Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Second Opinion (from the MD) and Other Opinions (from Me)

While I was waiting for answers from numerous diagnostic tests, I scoured the internet… searching for people with the same symptoms as me. Hoping that, just maybe, I would have an epiphany due to a story that I’d come across and just know how everything would turn out. If you are a worrier and looking for a way to punish yourself, and you aren’t quite sure what you have, this is it. So, yes, actively looking for stories is VERY tortuous… yet so addicting. I would have my hopes raised with a positive story of a person with no cancer or something “easily” (in relative terms) to fix, only to have those same hopes dashed by an experience of a person who was around my age, similar sx, and find out that they had some horrible type of cancer. 
Then there were those stories, of people describing symptoms with impending biopsies, and I would hang on bated breath as a scrolled to the bottom of the message boards… only to find they never posted again!! How horrible! I would text my mom (well mention this in a running conversation via phone that I was having with her) and vent. Did they die? Did they get diagnosed?? Was it nothing??? People wanted to know. I wanted to know. My mom texted back. “It probably turned out to be nothing for them, so they didn’t update.” 

On Tuesday, two weeks after I had received my first results, I received the second opinion results from my ENT surgeon. It was the news I had wanted. News that I wanted to hear again. “While [the cell presentation in my biopsy was] atypical, it most likely represents a reactive process and may be due to infectious or inflammatory etiology.”  My ENT surgeon was pleased.

My hemoc doctor also informed me that I will be following back up with him in July (two months?!?)  since apparently swollen lymph nodes (from viruses and other infectious diseases) like to stay inflamed for a long while and it will be easier to check autoimmune issues then if we have given my body some time to heal. So no answers right now – which is slightly disconcerting, as I still can feel some of those problematic nodes, but I can work on trying to get back to my normal life. I am pleased – but I can’t say that I don’t think about every ache and pain in my neck, every itch, anything that is out of the norm. I’m practicing my patience and the idea of not worrying… as well as living my life while taking care of myself – ultimately what I think God wanted me to do in the first place

So why didn’t I post immediately after I received the second opinion? It was almost a sense of guilt. Guilt that I had told so many people about it - and then to have it not be cancer. Also – guilt that I didn’t find myself down that road. With the big C. People get cancer… a lot of people… and yet that is not my story, not right now. I sat with that thought process a little bit... chewed on it (if you can mentally chew on something) and realized I am not going to think like that. Everyone has their own unique story… and guilt isn’t going to be a part of mine. And you know what, if I had the chance to go back in time and do this all again – I wouldn’t change any of my actions.  I wanted people to know because I so strongly needed the prayers and love to lean on. I felt those prayers, and they sure were powerful!! There has been many things that I have gained from this growth yielding yet very scary experience, and like I said in my last post, my perspective has changed. Pam said it best in the Office Series Finale (and there were so many introspective quotes from the finale) "There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things." Sure is when you are looking at everything with new eyes.

I am blessed that in no matter what this outcome had been … and no matter what my future will be, I have wonderful family, friends, co-workers, and an Awesome God to get me through. Sure, I guess I'm in that 10%... but quite a lucky girl either way.

 Another quote that brought me to tears from the Office -

Be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears. So go after what you want. And act fast, because life just isn’t that long. – Pam Halpert, The Office Finale

1 comment:

BrahminInBoston said...

You are a brave woman! DO NOT feel bad about that - you have had a difficult process to go through and the very last thing you have to think about is guilt! Hope you recover sooner and stronger!