Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Scare

Update first: Work has been incredibly busy, and I've started grad school. I'm overstimulated and overworked. I am also thinking about the cancer thing less and less. I was sure my life would be totally different -- especially when it comes to diet and exercise, but that hasn't really happened, and I feel really disappointed in myself. As I approach my end of chemo anniversary, I am going to have start taking that part of my life more seriously.

On the whole, though, I would say I felt back to normal 6-8 months post chemo. It has been most liberating to be involved with the normal and not be consumed with thoughts of how I'm feeling physically. Also, my hair is coming in like gangbusters. It is darker (with much gray!) and curly, curly, curly. As it's gotten longer, it's a bit straighter, but it's still like a totally new head of hair.

On to the scare...

So, two months ago my dad calls. I had clean post-chemo scans and clean scans 6 months later in November. Initial reports showed that remission was alive and well. My dad sends them for a second opinion because even though they were clean, my thymus gland was a bit active, and he wanted to check it out. Several doctors looked at the scans and felt they were unusual and showed a possible recurrence.

We went to the Mayo Clinic for a full check up with a certifiable Hodgkin's expert. It was most comforting to meet with him as he really knew about all the “subtleties” of HD treatment that other oncologists can’t know just because it’s impossible to know everything about everything! The lighting up of my thymus gland turned out to be normal for a woman my age, but part of my tongue lit up. Many doctors looked at it and had that somber, we should biopsy it, look. Of course, all of this happened on a Friday, but the biopsy wasn't until Monday -- leading to the darkest, most frightening weekend of our lives. I had always felt Hodgkin's -- for a cancer -- was an ok diagnosis. It was the treatment that was so awful. For a few days, I started to appreciate how scary a potentially grave diagnosis would feel. It all turned out fine, but I can't let the trip go. Clearly, I have to learn something from a scare so profound.

1 Comments:

Blogger A said...

Looks like you're doing well. I look forward to starting my final treatment of radiation for HD next month so that I can resume a new normal life. Keep healthy and keep the faith.

Best wishes,

Anne

2:45 PM  

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