So, a little over 2 weeks ago (at the beginning of my writing this) I had a CT covering the entire length of my spine to try to find the very elusive leak that I have going on right now. I am used to these. My family and friends are used to these. These are no big deal.
What is a big deal? The phone call I received from my doctor’s office about a week and a half after the CT was done, when he read the report. (He didn’t read it right away since it wasn’t done for him, but for a specialist.) Apparently, as is usual for me every few years, the test showed something else. My lung had a couple of nodules in it that needed a CT all their own to look at them.
As you can imagine, I was in tears before the tech even finished the phone call…Okay, maybe you can’t imagine… Maybe I should explain why this hit me so hard, and more than any of my other “well what else is new, another medical issue, oh yay!”
♠ In 2008 I was diagnosed with a fun little form of cancer called Chondrosarcoma. When I was first diagnosed (and for 3 years after) I thought it was just the tumor they pulled out of my Tibia and done- good to go. The only reason I did annual follow ups was because the Air Force made me. I mean after the 18 months post-op appointment my Ortho-Oncologist told me he didn’t need to see me anymore unless the growth came back. I was like sweet! The Air Force doesn’t agree, but that’s awesome that my doctor thinks so.
♠ Enter my doc deploying. I get sent up north to the next closest Ortho-Oncologist. He walks in the room and asks what I am in for, I just tell him I had a tumor pulled out in 08, and was doing my annual follow up for the Air Force. He asked what kind of tumor I had. At that time, the closest I could come to pronouncing Chondrosarcoma was “Chondro something or other? I am not sure, my doc says it so fast I never can catch it” I then tell him he cleared me of needing follow ups, but that the AF disagrees. He leaves the room to really look at my chart…..uh ohhhhhh
♠ He walks back in, sits down in front of me and the first thing he does is has me memorize Chondrosarcoma. He tells me never to forget it for the rest of my life. He then tells me about the disease that I carry that could be nice to me, or very, very, very mean to me throughout the rest of my life. You see, what it is, and what it can do to me is this. The tumor on my bone that was pulled out (I have had a 2nd one since then- one cancerous, one not) could show up on any of my bones, though generally they stay in the same area if they do reappear. Also, I have to have a lung CT every 5 years because this lovely disease can give me lung cancer (and oh by the way, I have been a pack a day smoker since I was 18, and smoking since I was 12- at that point in time I was 27) or if it wants to get really really mean if can show up in my lymph nodes and if that happens we are talking 6 months to dirt nap.
♠ So now I check my nodes with my breast self exam, I get a CT of my lungs every 5 years- oh by the way, I lost the good doc when my original one came back 😦 – I do have to keep the old doc on his toes about the CT, but the good Doc put in a note about our encounters, and must have had a few things to say, because the old doc hasn’t tried to dismiss me since….and that brings me to now….
So when she said nodules on my lungs, with me carrying a disease that could cause lung cancer, a medium to heavy smoker for over 20 years (I quit a bit ago), and lung cancer in my family tree…I knew the odds were already stacked against me. So, I barely made it through the phone call. I couldn’t even call to schedule the CT for almost an hour I was crying so much. Yes, they were seen on a spine CT. But I know the odds.
It took me 2 days to stop crying. I told my family (most of them- my step-mom I didn’t want to stress out until I knew more because if my sisters have anxiety, then there isn’t a word for her level. Not telling her naturally leaves out my Dad and one sister since she lives there and I can’t put that on her shoulders) <—-Longest parenthesis ever…. what was going on and my friends here….I needed the support.
Once the crying was done, the Dead Zone began. If my kidlet wasn’t around then I just didn’t feel and didn’t think….if I thought then I’d cry or start trying to plan how I was going to get things ready “in case.” So I just didn’t think.
Today I had my CT. I tend to ask the techs after scans and stuff what they see, etc. on the rough images. Most will say something. Whether it’s that they couldn’t really see anything, that the images aren’t that clear, or they think they saw something but the report will be out in x days. A few will automatically reply that they aren’t allowed to discuss the results and that you have to wait to speak with your doc.
Well, let’s just say I don’t think these results are going to be in my favor. I tried to explain it to a friend of mine earlier, but I didn’t get it quiet right. So let me try again?
First, you need to understand that I am a very accomplished empath. I know how to read just the person I want to read when I want to read them. And it doesn’t matter my mood or state.
Okay, when I asked her if they were able to see anything she just stared at me for a second. Her mood went from happy and chipper to sad. She finally composed herself enough to say that I needed to wait…and here she stumbled again. So I filled in for her, asking how long it would be until the report was ready, and feeding her good vibes to help restore her mood. She was still feeling a little sad as we were leaving but quickly turning around.
So, leave it to say, I think I will be seeing my ortho-oncologist rather than my reg doc soon. Until Weds/Thurs I will be hanging out in the Dead Zone for a bit! (and insert time lapse here…let’s make it a long one too……)
So, the results came in. No appointment needed, the nurse is going to give the to me over the phone. Okay, sweet..this must be good news then right? She begins by jumping around in the report. Talking about the size of the nodules, and a few other words, and how since I am low risk so the nodules should mean nothing. I still needed to schedule a follow up, however, because my primary doctor had changed. So I asked the nurse how I was low risk if I had this disease. She started stumbling over her words and said that I was fine, and she didn’t mean to say that part.
After the phone call, even though I felt troubled still-unsettled- about the truth of the nodules meaning nothing, I passed the news on to everyone that I was fine. I told my step-mom (and assume that she told Dad) and my sister that lives there. and semi moved on. There was that little worm in the back of my head that said this wasn’t over and she wasn’t right, but I tried to ignore it and move on.
Next up was the appointment with my new doctor. Just let me say I love this woman! She is reminiscent of my favorite doctor, Dr. Taylor. I was lucky enough to have him for about 6 years while stationed here, and I wanted to cry when he left. I just hope I get to keep her!!! She is amazing!!! Okay, enough of that, here is the dirt.
Basically, here is the deal as it stands now. IF I were low risk, the nodules would be nothing. However, I am actually very high risk. Thus, the nodules are concerning. As it stands now she wants to do another CT in 6 months. If there is any change we will go from there. Then I talked to her about meeting with my Ortho-Oncologist- I didn’t want her to be offended if I had him look at the scans. (I didn’t think she would mind, but I wanted her to know.) I meet with him tomorrow.
That meeting should be fun. I can picture him in my head. Oh those? Those are nothing, we don’t need to meet anymore, you’re fine. If that is the case I will just have to force him to care or send me out for a second opinion, because my instincts are screaming at me to pay attention to all of this and to get my house in order.
That right there is a scary ass thought…(time jump again….)
Well, I met with my Cancer doc (the Ortho-Oncologist, that’s how I always refer to him) and I am stuck….*sigh*…. The nodules are to small to test or anything right now, so the only thing there is to do is wait…wait a long 6 months. After that I get a new CT scan and go from there. If they have gotten bigger I might get referred to a thoracic surgeon, have them biopsied or wait another 6 months for more imagining…. oh yay!!!
So…I wait, and I prepare. I write my goodbye letters and make sure my executor and my son’s guardian know my wishes. Make sure my will, power’s of attorney and the medical care thingy is all up to date. And I wait…
Until next time my friends….Love and Blessings!