Praise the Lord for “Something Benign”

I wanted to write a quick update since I chose to share about my recent health concerns here.

Too Soon? :-)

Too Soon? 🙂

I got my MRI results today and the words that continue to ring in my ears are “it is definitely NOT cancer”. It has been 1 month since my bone scan showed an area of increased activity and an xray confirmed there was definitely something in the bone. They were focused on a part of my hip that had been hurting for over a year but I had dismissed thinking it was tendonitis from running. It was difficult to calm the anxiety during the day and sleep became almost impossible. Cancer patients call it “Scanxiety” because we’ve already been on the receiving end of bad news. Often when we go for scans and wait for results we relive the trauma of the original diagnosis…

the way it felt when the earth dropped out from beneath our feet…

how time seemed like it was moving at warp speed and standing still in the same moment…

how we feel our dreams and plans for the future evaporate in an instant. Not because the disease will ultimately be fatal but because we are forced into an unexpected battle and immediately focus on the near term threat…

how even though we felt perfectly healthy a Dr is telling us we are sick and in the end the treatment will make us sick…

because we know that with this beast of cancer we are never really free.

It became an act of will to keep my mind from constantly wandering through all the scenarios and wondering whether I will re enter an active cancer treatment with chemo and radiation. The 5,000 miles that separate me from my family felt like an insurmountable chasm and at a certain moment the waiting here was too intense that I booked a last minute trip to Seattle. These past few weeks have been overwhelming.

But today my oncologist told me that the results of the MRI were a “Synoviale inclusiecyste” (a certain kind of cyst – this is where the Dutch/English thing can get a bit tricky and I need to do more research). My onc admitted that this was not her area of expertise and proceeded to call some orthopedic surgeons to see what it was exactly and what I should do next. It took a few phone calls and some persistent questions on her part but we reached a level of information I am comfortable with. An orthopedic surgeon looked at the MRI while she was on the phone and also confirmed it was benign and suggested I schedule a consultation with the “hip experts” for how to proceed.

So that is what I will do…in the next few weeks I will meet with a “hip expert” to discuss my options. The most common treatment paths are letting it go and seeing if time will take care of it or surgery. This saga is not over but I am much more comfortable waiting knowing that it is something benign and that it has nothing to do with the breast cancer. Deep breath out.

Someday soon I might be up for cautiously celebrating but right now I just feel like I need a nap.

Blessings,

Lynnea

 

Scanxiety

What, you don’t know what that is? I didn’t either…but I have it. “Scanxiety” is a word used (primarily in cancer circles) to describe the “uneasiness” or anxiety patients have around waiting for the results of diagnostic testing. Especially cancer patients. We already know how bad the results can be.

I have my first set of tests tomorrow since my world was flipped upside down a year ago. I fully expect them to come back normal but the fear is there…lurking…in the back of my mind. What if the chemo didn’t get it all? What if the Tamoxifen is not working and it comes back? What if it spreads? At this point there is nothing I can do except be vigilant in checking and attempt to let go of the things I can’t control. But with these tests you never really know until the results are in and even then it is a momentary reprieve from the unknown.

I am at least thankful I live in an age where testing like this is possible…and I look forward to an age when cancer has been cured. I’ll send out an update tomorrow after my appointment.

Blessings,

Lynnea