... but probably not. I just feel very weighted upon this evening, heavy with what is happening right now. In some ways I feel very private about it, which is odd in that I'm writing here about it and occasionally people stumble here and see what's new, and they'll know. But I don't want to have the person-to-person conversations where I have to see someone's concern, or feel like maybe I'm being too dramatic, or all the other silly ridiculous things one feels when in this limbo.
Leah is in the hospital getting her chemo and in a whole new way, this makes me so fucking sad. So sad. It feels heavy and different than last time to me, because if something is wrong, I know it will feel heavy and different for me. I don't know what it is... when people hear you have cancer 'again', they have doubts and extra worries than what they had before, because they have a feeling of having dodged a bullet in that you went into remission. When you come out of remission, somehow it 'means something'. At least, that's how it feels.
I don't want to talk about how worried I am, and I don't think I feel terribly worried for the most part but then I got to sleep and have nightmares, and in my sleep I feel myself thinking about it, and I marvel that I don't seem to be thinking about it that much in waking life but maybe I'm in denial.
I'm trying to stay busy, but tonight I'm taking the time to feel sad, because it's sad that I'll always have this hanging out over my shoulder, coloring every time I get sick, or need a blood test. Once you've had some kind of cancer, you know you can have ANY kind of cancer, and it changes everything even when you have deep faith in your ability to be healthy and whole.
Sometimes I don't know if I have that faith. I try to, but.. sometimes the worry overtakes my heart and I engage the worst case scenarios. I imagine it's only human to do so. I don't believe people who say they didn't think about a negative outcome. I don't believe them.
So I'm working tonight, and weeping into my rum and coke because even though I shouldn't be, I'm letting myself medicate my heart just this once. The ironic thing is that it's lubricating the emotions to rise to the surface, which is probably better in the long run anyway. I should just go to bed.
Here's the deal as it stands now- I'm waiting to get the call to set up my ultrasound. I've done a little asking around and apparently when done by a skilled provider and especially if they know where to look (rather than just a general neck scan), the ultrasounds can find even small issues. In my corner I have an ultrasound tech who does ALL of the neck scans for Group Health in this region so he's super skilled and fluent. If he says you're clear, you can bet on it safely. The radiology report is redundant at that point, which is highly reassuring. So I look to him to find something if there is anything, and to see if we can figure out why my lymph nodes are swollen and not going down. Maybe it's still all in my head. Maybe I'm just THAT much of a neurotic worrywart that I can manifest symptoms for nothing. Let's hope.
I have to take a test that will stimulate any remaining thyroid cells that are left behind after the surgery. It stimulates cancer cells the came way, and it won't know the difference between the two so I'm concerned that this test is more routine than helpful. Still waiting to hear from my endo on that.
Basically what happens after a thyroidectomy in patients who need it, is a radiation ablation of any remaining thyroid cells. They can continue to grow cancer so we blast those fuckers out of existence. The radiation treatment is kind of gross and I was on the edge of the 'line' where they recommend it, so I elected not to do it. Consequently I likely have thyroid cells remaining.
My understanding of this test is that its best done when there are no thyroid cells, but I could be wrong. I don't know a lot about it and I have an email out ot my doc to find out more. I don't need false positives to make me lose. my. shit. so I'm hoping to avoid that at all possible costs. If the test will be useful to us, I'll do it.
Another test I can have if my HMO offers it is a whole body scan. I would take a lower dose of radiation and then they'd do a scan of my whole body. Papillary carcinoma/thyroid cells uptake radiation so anything that lights up is a problem, basically - the hope is that nothing does. I don't actually know if this test is an option for me so it's something I need to ask about.
I know we're just taking it step by step, I know that I'm not being 'tested for cancer' except that I am, again. I can still hope that everything is fine, but I know this road and it's still fraught with switchbacks and rockslides and I can't help but be nervous.
Just hanging on, hanging in there.