Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I Thought it was Back -- You Know...I'M BAACCKK!

I scheduled my trip to France and the Normandy Beaches so that the end of it snuggled right up to my  Pet-CAT and other invasive scans that most every cancer survivor has to endure. For me, for now, it is every six months. Seems like ALL THE TIME. But, really, it is better than every three months. So far. So Good.

Three and a half years being cancer free gives one a feeling of false bravado.  Like...this whole thing is part of my past. So my Oncologist walked in with a great big smile (as always) and was delighted to tell me that every thing in the lung was great, no hot spots the scar tissues are fine -- everything great.


This is where the infamous however clause comes in to play. There is a spot on the back of my tongue.  Actually, it is way down in my throat. Then very clinically the Dr. says,  lung cancer survivors have a higher propensity for head and neck cancer. The shock mode comes to the fore very easily for me now and I take a minute or two to say -- yeah, but we can fix it right? Yes we can. But first...

the biopsy. We need confirmation.

A week later I am in the ENT's office and he is probing, and squirting stuff and examining etc. Yep. It's something alright. I will schedule a biopsy at the hospital next week. Here's your instructions.  Call me if you have questions. There's the exit.

Well, maybe it wasn't quite that abrupt, but shock will do that to you.

The procedure only took a couple of hours and I was surprised that I felt pretty alright afterward. It made me question why I needed to hire a caregiver for the first 24 hours, but I did. If I have learned anything at all from my cha-cha with cancer its that you don't put yourself through any unnecessary risk if you don't have to. A few hours later I was beginning to see why I might want someone around to help me. The drugs and the pain make for a bad combination.  Anyway, I was able to sleep mostly through the night and the next day I experienced the significant pain that was to be my constant companion for the next ten days or so. I was learning to enjoy smoothies and mashed potatoes.  I actually discovered (for the second time) Stouffers Mac and Cheese...hands down the BEST!  Well, don't forget, the pain, the drugs and my limited food options.

So I can barely drink coffee, forget all my favorite crunchy snacks, I am lucky to get any regular soft food down for two weeks. I can't tell you how many times I sent a silent grateful prayer up to the Gods that I discovered Gelato on my trip to Florence several years ago. This is how one passes the waiting time until the results come in.  The appointment was Friday. Fortunately, I not only had my Meals on Wheels run to keep me occupied, I discovered that they had expanded it a bit and my normal 1.5 hour run took over 2.5 hours.  You have to be grateful for these little blessings.  Of course it meant that I would have no time for lunch, but I wasn't all that hungry anyway.

The visit was pretty short. The Dr. came in smiled and while handing me the copies of the results said it looks like you are cancer free, it was only inflammation of some sort. Well, now I am in shock again, but this time of a different sort. Wait, what? Really? He went over the findings and said unless I have trouble he doesn't expect to see me again.

Well, thank you very much.  Really.

Thank you very much.

How was your month?