That's Me

That's Me

Friday, March 14, 2014

This Week's News

My "just because" bouquet.

This has been a rough week. It started with me ending up in the hospital on Saturday. Not willingly, mind you. Hubby & Ginger Girl ignored my begging, promising, and pleading and picked me up, each on one side of me, and threw me into the car. I landed on a heap, my front half in the back seat, my bottom half dangling off the front seat, legs in the air, arms waving wildly, very grouchy, loudly spewing  unhappy words at no one in particular.

Okay, that last part didn't happen. I put myself in the car, but only after they completely annoyed me about it.

To make a long story as short as possible, I'll skip all the symptoms & details and just say that at the hospital, a mass was found. Cancer came out of the doctor's mouth.

The word fell in the middle of the hospital room like it had all the weight in the world. I felt like I watched it come out of the doctor's mouth and land on the floor in front of my bed. I watched the word flop, twist, and jump around, not hearing anything else the doctor said. I heard every word before that horrible C word, nothing after until I came out of my word-watching trance.

I slowly looked over at hubby sitting across from me, to the right of the doctor, and wondered if he could see that word flopping around on the floor too. Stomp on it! Kick it out the door! Squish it & throw it in the trash can! Anything to get it out of this room so it isn't staring at me anymore. Instead of doing any of those things, he sat there listening to the doctor with a look I'd never seen on him before.

Maybe he was seeing that word flop around on the floor but, like me, he didn't know what to do with it so he just left it there. That big, nasty word in the middle of the room. Cancer.

I decided I wanted to hear the test results and work out options with my own doctor. If I have to hear confirmation of cancer, I want to hear it from my doctor whom I have known for several years and trust literally with my life. Hearing what was causing this intense pain and other symptoms seemed so cold coming from a doctor I don't know and hadn't met until that day.

So I started my week with my world turned upside down and trying to turn it back right side up and put everything back in its place so that no one around me would know anything was amiss. I guess I did a good job 'cause kids continued on being kids, my friends continued talking about their drama and boy troubles, and teachers continued to drone on about subjects I needed to pay attention to.

While everyone else was unaware, I had a battle inside of me. I was struggling to not scream, "Don't you know what is happening?!" I was struggling not to break down in tears from the sheer weight of the fear lurking in my mind, behind whatever I was supposed to be focusing on at that particular moment. I wanted to hug my kids a little bit tighter and never let go.

Every day I tried to focus on my school work. Every day I couldn't. Minutes would tick by without me reading the text book or typing any words onto the paper in front of me. It was taking me too long to do every little thing because I couldn't focus on what I was anything.

On the way home from the hospital, the hubby man & I decided we wouldn't worry the kids. We would wait to see the test results and then tell them. It was extremely difficult to tell the kids anything, so hubby did it for me. He just said that they needed to do more tests to find out for sure what was going on with me and until then I had to rest. Sunday was difficult because I had to pretend nothing out of the ordinary was on my mind, all while every child was home. Somehow I managed to do that because no one guessed anything.

Monday came and I breathed a sigh of relief that I would be able to think my own thoughts without fear of any of the kids reading my mind or catching me looking upset. I didn't get scared or even cry until Monday night when I laid in bed quietly sobbing after I thought hubby had fallen asleep. He wasn't asleep & he rolled over and held me while I cried. He saw what I was reading & told me to put it down, that it would only make it worse. I was looking for reassurance, that they were wrong, that I would find the info I needed to say "Ah ha! They're wrong!"

Sunday I told 1 friend. Monday I told another. Monday night I told my amazing teacher, the one that brought back 90's fashion at my school. She has worked with many patients with cancer and I trust her, so I knew I could reach out to her. For 3 days we emailed back and forth, talking about it. She was a huge comfort to me when I really needed someone who could talk to me with medical details.

On Wednesday, the day before I would finally get to see my doctor for test results, my teacher called me from home on her day off. She talked to me about this type of cancer, options, and stories of some of her patients getting through it. Before we hung up she said, "Take a deep breath. There is nothing you can do about what has already happened. If it is cancer, you can't undo it, you can only attack it. Set up your plan of attack before you go in tomorrow. If it's the best case scenario, have Plan A ready. If it's the worse case scenario, have Plan B ready. When you get the results and find out which it is, pull out your Plan and tell your doctor you're ready to do what you need to do." That was absolutely the best thing I could have heard from anyone at that moment. It was beyond comforting; it was everything to me.

So I did it. I made a Plan A for the best case scenario, which was still a dangerous, possibly life threatening situation with its set of not fun treatments, but it wasn't cancer. I made a Plan B for the worst case scenario, the scenario where I heard the dreaded C word come out of my doctor's mouth. I was prepared.

Wednesday night hubby walked in from work
with these and said, "'Cause sometimes
a girl just needs flowers."
Thursday morning I wanted to go to my appointment alone even though hubby wanted to go with me. It's just how I am; I don't want to think about someone else in a situation where I may have to face not so great news. I just want to be alone.

Before I left for my appointment, I told a few more friends where I was headed and why. The hour drive to the hospital where my doctor works was the longest hour ever. As each mile passed, the more my hand shook. Half way there, I figured I couldn't shake any more. I was wrong.

After I got to my appointment, 10 minutes early, I had to wait 25 minutes before being called back. That was a very torturous 25 minutes. I had the scan. I got dressed. Scan Lady came back and said she was doing it again because she wasn't happy with the pictures. Sigh, back I went.

Finally I was brought to my doctor's office to wait for the results. If I thought the 25 minutes of waiting was torturous, that was nothing compared to the forever long wait in that little room. I don't even know how long it took for my doctor to come in, I just know it felt like...I don't know what it felt like...a long time.

However long it took for her to come into that room, it was long enough to get all the results we needed. I sat there, barely able to look at her when she walked in, and she dove right in. She knew not to take time talking about anything else when I just needed to hear one of two words: negative or positive.


I do not have cancer.

I came home with a plan of attack for what is going on, sat down, processed exactly what I'd been through for the last 5 days, and...cried. I cried over how scared I'd been. I cried over how I had started to accept that I had cancer. I cried over how, for 5 days, I lived with what felt like a death sentence. I cried over how I had struggled to figure out how to say to my kids, "Mommy has cancer." I cried over the prayers from the few friends and hubby over the last 5 days. I cried because I couldn't hold it all back any longer and I couldn't stop it.

By the time the kids got home from school an hour later, I had washed off the dried tears and put myself back together. Plan B was shredded and thrown in that flopping word's face. Plan A will be executed with all the strength and determination that I attack everything else, and Plan B...well, Plan B can suck it 'cause I don't want to ever see it or its ugly flopping friend again.

All different shades of my favorite
color. Ya done good, hubs.

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