Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back into Shadow

Hopefully, just for a moment, I step back into Shadow- where the fear lives, the anxiety and worries. Just for a moment. Maybe a couple of hours. I hope that's all.

I called to get my pathology report because no one's called yet. The fact no one's called and they're not released in my online record had me just plucking at the idea that maybe the cancer is actually in my lymph nodes and they can't tell me until I call. I figured I'd call, explain that they can't NOT tell me I have cancer in my lymph nodes when I already know I have cancer right?

Wrong. I called and the woman who answered the phone said that she'd have to talk with the RN and call me back. I said, "I am just calling to find out the status of my lymph nodes, it's not like you're going to tell me I had cancer- I already know that." She promised to call me back. Immediately I start freaking out and that comes as a shock to me because I've been prepared to get the news that I had cancer in my lymph nodes ever since this all started. I know it doesn't change my prognosis. I know that it means I will have to have radiation which I don't want (at all) but at the end of the day is way better than surgery, right? Or chemo?

The most awful thing about a medical situation is the not knowing. Hands down. I can take the news (at least, I can take the news I've been given in my life thus far), I can't take waiting for the news.

A few minutes later she calls back and now she has a sympathetic sound to her voice which is NOT helpful, it's scary, and she says, "The RN doesn't feel comfortable talking with you about it over the phone and would prefer you talk with your doctor. We have a phone visit at 3:30 for you, will that work?"

My guts turn to ice and I can't talk, and not because I have no voice but because I've stopped breathing and I am hoping she'll say, "Don't worry, you probably already know what this will be" but she doesn't, she just waits for me to answer and I squeak out a whisper, ".... Okay." I can't say anything else. My first thought is, I have two types of cancer and one is treatable and okay, and the other is not and I'm going to get the news today that I am going to change my whole life course in order to survive. In a flash in my mind, less than a second, I imagine myself again, telling my kids that I am going to die and that I am going to have boatloads of chemo and lose my hair and drop my dreams because suddenly nothing about being a midwife seems nearly as important as just being alive. The flash is over in a fraction of a second and I hang up the phone.

Fortunately a friend came over and I cried on her and so I feel a little calmer, but I'm still scared. I'm shocked by this, I expected the rest of this course to be mapped out.

Maybe it still is. Maybe the RN is just skittish, or too busy. But then why did the woman who called me sound so sympathetic?

If I find out that the cancer I already knew I had moved into my lymph nodes (the news I was expecting to get) and that's it, I am going to go ballistic on someone in that office. That's all I'm saying.

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