Thursday, March 1, 2007

My Diagnosis

It’s been two weeks since my biopsy. My family has gone home reassured that I’m not going to die this week. The wound site pulses. And children are on edge. What fun we are going to have for Thanksgiving! Pass the turkey and oh, Aunt Marge did you hear about my football sized tumor.
Yes, it’s a tumor. After surgery, the beautiful chief resident told me it wasn’t an infection but a tumor. The question is – what kind? Benign or malignant? I don’t need to tell you what I’m pulling for.
Apparently the pathologist is on vacation. Who says this guy can take a vacation? Doesn’t he realize I’m getting phone calls day and night from back seat doctors who all know more than he does? What gives him the right to lie on the beach when I can only lie on the couch?
The worst part right now is I’m off the drugs. That’s right. All drugs except for -those lovely, don’t work for me, over-the counter pills. See, I had a reaction to the narcotics. So off I came from the drugs. Of course, the docs all said that I could take them. But my family hid them. They are so mean. The doc gave me another prescription for a milder narcotic if I needed it. Funny how once I came off the drugs, the tremors and all the symptoms went away. Still no diagnosis. No less stress. But no weird symptoms. Good, Huh?
Finally, after waiting and waiting, only days before Thanksgiving, we get the call. Yes, it’s underlined so you can hear the reverberation through the room. The call. It’s the cheerful nurse, the surgeon’s right hand, who delivers the news. I’m sorry you have lipsarcoma. High grade. Highly aggressive. You need to start radiation immediately. We will then remove the tumor.
Lipo suction what? No, liposarcoma. This is rare. Sarcoma is cancer of the soft tissue. Liposarcoma is cancer of the fatty tissue. Oh I say.
Inside, my world tilted. Outside only my voice quivered. I was told that there would be additional tests. To check if the cancer metastasized. If it hadn’t, I had a good chance of beating it. Stay strong she told me. They would see me at the end of radiation.
I hung up and the front door opened. Two of my son’s tutors were here to work with him. I didn’t have time to cry. I didn’t have time to process. I could only thank God that my daughters were at dance and not home. So I joked. I stayed positive. There would be no negative thoughts here.
The bottom line is I have fat cancer. Nothing sexy here. No breast, cervical or uterine. Nope, fat cancer. Ironic, huh?
What color do you make a ribbon for “Let’s Cure Fat Cancer.”
I wish for the moments of hope before the phone rang.

No comments: