Cancer. Day One.
Wow wow. Totally blown away by the support from not only my blogging community and friends, but friends of friends, distant relatives, and even people who just stumbled across my blog to say “hang in there.”
I wasn’t originally going to blog today, but I’ve been getting a lot of requests for updates, and my brand new Macbaby is now with me at the hospital, so what the hey. I’m going to have a lot of spare time in the coming months, so why not spend it blogging. And writing that great novel of course.
First, the basics of how I got to today can be read in this post. I am not going to go over it again, it’s a day I would like to move forward from.
It was a rough day. The first day where I woke up with the knowledge that I have cancer. That somewhere in this innocent-looking chest of mine is a sickness that is out to get me.
There were two things that really made today the pits:
1) I had to go until 3pm until I could eat or drink anything for the entire day. Two times I was told I couldn’t eat, both times I broke down sobbing. I become this crazy person when I don’t eat, pair that with the stress of my current situation, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
2) My biopsy. Oh, my biopsy.
I know many people who have had biopsies before, but this experience scared me. I’ve been able to put the whole “cancer” thing out of my brain fairly successfully, but looking down and seeing a radiologist stick a long needle into my chest cavity made it so real. Not just real, but a really scary reality. They froze my chest but it still hurt like crazy. A hurt deep down into my chest when they stuck the needle in. The radiologist said he was able to get a lot of samples though, which is good for getting a specific diagnosis.
Today I also met with my oncologist for the first time. He’ll be my go-to guy throughout all of this. I guess the “bad news” is that the mass takes up 40% of my chest. The “good” is that he’s confident it’s Hodgkins based on statistics, his knowledge, and my situation. But I probably won’t know my diagnosis until next week.
Even if it isn’t Hodgkins, from what little research I’ve been able to do, non-Hodgkins lymphoma seems to respond fairly well to chemotherapy and radiation. This is what I keep telling myself anyways. They’ll blast those suckers into oblivion.
I still can’t wrap my head around anything long-term at this point. All I can do is think ahead until tomorrow and mentally prepare myself for what tomorrow has in store. Right now, it’s all about getting through the tests. They’re doing everything to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread.
I’ll be travelling to the next city over for the PET scan, which is kind of nerve wracking. Not looking forward to the hour-long ambulance ride.
I had a long chat with my nurse today too, who prepared me for all these tests. She said I should expect to be at the hospital for about a month until my treatment is sorted out.
Right now I’m set up in the oncology ward in a shared room.
Me, after a day of tests. I actually feel pretty good right now, despite my harried look.
I’m not in much pain. I still have that “kink” feel in my neck because of the blood clot. My chest hurts from the biopsy. Most of all, my arms kill from the IV and gallons of blood they’ve taken from me. I don’t have much use of my arms now because of it (not like that left one was very useful anyways).
Best of all, my view for much of the day:
My sisters travelled from Ontario and Quebec to be with me. At first I didn’t want them to go through the hassle, but I selfishly loved having everyone here with me today. Yes, there were tears, but there were also some laughs thanks to our shared sense of offbeat humour. I really am a true believer that things happen for a reason, and I now know I moved home so I could be with my parents when all of this happened.
Thanks again for all the kind notes, they truly are what get me through when the severity of the situation starts to hang heavy over me. I am slowly working on responding to people. Now that I’m on and off bed rest, it will give me a project to do :)