Cancer log 185: Back in three

I had a routine mammogram on Monday, which is not the most fun way to start spring break.  Exacerbated by the fact that they had trouble pulling up my records again (which has happened each of the three times I’ve gone in, some problem with my MRIs crashing their computer), so it took much longer than it should have to get a result.

Then they pulled me into a room and did an ultrasound, which is not normal procedure and was anxiety-making, and then once it was done, the tech went off to get the doctor to read the results.  That was a scary stretch, I have to say; I was semi-convinced that they had, in fact, found cancer again, and I was silently talking myself down from getting completely stressed out.  I was imagining telling the kids about it, now that they’re two  years older and would understand more, and wondering if UIC would be able to give me as much financial support as they did last time, and I wasn’t really worried that they wouldn’t be able to treat it, but I did start dreading the prospect of going through another year like 2015.

I can do it again, if I have to, and of course I’m grateful that the docs have gotten so good at treating my particular kind of cancer when caught early, but god, that was no fun.

Finally the doc came in, an endless time later (probably less than five minutes).  The result is probably fine, but there were two issues — a small darkness near where the port went in and came out (on the right side, which is not the cancer side from before), which they’re almost positive is just a seroma (fluid left over from surgery).  Also, they can’t see one of the clips on that side, which seemed to really confuse the doctor; he said it had probably just shifted far enough back that it didn’t show up on the scan, but still, better to be safe.  So instead of having me back in six months, they’re having me back in three, and I suppose it’s good that they’re so extra careful with me, but sigh.

And now I’m in Florida at a conference, and I have been trying to relax a little, but I admit, I have had some trouble with feeling an intense urgency to do ALL THE THINGS, and feeling super-frustrated that I can’t do them all simultaneously.  Which might be a teeny tiny bit connected to my exacerbated sense of my own mortality.  Maybe.  A little.

I tried to take an hour to watch a tv show, and I just found myself getting tense again.  So far, I’ve felt best when I was a) writing or b) swimming (and thinking about writing), so I guess I’ll keep focusing on doing those things.  Although it’s also fun talking with all these lovely, brilliant people.  I’m guessing that after another day, I’ll be able to relax a little more.

I am grateful that I am not normally subject to anxiety, because I have to say, it’s very unpleasant.

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