Ok, the last two days were not my best. As hard as I tried not to let the question demons in, they still found some of the small little cracks and found a way to sneak in and cause havoc.
I have taken great pride in being positive and forward looking, but somehow this simple phone call (see last post) knocked me off of my game and sent me in to a bit of a spiral. And to be honest it's not my style to think of the negative side so the fact it happened has also thrown me for a bit of a loop. And it was bad enough that it caused concern for Tracey. And that ain't good.
There is a good lesson for anyone in the medical field, and to be honest, a good lesson for anyone receiving medical attention. Do not open a conversation unless you have thought through the impact you are causing. The nurse certainly gave me the impression that the news was grave and time was a very real issue. She wouldn't disclose the news but did let me know it wasn't good and that it was imperative I meet with the Oncologist immediately.
Unleash the panic hounds.
Naturally one goes into a tailspin and the imagination is unleashed...and not the good imagination, the bad, dark, paranoid imagination.
Imagination: I'm wheezing...damn, I guess the cancer in the lungs has gotten way worse fast.
Reality: Nope, spring has affected me and I wheeze every spring you dumbass.
Imagination: My knees, ankle and elbow are really really sore. The cancer must have spread to my bones.
Reality: Nope, you are old and playing lots of sports these days. Suck it up and remember growing old is not for sissies.
Imagination: I almost ran into the back of a car the other day I must have a tumour in my brain.
Reality: I'm an idiot and not paying attention. Probably also old and most likely my signal was on for the last kilometre too. Again, dumbass.
Ok, now to the good bad news part of this post.
Today I went in to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and had my blood work done, then Tracey and I met with Dr. R.
In his words "I'm concerned about the growth but want to keep you on this drug for a couple more sessions to see what may happen. The drugs are working and you are tolerating them so let's wait and see what the results are in August."
Dr. R also explained that this journey has it's ups and downs (here he was motioning the ups and downs of a sound wave) and while this scan shows a down, we'll see what the next one shows us. Remember, the last one was an up.
I can totally understand that journey...it's called life.
And in my mind that's way better than a brain tumour, or cancer in my blood or bones or some of the other bad things that Houman has explained that could actually have happened in my lungs.
I have my results in front of me as I am typing this and it's a completely new language of course, but I think this is the paragraph that wraps it all up --> [slight interval progression, enlarging pancreatic head metastasis now measuring 2.2 x 2.1 cm, previously 1.3 x 1.3 cm. Multiple lung metastases with majority demonstrating interval size stability but several metastases are slightly larger].
So, in short, it is good bad news because the news I was expecting was way worse. Perhaps a good 'set the stage' communications tactic, but I doubt that was the intent.
In my mind I am on the same path as before, except I am now much more smart.
You see I'm smarting because those two days were spent guessing which bad news was mine. From now on till I know it's bad news it ain't bad news. And even then, I determine how I react to the news, not someone on the other end of the phone.
And I'm also smarterer because I was just given a beautiful reminder that you are not promised tomorrow - so take good care of today cause it's all you have. And while I thought I was doing a great job of living every day, I just got an intense fire drill of bad news. And I need to be more prepared.
Oh, and I believe the nurse was truly was trying to do the right thing by being proactive in getting me in to see Dr. R as quickly as she could...and I suspect the below opening paragraph on my diagnostic image sheet may have been what activated her phone call. I just wish she positioned it like 'hey Dr R has time available on Wednesday, no need for you to wait 3 weeks to hear the results right?"
And on a final note - sorry to the few people I told this news to this week. It was a waste of time for all of us.
Now on to happier thoughts.
I love my wife.
And my kids.
And my family.
And all my friends.
Even Dave Kelly