It is my routine to write each day. I'd like to stick to that routine if possible. It may not be possible for obvious reasons. If you missed yesterday's post, you might want to take a peek. The obvious reasons will be immediately, ummm obvious. Reading the title will suffice.
For right now, there is nothing to update. I expect an appointment with *our* oncologist will be scheduled today. I expect it will be for some time later this week or early next week. Until the pathology is complete, there is nothing to discuss. No sense wasting a visit. I am reminded of the first words I ever heard from the radiologist who did my biopsies in May of 2006. You can all say it with me as they are words we all know, we've all shared:
Waiting is the worst.
So many things buzz through my brain and then, the aha! moment. NOW I understand what she meant about that waiting stuff. Do I Ever..... Cancer does many things and one of the things it does exceptionally well? Like it or not, the patient learns patience. Or, the patient resists, insists on IMpatience. And just lives in a state of constant angst and misery. I choose to do my best to be the patient patient or the patient patient advocate. I may not always succeed, but I will be mindful.
As for the angst, the misery, the outrage? I'll save those emotions for times when I really need them. I think I've been bouncing among those emotions (along with a few others) over these past four days. They were and still are warranted. I have to wrap my brain around this.
I know I'm fully prepared to spring into action. I know I have a wealth of knowledge. I have a deep and diverse group of friends to whom I might turn for guidance. I don't know what it feels like to hear "it's back" but I can safely say, I've gotten pretty damn close. Sucker punched. That's what Kathy Bates said when she addressed the group at Sloan Kettering. Sucker punched, blindsided but not thrown off my game.
Thanks are in order to all who have continued to leave comments, to send email, to tweet words of support. My mom emailed me last night and was "completely overwhelmed by the blog comments." I will let her share her own thanks if and when she would like.
Before I sign off, I want to share two links. These were published last Thursday and Friday. One of them is about the importance of biopsies on distant recurrences. The chest tube and the lung puncture were necessary evils when the oncologist insisted he needed those samples. And the PET/CT scan combo that the oncologist ordered has emerged as the single most important modality to check for distant recurrences...
For my medical geek buddies:
The Value of Checking Distant Metastasis (via Web MD because I REFUSE to pay for publications in the Journal of Clinical Oncology or any other publication and can someone set up "advocate access" to these high priced publications???? Who wants to step up....)
Benefit of PET/CT to acquire an image to tailor specific needs of each patient (via Health Imaging because I REFUSE to pay for publications in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine... see request above....)
I know my mom is in great hands. These were the first steps taken by the oncologist to find this spot. I'm sure step three will be equally cutting edge. Major props to MSKCC and major, major, MAJOR props to the very fabulous Steven Sugarman, Rockstar Oncologist Extraordinaire.