16 February 2010

It Wasn't Lymphoma Afterall

I met my oncologist at the hospital soon after the Chaplain left me. After a quick (almost harried) introduction and a big, warm handshake, he told me that he is not convinced that my cancer was lymphoma. He was uncertain as to which organ the cancer was originating, even after reviewing all the tests, the biopsy and the "pictures." Without knowing which organ the cancer was coming from, he could not treat it effectively. So he kept me in the hospital longer, and ordered tests, including a few blood tests (the "rainbow" as the phlebotomist nicknamed it) as well as an MRI and a PET scan. He also sent the biopsy back to the pathologists for deeper examination.

If I felt like someone struck me with a baseball bat when Dr. Z told me I had cancer, finding out that this wasn't the case at all and that the doctors did not know what type of cancer it was felt like a free fall to a bottomless pit (the pit being death). Confusion and panic reigned. How could I retract what I had just painfully told my nearest and dearest? "The good news is, it's not Lymphoma. The bad news is they don't know what it is. But it's still Stage 4." I wanted to hurt someone! But I couldn't. I don't know if it's ever possible to get numb from too much pain. But that's what it felt like. I was too confused , discouraged, doubly frightened and panicked to make a fist, let alone hit anyone.

Denial. That's how I survived the time between the last time I saw my oncologist at the hospital and the next time I saw him at his office -- the longest week ever! If I didn't ride the denial train, I would have needed a strait jacket and a big padded room. Because each time I got off the world of denial and visited reality, all I could think was that cancer was eating away at me and the doctors couldn't tell where it's coming from. Then I would be paralyzed with rage and angst. It's like a "ghost in a machine," only it's a ravenous ghost in my body and it's eating away like there's no tomorrow! It was impossible to contend with that consciously So I pretended nothing was the matter. I hid behind work and more denial.

Finally, on March 5, 2009, I was diagnosed with Stage 4, Ovarian Cancer, metastesized to my abdomen and my chest.


Karen said...

Wow. What a blow and what courage you have. It sounds like you've had a very trying time, and I can understand your feelings.

Wish I could give you a hug, but I cannot, so what I CAN do is pray for you. That, I will do. Courage, faith, and trust. Hang in there, and keep trusting.

Blessings to you, friend!

ce_squared said...

Thank you, Karen! I am blessed! Thank goodness for my oncologist. His diligent and sharpness had a lot to do with my being here. I shudder to think if they didn't find the ovarian cancer and kept treating the wrong kind of cancer.

Thanks for your prayers! Virtual hugs are wonderful as well.

Blessings back,

litamalicdem said...

I know how you feel, and it encompasses all- the angst, the pain, the helplessness, the unbelief, etc. We had 3 cancer cases in our family.

We stayed together through prayers. I'll include you in my talk with God. Yes, prayers work miracles. God Bless you my dear friend. Don't lose hope. You are blessed.

l'optimiste said...

so. tell me. you had ovarian cancer right? I am confused [chemo brain - I blame it for everything]. Please answer. You can post on my blog as I know you there [thanks for the comments by the way!!]

and - if you did...we will survive my girl!! :o)

hugs. lots of them

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