Tuesday, March 12, 2013

From Normal to Nothing Will Ever be the Same-Part 1

Two weeks ago was the scariest and worst day of my life and it began a journey that has and will change my life forever. 

I had a cyst removed from behind my knee on February 5th.  Very routine surgery, it was diagnosed as a lipoma, or basically a ball of fat.  Yuck!  I left the surgery center with a couple of steri strips and a band aid.  I took a few days off of being too active but basically it was nothing.  I was back up and doing zumba within a week!

On February 26th, I had my post op appointment.  I almost cancelled because it's such a hassle to drive over to the doctor and I had Kip with me and I really would rather shop, besides I was fine!  I decided not to cancel because I had an allergic reaction to the steri strips and I wanted to make sure that info made it into my medical records.

I sat in the waiting room and played with an adorable little two year old who insisted I play cars with him.  The kid was relentless and to keep him away from kip I caved and played cars.  When they called me back I assumed it was a rescue mission because the nurses felt bad that the boy's mom was on the phone and I was now juggling a 7 month old and a 2 year old (who wasn't mine!).  I sat in the exam room for just a couple of minutes and Kip began getting fussy.  When the physicians assistant came in, Kip and I were playing with a rattle and singing songs. 

The PA, Sherry, began talking and reading my report and I half listened and mainly played with Kip. When Sherry put her hand on my knee and said, "Lisa, are you understanding what I'm telling you?"  I replied, "oh yeah, you sent the stuff to the lab for pathology, routine stuff, I'm fine."

That's when my world changed, forever.  "No, Lisa, it's not fine.  Your path report came back abnormal." 

I sat there and listened as she read it to me and as she stumbled over her words with tears in her eyes.  She actually told me that she had to google it because it was a very rare diagnosis and she wasn't familiar with it. 

Sidebar, true or not you should NEVER tell a patient that you used google for a consult!

I sat there speechless for what seemed like hours, but I'm sure was minutes when I finally said, "I think I need you to hold Kip."  She took him from me and I asked her, "are you telling me I have CANCER?"  I could feel the shrillness of my voice.

She sat there, holding my baby, tears in her eyes, nodding her head.  I repeated, "I need you to answer me, YES OR NO, are you saying I have CANCER?"  She sat, nodding.

"ANSWER ME!"

She stuttered a one word answer that changed everything, "yes."

I stood up, told her to hand me my baby, "I'm leaving, I have to leave.  Give me Kip, or put him in his seat.  I have to get out of here."

I couldn't think of anything except to run.  I have never wanted out of a room more than I did in that minute.  She kept telling me, "I don't think it's a good idea for you to leave, please sit down, call someone and let me get you a drink."

I became belligerent.  Sherry took my baby out of the room and gave him to someone else to prevent me from leaving.  She came back and started hugging me, with tears in her eyes, insisting I take a drink, and insisting I call someone.   I called Keith, bawling, telling him to meet me and that I had cancer. 

It's all a blur, but I knew that they wouldn't bring my baby back to me until I pulled it together.  So, I sat there, drank my water and shoved all of these horrible emotions as deep as I possibly could.  I convinced them all that I was fine, I buckled Kip into his seat, and left.

I calmly walked to my car, loaded Kip and all of his stuff then got in, turned the car on and called Keith to arrange pick up for my girls who were at their homeschool co-op.  I just sat there for a minute trying to figure out what to do.  I started bawling and then I remembered that I could call Ms. Dawn.  Ms. Dawn is an incredible friend, I called her and she sprang into action.  She didn't know what was wrong, but she knew I needed her and she came. 

I sat in my car crying, uncontrollably until I heard Kip cry.  Something about him needing me was so calming.  I fixed a bottle and fed him, it was oddly soothing.  Ms. Dawn showed up we talked, cried, prayed.  I told her everything that had happened and after awhile, I assured her that I was capable of getting home safely. 

When I got home, my kids were thrilled to tell me about their day and everything was normal again.  We spent the night vegging out in the basement, eating cookies, and watching TV.  Ms. Dawn brought over Fazzolis and we were able to chat with her a little.  My neighbor, an oncology nurse, came over and read my path report and tried to offer comfort.  I was numb and barely heard anything anyone said and I really don't remember a lot of the night.

They scheduled me an appointment with a specialist for the very next morning. Keith and I cried,  prayed, and I was sick and scared.  I knew that, regardless of the outcome, on this day everthing changed. I went from normal to nothing will ever be the same.

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