely not good for my ass.
I worked really hard this summer and lost twenty pounds. I gained back eight on the cruise …. I’ve gained back at least three more this week. I know kvetching about my weight is shallow and insignificant and just plain silly at a time like this …. But come on, how many days in a row can I wear yoga pants because 1) the thought of getting up and putting on real clothes is overwhelming to me, and 2) by the end of the day, the waistband around my blue jeans wouldn’t fit anyway.
And I’m not really overwhelmed, that’s not the right word. It’s more like I can’t care --- SIMPLY CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO CARE --- about the pesky, little, exasperating, trivial SHIT that happens in daily life. (I KNOW!!! Can you believe it??? She’s STILL talking about herself, and her husband has CANCER, and she’s got to be the most self-centered person on the planet!!!) It’s more like I am …. Um ….. what’s the word? Annoyed? With everything in the entire world??? Sidetracked? Distracted?
Yes, perhaps “distracted” is the best word to describe how I’m feeling.
Luckily enough, I know it will pass. It passed every other time before, so it will this time as well. No need for anti-anxiety meds, or anti-depressants …. Maybe just a few bottles of wine, then I’ll feel better. Or even a good night’s sleep. It's simply taking me a little while to find my focus in the meantime.
So again, because of my distracted-ness (yes, it is a word, I just made it up) I feel the need to apologize if you’ve been kind enough to write and I haven’t answered. Or if you’ve called and I haven’t returned it. It’s as if, *mentally*, my wheels are spinning all day long. Then at the end of the day I look up and I’ve actually accomplished nothing.
Unless eating an entire bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough counts for something. Then I'm on a roll.