I met with my surgical oncologist for the first time today since finishing all of the imaging tests. She’s absolutely wonderful. I’ve never met a doctor with a warmer more genuine bedside manner. She walked in, introduced herself and hugged me. Not just a one arm buddy hug, I’m talking about two warm arms wrapped around you, long lost friend type of hug. I liked her immediately. She has a beautiful smile to go with her warm personality. Everyone calls her Dr. H because her last name is one that takes a while to get the hang of saying.
A CT scan and a NucMed bone scan are on tap this time. Two more tests they want before I meet with the surgeon to see if the cancer has metastasized anywhere else in my body. My nerves are shot. It’s a ridiculously scary place when you are diagnosed with cancer, and to think it could be somewhere else in my body seems unfathomable. I never dreamed I’d get cancer and now going through all these tests to see if I have any further cancer is mind numbing.
I’m scheduled for a breast MRI to see exactly where the cancer is and if it’s in just one breast or both. The biopsy of the left side has confirmed it but now they want a clear picture of both. An MRI gives a much more detailed internal view than a mammogram. It gives a 3 dimensional picture that once received into the software can be rotated to view from any side.
The saying goes, “We all have a battle to fight.” For some of us, it’s more real than just words on a page. It’s more than mere thoughts of the day about dragons to slay, bones to pick, or ladders to climb. It’s that moment when real life reaches up, slaps you down hard and plants your face in the dirt. It’s that moment when your heart sinks, your head pounds and your knees go weak from the weight of the realization that everything is not okay. Your mind can’t process what you saw or heard, but your body reacts faster than you can, and it all just goes black for few seconds. You can’t catch your breath, you can’t think, you can’t digest any of it. It’s when it feels like time stands still in that moment while your brain tries to process it all.
It seems like a good day for reflection, a time to ponder the state of my heart since it’s Valentine’s weekend. Much has happened since my cross country flight back in January. In many ways, I’m no longer the same as I was, but in other ways, maybe I’m more.