Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Abnormal is my new normal


So I got my call today about my biopsies, abnormal but got everything with the biopsy so follow up as scheduled. This call came on my cell phone. Note that they have never called my cell, always the house phone so that initially got my heart to racing. I wasn’t expecting the call till Thursday or Friday at the earliest so that didn’t help either. I was glad to hear they got everything. Not sure I care for ‘abnormal’. That’s the way I feel anymore, abnormal. Everything that was my “normal” is gone and now I live abnormal every day. Most days I am a pretty positive person or at least try to be. Positive. Upbeat. But some days….. I just want to SCREAM!!!!!!!!!! This is one of those days. Why would I want to scream over “good” news? Well, let’s do the math. I have had a total of 9 biopsies thus far. 1=melanoma. 4=abnormal cells but got everything. 4=ok. Some may say 8=good and only one bad. My mind sees 4=good and 5=bad. Thankful for getting “it all” on those 4 but still can’t help but wonder… I am a VERY spotty person to say the least. Like hundreds spotty. What are the chances that out of those hundreds there are more that are ‘abnormal’. That could possibly be further than ‘abnormal’ by the time they do biopsies. What are the chances that there are some that are melanoma and she just hasn’t picked the right ones yet. I check my body on a regular basis. Probably more than just once a month and I worry about all of them. I have seen the pictures on line and the spots she has taken thus far to me look nothing like the pictures. One of these last 2, the one from my thigh was so tiny and it was abnormal? I have others that are way bigger. So how do you know? How do you know if a big spot that looks pretty similar to a tiny spot isn’t a bad spot too?
I am still lost in this unfamiliar world. I think most days I live in a haze. Try not to think about it. Try not to worry. The things I found joy in I no longer care about. When I watch tv now all I can think is ‘are they wearing sun screen” or “I wonder if they have had that spot checked” or “they should really get that spot checked”. Hard to enjoy a show when that’s all you can think about.
Some days all I want to do is cry. And then other days I feel so emotionally detached I wonder if I have feelings at all.
I live in a new world. It’s not a world I like. It’s not a world I would have picked for myself but it is my world now. I can hope and pray that one day I will “adjust” as best I can to this new world. That I will “accept” this new world. That I don’t lose my mind in the process. That I don’t drive my loved ones away during the adjustment period. I have hopes that one day I won’t go from angry to depressed to detached to denial and back to angry to start all over again.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannont change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
I tell my husband that all the time because he is the biggest worry wart I know. Always stressing about the unknown. I always tell him it doesn’t do any good.
Today my lesson to myself. If you are going to talk the talk then do the walk.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Panic Attack

Most know the feeling. Can’t breath. Heart racing. Stomach doing cartwheels. Dizzy. Light headed. Mind is about to explode. There are several things that cause me to have them. Being around too many people will do it. Feeling like I am closed in a space and I can’t get out. There are usually things I can do to make things better.
I have a new reason I get them. Now I am on a never ending roller coaster and I can never get off. I have enjoyed riding physical roller coasters in the past. Usually within the first few seconds you start asking yourself what the heck were you thinking and why did you get on. But before you know it the ride is over and you can go back to enjoying everything else. Not this roller coaster. You can’t get off. Sure, you can question yourself about why you did the things you did that put you on this ride but you still can’t get off. No emergency break. No red flag. So what’s the option now? Get use to it? I don’t like this ride. I don’t think I will ever like it and I don’t think anyone that is on it will ever like it.
It comes with its share of thoughts and emotions…..
I read a story yesterday about a guy that was diagnosed at a very early stage. Did surgery to remove it and told him they would continue to do the skin checks but no further testing was needed because it was caught so early. No scans, no x-rays, no blood work, no lymph node removal, no nothing. Zoom forward 5 years and he developed a cough that wouldn’t go away. No big deal, he was taking over the counter medicine for it, figured it would go away eventually. Then he started getting really bad headaches. This prompted his wife to take him to the emergency room. After testing they found out the melanoma was back and with a vengeance. They opted to go to MDA for treatment. 7 weeks after he was informed the melanoma was back he passed away. Throughout those 5 years he kept up with his scheduled appointments. Always got the good to go. No worries. See you next appointment. He didn’t know the full story about melanoma and his wife didn’t either. The doctors said no big deal so must be no big deal.
This story is what is causing my panic attack today. I have not been referred to an oncologist which would seem like the logical next step since melanoma is Cancer! There was no order for blood work. She was going to order an x-ray but since I am already having the chest CT then there is no point. (I get that part and I am thankful I at least have those). No need to remove lymph nodes for testing. I go for more biopsies on Monday. I will ask her if she was in my shoes would she be following the plan that has been set for me. There are no safety harnesses on this roller coaster. No seatbelts. You can’t pray to get off the roller coaster because once you are on there is no turning back. You are stuck in that seat for life.
So here is what I will pray for. Please let me stay on this ride for a very, very long time. Please give me the strength and knowledge to ask the questions that need to be asked. Please help me with my panic attacks by reminding me I am not on this ride alone because you will never leave my side. No matter how many flips, twist, turns, jolts, or loop to loops, you will be there. I know through you anything is possible. Amen!