So where have I been? Obviously, not blogging. A year has flipped by, projects and doings, but I've also had health issues which continue to weigh on my life. I don't want to be someone who is defined by their issues with doctors and tests, so I haven't told many people. I had health concerns in my youth with a heart murmur and then scoliosis as a teen, so I can say whole-heartedly that I've been in a lot of doctor offices and looked at a lot of drop-ceiling tiles as I lay on the table in a paper-towel material robe. And here I am again, looking at ceiling tiles, and listening to scarier terminology from a doctor's mouth. This is not who I am, but this is obviously part of my life's journey.
In a nutshell, I had a routine laporoscopic hysterectomy this past March, all went well, I healed from the surgery. The pathology report came back with an unexpected shocker - cancer was found and my samples were sent to three labs. The cancer was extremely rare, called PEComa, no one had ever encountered it or heard of it, but at this point, don't be too concerned. So I went on with my life. Two weeks ago, I went to see my GYN. A GYN oncologist at Johns Hopkins had announced my cancer as malignant. What do we do now? No one seems to know and this is where the fact of uncertainty takes over. It is fascinating and scary to see how uncertainty affects each of my doctors as they impart their information. Yesterday I saw a new GYN oncologist locally, he called the cancer aggressive and said, "with your history, you need to have everything checked." Your history. Suddenly, I'm in a cancer category. I had bloodwork today, I have a PET CTscan on Monday. While I'm not thrilled with this idea, it will give everyone a baseline and solve the question of whether there is any cancer left in my body. I don't think there is. I did, it was taken out, and now it is gone.
Language is so important here. I speak of the cancer in past tense on purpose. The power of positive thinking.
The hardest part was telling my parents because I kept thinking if I were a parent, this would be one of the worst things you could hear coming from your child. My parents are retired dentists, they go into medical mode, and they were good about it. My father said I've always been very stoic. Really? My husband told me yesterday that I'm one of the strongest people he knows. Huh.
I'm riding a roller coaster of emotions these past weeks, some days I'm centered and fine, other days I'm in tears and frozen. Practicing yoga really helps me feel strong. It sounds so cliche to say I'm taking one day at a time, but I am, sometimes even a minute at a time, one breath at a time.