Tuesday, March 12, 2013

From Normal to Nothing Will Ever be the Same-Part 2

On February 27th, I met with a doctor who specializes in my type of cancer.  Even now, it feels weird to type something that says "my type of cancer" I guess this is my new normal.  Anyway, despite the fact that I have a very rare type of cancer I happen to live withing 20 minutes of an truly incredible specialist.  A specialist, who I have since found out, people travel from miles and miles around to see. 

Before he would see me, he had xrays done of my knee and lungs.  It was the most scared I've ever been.  I spent the night before creating every worst case scenario possible.  By the time of my appointment, on Wednesday, I knew that the cancer had spread to my lungs (which is common with this type) and that I had no time to live.  I had already been blindsided once and I refused to have it happen again, so I was prepared for worst case scenario. 

Everyone at the ortho center was friendly and sunny, it's almost as if they didn't realize that everything had changed the day before.  There was chit chat and friendly conversation.  They asked about my kids, my life, and everyone treating as if everything was normal even though I knew nothing would ever be the same.

The waiting room seemed like every other waiting room that I'd ever been in.  Gina was texting me asking me to make cookies, people around me were talking about music and magazines, and everything seemed normal.

After the xrays, they called me back to meet the doctor.  He actually beat me to the exam room and was all smiles when I walked in.  He had the warmest, kindest smile and I remember thinking "if someone is going to tell me I'm dying, at least he has kind eyes."  He shook our hand and introduced himself and immediately said, "The xrays look great!  We didn't see anything at all on your lungs and your knee looks great too, we're going to do a CT scan of your lungs and an MRI of your knee, but I don't anticipate any surprises.  We can get in there and cut around where your tumor was and we'll get it all with no problems" 

Naturally, I started crying.  Bawling really.  Despite the fact I claim that I'm not a crier, I have spent the last 2 weeks crying and this was no exception.  The doctor, was so compassionate, and said, "I'm sorry, I know I'm throwing a lot of info at you, take a minute and I'll slow down."  I just looked at him and said, "no, no, I heard you, I just can't believe this is my life."

Even with great news, there was too much too soon.  In less than 24 hours, I'd been diagnosed with cancer, prepared myself for the worst, and been given the best possible outcome of the worst possible news. 

From there it was a rush to CT scans, MRI's, and surgery appointments.  The whole day blurs together abstractly.  Keith may be able to offer more insight on the day, but I just went where they pointed me and did what they told me.

The next day, I had an appointment to get an MRI.  While I was in the MRI room they kept reminding me that I was in control and I could stop anytime I wanted.  The noise was deafening but oddly calming because I knew we were doing something.  Abnormal was becoming my new normal.  They did an MRI without and with contrast and they told me that my surgeon had done a great job because they could barely see anything.

After the MRI, the techs and I were talking when I said, "oh, I need to sit down..." they pointed me to a chair across the room and I said, "nope, here" and passed out cold. 

When I woke up it was pure chaos.  I would have thought people would pass out in there pretty often, but based on their reactions I'm guessing it doesn't happen as much as you'd think.  I had a blood pressure cup on, my feet were in a chair, there was an ice pack under my neck and a wash cloth on my head.  I started telling them I was fine, I just needed all the people to back up a little and let me breath, then I realized I couldn't see anything and I said, "and WHERE are my glasses?"  One of the people replied, "oh, I put them over here, I didn't want them to get broken."

"Thanks, but I need them to see."  UGH!  They took my blood pressure and said it was 140/90 which is way higher than mine ever is and I said, "oh crap, am I having a stroke?"  They assured me that I wasn't.

With every test, scan, xray the results came quickly.  They don't mess around with cancer.  Now that I now they can do that, I'm going to expect it from all of my doctors!  ha!  We got the results for the MRI and they were good, just like the doctor anticipated.  My surgery was scheduled for Tuesday March 5th, I had four days to prepare.

We spent the next four days cramming in as much fun as possible.  Eating at my favorite restaurants, watching our favorite movies, reading books, playing, and snuggling!  Despite the prognosis from a great specialist, I wanted to make sure to make a memorable four days and they were great!

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