Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Years Notched

****** Two years ago today I was lying on a gurney at an outpatient surgi-center. The biopsy on my left breast was being completed. The doctor was recording his findings and observations orally while he performed the procedure.

Dense; yellowish; stringy in consistency ... [gross!]

He looks down at my face and tells me he is not optimistic about what he is seeing. He says that more tests will be done, the substance drawn will be scrutinized more closely. He shares, at my prompting, that he is fairly sure that it is cancerous.

While the nurse cleans up and bandages the biopsy site she shares, without my prompting, that in the 8 years she has been working with this particular doctor, she has never known him to be wrong.

He wasn't.

The first year P.D. [Post-Diagnosis] was a roller coaster ride. Thinking back on it all feels unreal. Other times the memories of it are surreal. At all times I feel like I have chronic jet lag.

The second year P.D. was, thankfully, mostly mundane with a few annoyances.

Going into the third year P.D., I am being overwhelmed with an urgency to "clean house"; "finish the unfinished"; "tidy up" the messes made by a family of five over the last two decades. The last time I had these strong nesting urges I was pregnant.

I am not.

And these urges are more visceral.

After the insanity of this past May. The nearly month-long healing afterwards. And the PTSD-like reactions that I am still compartmentalizing, I was finally up to having my overdue PetScan. The order for the PetScan was for "restaging of breast cancer." The results: two notable areas were identified; and one area of concern prompt further diagnostics. It appears that left lymph nodes just beyond the site of the sentinel node biopsy of two years ago, that were "notable" at the last PetScan in November, have now progressed to being of concern.

What further diagnostic steps would provide the most accurate information were debated for two days between my oncologist and the radiologist who conducted the PetScan. A blah-blah-blah guided biopsy. It took onc's patient liaison three days to find a facility that could perform this blah-blah-blah guided biopsy. Ugh...sigh...only a hospital has the capability.

After the debacle in May -- the experience of which I am finding myself unable to put into written word, I had vowed never to consciously allow myself to return to a hospital. In typical passive-aggressive fashion, I have insisted that I cannot schedule this blah-blah-blah guided biopsy until a month out.

I need to give myself time to think. What would be the purpose of another procedure? Knowledge. What would I do with the knowledge? How would I make the knowledge serve me?

Th hospital tried to schedule me for today, July 8. The irony of consciously manipulating deja vu was too much to handle. I have two years notched. Deja vu can wait.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out  ~Anton Chekhov

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