Saturday, October 14, 2017

I Have Perfected Lemonade; Can I Try Making Something Else?

The last 2 months have been seriously challenging.

I have been having some serious bone pain. On it's own or if it had visited and hopped the next train, probably not concerned. But, it wasn't alone; it's sidekick is chest pain and shortness of breath, some really goofy headaches and fatigue that I can't shake.

Kinda sounds like Lyme disease, right? That is what I hoped and prayed for. But, that test was negative. My blood work AMAZING: no vitamin deficiencies, tumor markers not elevated, and ANA tests were negative.

Unfortunately, my PA oncologist seems to have attended the Movie Doctors School of Medicine. "You look fabulous! You're fine!" HUH? Wow, if only it were that easy because I have perfected the art of looking better than I feel when I don't feel well.  Clearly, it was time to find someone with some real credentials and diagnostic tools.

Teaching Moment #1: Know your body. Recognize when something is not right. Unfortunately, as we age, things start going wonky and trust me; you're not popping up on any doctors crystal ball- and they aren't calling you to invite you in for a chat because they got notification that something might be wrong. A good rule of thumb: if it's more nagging and persistent than a baby with a wet diaper, it might be time to get checked out.

Teaching Moment #2: Advocate for yourself. Educate yourself. And push forward to get answers even if it means you have to be a pain in the ass. In all fairness, you're going to have to be a pain in the ass. Buckle up buttercup!

Enter a new oncologist and a script for a PET scan. And that folks, is how I found myself knee deep in Christmas decorations, covered in glitter on Friday the 13th of October waiting for results.

Teaching Moment #3: A cancer survivor waiting to be scanned and twiddling their thumbs (or in my case: decorating for Christmas way too early) waiting for their results is a very fragile creature. I was so thankful for my family and friends that had the good sense to make me laugh, distract me and keep me busy in the pre and post PET scan hours. How can you help a survivor tackle this mass insanity? Just be there!! Distractions are most welcome!

Having a fabulous imagination (which I do) and being seriously armed and dangerous with information (me also!) is a horrible combination in this scenario. I could probably type for the next 6 hours and not adequately explain my state of mind as all of this was going on. Suffice it to say, scanxiety is real and it's epic. I was instantly taken back to the days after Christmas in 2013 when I waited for biopsy results; everything hanging in the balance.

Thankfully, cancer has not decided to go another round with this little warrior. It was the sigh that made all boxers jealous- and it was heard for miles around. (Only my boxer people will get this one!)

Where does this leave me? Well, at this point, I know what isn't wrong with me. It has been suggested that I see a neurologist, a rheumatologist,  and a psychiatrist. And I need to have an echo. So, if anyone knows "1" doctor that specializes in neuro, rheumatology, cardio, and psychiatry- please send me their number- I'm really tired of waiting to see doctors.

Oh and...I'm a little tired of playing with lemons and my lemonade has been perfected. I need to move on!

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