It has been two years this February that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I can still remember the numb feeling, the brain going into neutral and the rest of the conversation with the doctor something I do not remember. Many tests followed and another cancer was found. Colon.
Because of having two unrelated cancers, my chemo was administered for a whole year. Hair was lost, many days were spent resting as the effects of the chemo caused exhaustion.
Immediately after the breast cancer diagnosis a colonoscopy was ordered and the colon cancer was found. Surgery was scheduled immediately to remove the tumor in the colon. The breast surgery came a year later after the chemo was completed. As soon as the chest wall was healed, 30 rounds of radiation followed.
It was a very long exhaustive year. One year from the the diagnosis date, a PET scan was done to look for "hot spots" indicating tumor cells forming elsewhere in my body. Clear! and a sigh of relief escapes as the doctor gives me this news.
Because of so much lymph node involvement I was told I would be kept on a "short leash" for a long time.
This past Tuesday, three tests were scheduled. My fatalistic attitude on my health issue causes me to prepare for the worst. An ultrasound of the right chest wall, a CT scan of the abdominal and pelvic area and a bone scan from head to toe kept me at the hospital all morning. Now the wait to hear the results.
Yesterday (Thursday) my oncologist called. I missed her call and had to call back and wait to have my message relaid to her and wait again for her phone call.
"All clear" she sang out. Have a good weekend. I didn't want you to worry about the results all weekend."
All clear! Again my fatalistic brain elves nudge me. Though I was prepared for bad news, this good news only buys me a little more time. I'm not naïve enough to believe that this is all it does. It will be back. "When" is the big question but for now I have a little more time to stash my diagnosis to the far corners of my brain and continue on with my life.
As a fellow cancer patient told me "I don't want to know too much. I don't want to "own" this cancer. I just want to live with it."
I understand her statement clearly.