“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.
Do not now look for the answers.
They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.
It is a question of experiencing everything.
At present you need to live the question.
Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. "
"Letters to a Young Poet”
Sometimes, you know before you know. The "future enters into you," long before you are ready to know it.
It started early Tuesday morning with the Glad Press-n-Seal wrap. Who knew the household item of saran wrap would be so instrumental to chemo patients?
I grasp the scissors awkwardly with my compression-gloved hand. The first square I cut, flips sticky side down on the counter. I grasp it quickly, but see the bread crumbs already globbed onto it, contaminating the side I need to affix over my port.
The next square I manage to place right side up, after I've carefully cut the perfect square. It isn't until I have it slapped over the glob of Lidocaine cream I've squirted onto my port,(which numbs my port before the big needle is inserted at infusion time), that I again discover I've got the wrong side facing up. So as I pull my hand away? I pull both the sticky wrap, with half the cream attached to it right off my chest and it dangles from my fingers- threatening now to glob onto my glove.
I hastily wash it off, not wanting my fingers to go numb from the cream, or to damage my glove.
Then I grab the scissors, cut the square again, and as I lean over assuring I have the right side ( I totally do this time- yay me!) , my necklace flops over and lands squarely in the middle of the exposed cream waiting for its shield in my hand.
What a ginormous mess! And I think… really? Is this how my day is going to go?
A ten-second task- turning into 10 minutes of floundering and mess.
But the sunshine streams. My nerves calm. I can do this.
It feels like light years since I've been at Roger Maris, and just like yesterday, all at once.
I get my labs drawn right away, and then settle in for the hour long wait till my appointment.
Right at 945, my pager goes off.
I don't wait long, once settled into exam room 7.
Dr. Panwalkar strides through the door and in two steps it seems, is sitting down already. He is all smiles and I've heard him say "Hi- how are you- I've got just two things."
I smile and say "okay," then await what he has to tell me.
He quickly unfolds a pathology report he has printed out and brought with him, and says,
"Here is the report on your ovaries."
"Here is where it mentions the cancer they found."
And here is where my world stops on a dime.
"Wh… wha… whatttt?" My face must be saying this, as I haven't uttered a word.
He blanches, "Oh, he says, Dr. Tinguely hasn't called you? She said she'd call."
I must be blankly, staring at him. I'm trying to read… and reeling… and still stuck on "what?"
He quietly says, "I'm sorry for saying it this way if you didn't know. I thought you knew."
The report, I see, mentions spots of cancer, the largest appearing about 12 mm, and blah, blah, blah. I stop trying to read.
I just feel stupid.
It has just never, ever occurred to me, that the cancer may spread to the outside of my ovaries. Why didn't I think that was possible?
the 4 places I know most breast metastases occur.
Why? Why didn't we see this? Oodles of scans- and it wasn't detected?
My mind is reeling.
Dr. Panwalkar is moving on with other topics, but my mind is stuck.
I'm trying to ask intelligent questions on the spot and not having very much luck… because the other side of me… is biting the insides of my cheeks to keep myself from crying.
Not sure why this one hits so hard. I'm usually a pro when its less than good news. And yet, usually, I know what may or may not be happening.
But this time?
How is it, I still don't know my cancer? Where is it at? How much? Should I be worried? Terrified? Scared out of my mind?
WHATTTTTTT? You found breast cancer on my ovaries? I am officially blindsided, yet again.
And I sit, stuck in numbness and inability to process much of anything. Dr. Panwalkar conducts a brief exam, and tells me we'll start the new drug, Anastrozole, or Arimidex- it will be the cheapest alternative to try first.
This is the one he mentioned he would hold off on 6 weeks ago- the side effects of joint pain being too much for some and he didn't want to subject me to it before. He wanted to try Aromasin first. But Aromasin, I think is expensive. And I feel the weight of making choices based on what we can afford now, versus, what might be the best treatment choice at that time- despite the cost.
So I just nod and go along. And as I sit there he says- we'll just check your tumor markers and then I'll see you back here in 9 weeks.
6 weeks felt lengthy- now 9?
He asks if I have any more questions?
I feebly ask a rather incoherent question about why the PET scans didn't see the tumors on my ovaries? He says " they were not in a size range that PET scans can normally detect. Plus your abdomen has so much activity, its hard to decipher which is cancer, and which isn't."
"But we will do a scan within the next 6 months to see where you are at and we'll monitor your tumor markers."
And what are my tumor markers?
"Well they haven't come in from the lab yet."
(and as I type- still nothing showing up in my online Mychart account.)
Once again, he patiently asks if I have any more questions?
"So, if we didn't know there was cancer on my ovaries, then we also don't know if it might be on my uterus?"
He nods quietly… "and your other organs… yes."
But we won't scan for 6 months? Yep- mind still reeling.
He is standing now and ushering me out and I am ready to go.
"But I think Arimidex is going to be really good for you!" He is very enthusiastic when he says this- cheerful and bright.
Yet part of me wants to just keep on going, right down the hall, past the lobby, and right out the door.
I don't. I follow Dr. P to the infusion lobby and without having anything more to say- I turn to go find a chair. I feel his hand briefly touch my shoulder, and then hear his footsteps fall away behind me, as I feel the first tears start to fall and I fumble to find a chair.
Sarah Young…Jesus Calling…
You are feeling weighed down by a plethora of problems, both big and small. They seem to require more and more of your attention, but you must not give in to those demands.
When the difficulties... feel as if they are closing in on you, break free by spending quality time with Me. You need to remember I AM in all My Power and Glory.
Then humbly bring Me your prayers and petitions… you can learn to be joyful in Me, your Savior, even in the midst of adverse circumstances…