Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Probing Continues

I think the hardest part of metastatic cancer is the fact that I never get a break from cancer.  Never.  And that is very annoying.  I often joke during my Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings that I just want a little denial, a little pretending that this isn't going on.  Can I make believe I don't have cancer? Can I play the role of the never cancer ridden for just one day? The other recovering drunks seem to get the joke.

Sadly, I haven't gotten the chance to be in denial yet.  From chemo, to recovery from chemo, to mastectomy/reconstruction and resulting muscle spasms, and now blood clot. I live a life of doctor appointments, medical procedures, and scans.  Regularly I am thrown into abject fear of my own demise by yet another health scare.  I am getting tired of it.  No. I am tired of it.  Today I heard a woman say that, after nine surgeries, she had gotten so sick of doctors, that she did not go back to a doctor for two years.  Sadly, that would not be possible for me, if I want to live. But it sure sounds tempting.

My oncologist is an incredible doctor, and I am very grateful for her care. But she is a bit like an over-protective mother. Now, considering that my own over-protective mother is no longer here, I am grateful that there is a being in this world who shows me that kind of care.  But at the same time, I could use a few less scans.  Tomorrow the scan is an MRI of the lumbar spine, a scan I call the tube within a tube, me inside an MRI machine, my head and neck tucked into a smaller tube.  It is a scan that requires a great deal of zen to endure, with the keywords being possible claustrophobia. I had this same scan over a year ago, a small spot found on my tail bone, and the oncologist wants to check that spot again.  Since I just had a bone scan on May 17, I'm not quite sure why this additional scan is needed. To me, this is another reminder that I have cancer, and I am not thrilled.

Monday of this week, I saw an ear, nose and throat doctor about my continuing bloody noses. I had the joy of being probed up the nose and then having the nostril cauterized.  My comment is that my goal is to be probed in every orifice of my body.  One colonoscopy and I'll be done. My dream is to have one week without a doctor appointment, just one.  As I told another metastatic patient, I am not used to being unhealthy and dealing with these medical issues, so I have no idea how to react.  Is there a school for being an unhealthy person? Can I take online classes?  I need to find some way of coping with this roller coaster ride of fear.

I'm knocking on wood that tomorrow's MRI will simply confirm that the spot on my coccyx is the result of a childhood fall, some jerk pulling the chair out from under me as I began to sit at my classroom desk.  Maybe then I can get some time and distance between me and the medical field. I mean they are nice people and I enjoy them, but I'd like to date other people.  At my oncologist office this week, I told the staff that they were my longest relationship.  One person's response was that was okay as long as I didn't marry them.  And I don't want to marry them either.  Cute nurses and doctors be damned.  I deserve a non-medical world.  So with my cauterized nose and tube within a tube MRI, maybe I can grab a few days, go back in time to when the worst I could say about my health was that I have high cholesterol.  So I'll say it. I have high cholesterol, damnit. That's me.  High cholesterol woman. Skip the breasts. They're not real anyway. I'm out of here. Later.