We're tiny minutes late, going to see Dr. Foster. I'm ready and I'm not. In a "who knows why?" last minute flurry I change my necklace. Instead of my vertical cross, I choose the sideways one. Mine has become tarnished from wear. But, it feels right.
Especially when it feels all wrong.
Dr. Foster is pleasant, but brisk. He smiles and answers when I ask how his hockey season was and then he inquires about the boys, but quickly its back to business.
I tell him we can "forgo" the gown if he'd like, but no, he says he'll consult his notes while I change clothes. So I'm waiting again as I quickly change into a gown.
He returns. Examines me thoroughly, in much the same way Dr. Panwalkar does. He finds nothing.
He says, "Go ahead and get your street clothes on, and then we'll discuss treatment."
And then I know.
I run my fingers over my cross. The sideways cross, reminding me of the one He carried. Reminding me, that He plus me, will carry whatever is to come.
Long minutes later Dr. Foster returns.
"Well, this isn't what I wanted to say."
The room starts to fade from my sight, as everything slows, again. I've been here before.
Hearing what he doesn't want to say, what I don't want to hear, what I don't want to tell you.
The cross reminds me, He has been here before too. With me.
"A new spot has appeared on your brain, 8 mm, a distance from the old spot, but deeper in your brain."
And then we go over all the things that don't add up. I feel fine. I look good. I have already had a response to the Xeloda. Its been 14 months since we treated my last spot in my head and typically more spots would have appeared by now.
So, I gather I'm not typical.
"Biologically, your cancer is behaving in its own way, in it's own time."
I tiny smile to myself as I recall Dr. Panwalkar's words about my PET scan as "not terrible."
Now I can add, "not typical."
I chose the sideways cross, perhaps, sensing my news was a little sideways too.
I have 3 options.
Watch and wait, re-scan in a couple of months.
Have a new "Jason" (Think Friday the 13th movies) mask made. Screw my head onto the table. And shoot a one-time targeted shot of radiation at my brain. Again.
Or, radiate my whole brain.
I ask for some time. To think. And talk to Dr. P.
In the meantimes, you will probably find me near the laundry room floor, on my knees.
Emptying... to fill again.