Friday, November 03, 2006

Just Under the Surface

I lost it today. Had a phone call from the office manager for the new oncologist. (Did I mention that I HATE changing doctors?) It turns out that he is not willing to see me on the same day that I have the CT scan, and in fact, wants to wait until the radiology report on the scan is available. Yeeeks! That is at least three-four days . . . I've been feeling "normal" lately, feeling that I'm handling everything well, and the conversation with the new oncologist's assistant sent me into a tailspin.

So, my CT scan is still scheduled for Nov. 17, but I don't see the oncologist, Dr. J, until the following Wednesday, Nov. 22. That's right, the day before Thanksgiving. His assistant tried to schedule the appointment for the day after Thanksgiving, and I said I simply could not wait that long. "This may be my last Thanksgiving," I said to her. "I can't spend the day in total anxiety about the scan results." I haven't spoken with her before, and felt incredibly frustrated with the conversation, and with the fact that the folks in charge couldn't have coordinated the transition better. I have had the two appointments for at least a month; couldn't they have let me know sooner about the new plan? Couldn't they have let me know so that all of this wouldn't be happening just as Thanksgiving arrives?

For the last three weeks, I've been teaching, and advising students as they plan their courses for next semester. I've been talking with them about graduating next May, or December in a year, or even in four years. I've done it without thinking every single time that I hope I'm alive when this future event happens. I've been feeling good, feeling "normal" (in the new normal sense of the word), and then today I was right back in my fear and anxiety.

I've read in Leroy's blog and the blogs of others with cancer about the difficulty of waiting for test results. I experienced it myself last July when I had to wait a day and a half to talk with the oncologist after my CT, and I felt anxiety in my body like I had never, never experienced before. Then Dr. S (my former oncologist) said he could see me the same day, and that felt so much easier, more manageable. Now I'm back to the waiting, knowing already now, weeks away, that I'll need things to distract me from my anxiety about the test results.

So, all of this fear and anxiety under the surface. The new normal for me. Things seem so fine, feel good in so many ways, and then the uncertainty of my future jumps up again and smacks me in the face. And I want to say to all of you who love me and are reading this that I am feeling good. My energy is good, my body feels as if it continues, still, to heal from the surgery, but I can walk faster, longer, better than I could two months ago, and I don't get tired so fast. The little spot in my abdomen that I talked with the surgeon about a few weeks ago continues to trouble me at times, but I feel good.

It's just this pesky uncertainty, the not knowing, the not knowing what the cancer is doing. I continue to visualize the cancer dancing, skipping, flowing, moving with whatever locomotion it wants, to the beautiful sunset. What does the future hold? What wiil be the outcome of this next scan? I don't know.


Sondra Scott said...

Hi Lynne, I know how hard it is going to be for you to be changing docs and then also having to wait for the CT results. I'm sorry that this added stress has come your way. One of my big fears is not being able to continue seeing my gyn/oncologist who has been with me from the start. I'll being praying for good results and for something to comfort you while you wait. said...

The imaging center I go to in Newport Beach, CA, sends out their report within 24 hours. And, If I have an early morning scan, I sometimes get the results faxed to me that day. Also, if I wait 10 minutes, they will make a CD with all of the images, although I can't always see much myself. But I do have a complete set of all my scans that I can take to a consultation with another doctor.

Thinking of you often, and sending love to you and yours.