Jan. 11, 2016
Awoke to a busy Monday morning. Opened the shades to find sun streaming in my apartment. A welcome sight after the crummy, gray, pouring rain, Sunday we had just experienced. I had to remember to fast as I was headed to the lab for post op blood work. No problem really, as I was nervous about my upcoming morning appointment with my new Oncologist. So an appetite was not something I had at the moment.
An old friend called who is going through a similar experience. We swapped Cancer experiences and got caught up a bit, but then my Mom arrived and I had to say goodbye.
After being poked and prodded for days at the hospital, having some blood drawn was not such a bad thing. After the proper amounts of vials were filled we went to breakfast (No, no picture. Can you believe it?!). Properly fueled we headed for the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Miriam Hospital. Located in my neighborhood and attached to the hospital I had just spent so much time in, I found the center to be a warm and welcoming place.
I actually met with 2 Oncologists. My main Doctor and his Associate. They both gave me plenty of time to ask questions and they took a good amount of time to explain my pathology report and what the next steps are.
I was given really good news. I do not need Chemotherapy or Radiation. Right now I am Cancer-free! The surgery removed it all. My Cancer is Stage 3. Staging however is anatomical. So it is 3 because the tumor was so large. Next the Cancer is graded. My tumor was a Low Grade Tumor. One of the first things he said to me, which really put at ease was: “You cannot lump all cancers together. Each and every cancer is different including within the types. Including Kidney Cancer.” Once you are diagnosed with Cancer, you tend to compare yourself to others with Cancer or others who have someone close to them with Cancer compare themselves to you. A diagnosis can bring the most awesome comradery or critical opinions. So I was relieved to be told that each and every diagnosis is different….including how they are treated.
What’s next? Scans…..on a regular basis. That is how they check for return. I have an 80% chance of NO recurrance. I’ll take those odds! If it does return, it tends to go right back to the same place (not the remaining kidney thank goodness) or to the lungs (damn).
My Doc, then brought up the original complaint that brought me in to see my Primary Physician in the first place: my hip/leg issue! The only pic the Oncologist saw was the X-ray that showed Hip Displaysia. He is concerned and told me that my tumor did not cause the pain, discomfort and mobility issues I am having. He told me that I was too YOUNG to put up with the pain etc.. “Let’s take care of this.” he said. So, an MRI has been ordered up. He’ll go over it with me and most likely will send me to an Orthopedist. At first my thought was; “Oh my, if it isn’t one thing, it’s another.” But you know what? That is negative thought. Let’s look at the positive. Right now I do not need chemo. Right now, I do not have to choose between a wig or a head scarf. Right now, I do not have to worry about nausea and my appetite and whether or not I need some pot (in vapor or edible form) to help stimulate that appetite and keep my from constantly throwing up. So, let’s take care of this! I want to walk without discomfort. Heck, if we ever get hit again with some snow storms like last year, I want to be able to cross-country ski down my street.
Back at home, I did some dishes and rested. One of my friends and co-workers was taking me to dinner. I have not gotten out too much (cannot drive yet) so this was going to be a welcome outing. Besides, I have good news to toast.
My friend is a country mouse who does not spend too much time in the city so I picked where to eat. I wanted to stick close to home and eat somewhere casual. The perfect choice is “the best pub in town”; Ivy Tavern. We toasted with her water and my smooth as silk, Guinness. Dinner choice was easy tonight. Bibimbap.
We were enjoying our yummy Bibimbap and catching up, when all of a sudden I noticed a guy walk in and look around for someone (?) and a seat. As he was turning around towards my friend and I, I realized I knew him.
Oh PROVIDENCE. You are SUCH a small-town This “2 Degrees of Separation” can be a blessing and a…… well let’s just say it’s not always easy. Of course I dated the guy. Not once….. but twice! The waitress approaches him, he asks for a seat. Says he is meeting someone. The woman arrives and as I am trying to bring a bite of scrumptious, spicy, creamy rice to my mouth; he is seated………wait for it……….yes, you guessed it….right next to us. “Feets” away my friends. TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.
I had to laugh and find the humor in it all. Of course I did what any awesome woman would do. I ignored him and carried on talking to my friend.
There are now more important things to concern myself with. I’ve moved on. I’ve let it go. I’m getting healthy, spending time with good friends, making new ones and talking to all of you. I’m eating great healing foods and writing about it all. What’s to be angry about? I have a new “lease on life”. I’m not angry, I’m thankful.