Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oh dear...

Last week I had an uterine biopsy. It was a routine procedure, my periods have been getting very irregular and I've been bleeding or spotting almost daily.  I've also been having increasing pelvic pain that, as time has gone by, I began to recognize as not coming from my IC bladder. In preparation for a uterine ablation, a procedure that would shut down my menstrual cycle for good, the biopsy would just make sure everything was okay in there.

After the biopsy was completed, a quick procedure in my doctor's office, I was told that the results would take two weeks to come in, and that I would be given an appointment in two weeks to discuss them.

On Tuesday, less than a week after the biopsy, I received a call from my gynecologist's office.  The results had come in and my doctor wanted to see me right away. The receptionist asked if I could come in that morning, but I couldn't, so I made an appointment for the next day.

Then the fear hit. Why would they need me to come in sooner? If it's for biopsy results, there can only be one reason. Two if you include the possibility of a very insensitive gynecologist who forgot that he asked me to make an appointment in two weeks. And a receptionist who doesn't have a clue. Which doesn't describe Dr. Blake or his practice at all.

To be honest, the transcript of my brain for the first hour after the phone call reads like this - "Crap on a cracker! Crap on a cracker! Crap on a cracker!"

It turns out that crap on a cracker was an appropriate response. Brian and I went to see Dr. Blake on Wednesday and he told us that I have uterine cancer. I have cancer. That is a very odd sentence to write. It is impossibly simple, and yet indicative of a huge event, a life changing reality. I have cancer.

Dr. Blake is a sweet man, simple, straight-forward and kind. He reassured us that if I was to have any cancer, this is the one I'd want. With a very low mortality rate if caught early, I should be fine. Eventually.  After all, it's in a completely disposable organ. I was, like, how soon can we take this sucker out?

I have to admit that I wasn't caught off guard. In the day's time between the call to come in to hear the biopsy results and actually going in, I did a lot of research on uterine cancer. After all, what else could it be? I wanted to know as much as I could, and when I was told that I had cancer, that information helped me cope. I know that's not the way everyone works, but but it's how I work.

I still don't know much. I have an appointment on Thursday with a gyn-oncologist, and I'll know more then.  We'll know more then. Brian is an absolute rock.  The news hit him hard, as it would me if he was the one with cancer.  I feel like he is putting his anxious energy into taking care of me, in any way he can.  While my mind feels pretty calm about the whole thing, my body is reacting strongly to the diagnosis. I don't know whether I am in emotional denial or whether I'm at peace with it all, but physically I'm a trembling mess. Literally. I feel like I am perpetually shaking inside. Brian understands the way my body reacts to stress, and has been wonderful about helping me to physically relax. I feel like he is engulfing me with warmth and care, enabling me to melt into him and relax. I am so grateful.

I'm pretty sure I am going to be writing quite a bit about this in the future.  One of my best coping mechanisms is working out my difficult times "on paper," so to speak. I believe there is hope in shared experiences, the understanding that we are not alone in our trials, that we cannot underestimate the power of our stories.

It's time, now, to take a deep, trembling breath and step out onto the path, into the unknown future.  I may not know what lies on this path, but I know Who's walking with me, The Spirit of God in me, around me, behind and before me.

Just a thought.


Catherine Hampson said...

I love you you are a brave person and I am truly grateful that you have Brian that he gets to comfort you when you are stressed . Sending you big hugs !

Kelly said...

Thank you, my sweet friend! I can't wait to see you!!

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