Well, today they didn’t actually do any tests, as first one has to get a consult, then a “prescription” for them. It will unfortunately take a couple of weeks to get the CT scans done (there’s quite a line for those at the moment apparently!) but the consult was comforting. She did an examination – which included banging on my spine with her fist, to my surprise – and said after that she feels very positively that it’s not a “cancer issue”.
I learned a useful little tidbit here that y’all might be interested to know. She said if it were metastasis, “it would really hurt, particularly when I hit your back. You would know it. There would almost surely be a lot of pain.” I told her that I didn’t know something like that would necessarily hurt. “Oh definitely”, she said. Now I have had some back pain, as we well know. But it’s not anything terrible, not all the time, and when she did “hit” my back, I could feel where my sore spots were, but I wouldn’t even call it pain.
Still, she fully supported a work-up of tests. “It never hurts to check these things out, so let’s get a full picture of what’s going on in there.” So, it’ll take a few weeks, but I can fully exhale in that time. Yeaaaay for her!
I came up with an alternative to full-on alerting Dr. Awesome which still allows me to allay any lingering concerns. That is, I contacted the doctor who oversaw my rad treatments. She’s perfect as she works part-time at my hospital in Leuven and part-time at one here in Brussels. She’s much closer and very good, but much lower on the “medical food chain” (no slight to her – I think just about anybody‘s lower on the medical food chain that Dr. Awesome), and thus, less intimidating to demand a last minute appointment with. I told her the situation and she wasn’t particularly concerned but warmly said that I should come in for some x-rays and a bone scan, cause she’s all for addressing even little nagging worries. Love her 🙂
So tomorrow I go, just to brush the shadows away.
Otherwise, I just want to say a loud “well done” to WhyMommy, who made it through all gazillion (or so) chemo treatments with grace and is now out out of the hospital from her hard-earned mastectomies. Whoo-hoo! As I said after mine, “Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!” I’m so happy for her and hope if you get a moment you’ll pop over to tell her you are too!
So here I am at 3am back in Belgium, completely jetlagged out of my gourd. I did so well the last two nights, but the fact that I have to get up early and run lots of errands tomorrow of course means that tonight I wouldn’t sleep at all!
The good – and most important – news is that the tingling seems to have stopped after just 36 hours home in Brussels. There really is no bad news, although the mystery is not completely resolved. I feel good that over a month of sleeping in a guest bed at the NC house may well be the culprit, and a sore spot on my back really points away from that horrible MS thought.
I am still curious about the corresponding back spot though. It was not completely unnoticed in the two weeks past, but it was elusive enough not to really grab my attention. It has beenspeaking up a little louder though and tonight I found the precise spot, which even Del could locate just by rubbing fingers over my spine. It is ever so slightly swollen. General logic points to your run-of-the-mill back injury of a sort, even if there was no traumatic event to cause it. Things are looking good, given that. But still must admit that all worries are not completely chased away. (I keep remembering the time I had back soreness just at the beginning of the diagnosis days, when a friend sincerely intending to help mentioned how her own loved one’s advanced cancer had originally manifested itself that way. Generally unlikely I know, but boy some comments have a way of sticking!)
At this point my brain truely tells me it is “just a thing”. But my little nagging thoughts will never really let me just assume. I guess I must accept that there will always be a bit of a hypochondriac in me forever more. There are worse traits I could develop…
I agree with Sherry that it is in this way a good thing that I’m not working for a few more months as I’ll have all the time I need to check stuff out without the stress of getting time off to do that. Hurrah for serendipity!
I first want to thank all the wonderfully supportive readers I have out there. Ya’ll always know the right things to say (or DO, even if you didn’t say anything directly to me). I told one sister (and Del) just after writing the post because it seemed obvious to me that not acknowledging it was only giving it more power. My sis was awesome and I’m feeling better about it.
To answer some, I have considered that it could be Tamoxifen/Zoladex related, although I haven’t really seen anything saying that this is a common side effect (though that doesn’t mean it’s not, of course). I did not do Taxol or whatever as my chemo was different than the US standard. (I did “FEC”.) I will follow the sage advice of fellow former-BC friends and give it 2-3 weeks before officially worrying. Work has decided that I will not go back for a few more months (a long stupid story, will explain later!) so I’ve got the time to get it checked out. I’ll drop an email to my doctor and see what he says. I will let ya’ll know once I hear.
Thanks again for understanding so perfectly. (You have it nailed also that I feel silly taking things to my doctor that might be innocuous, even though that’s what he’s there for.) You rock!
Ok so, I’m going to admit I’ve been having some shadowy fears pop up this week. I know that this is natural, particularly after doing the whole cancer thing, but that reasoning hasn’t been enough to quite make it go away this time.
I’ve been experiencing pins and needles in my legs off and on for about a week. Not intensely. Not the kind I get when exercising for the first time in a while. Not the kind I blogged about earlier from getting overheated. These are not an itch. They’re just…prickly. The tinyiest scratch over a particular spot chases it away, but of course there will be little spots lightly buzzing around the legs, not just one. It’s gentle, not intense or dense. As a matter of fact I’ve been telling myself it is just imagination since it started. I don’t feel it when I’m moving or absorbed in something, just when I’m sitting still – say watching TV. Notably, I haven’t felt it when I go to bed at night, when I might most expect it. That gives me hope that it’s all paranoia.
I’m hoping that it is some side affect of Tamoxifen or something else. My worst fear? That it is MS. I can hardly even stand to type that. I’m fighting that fear because I think the negative feeling it brings is the worst thing for a person – in any event. I haven’t even mentioned it to anyone because I know the fear it would strike into the hearts of my family as well. I can’t imagine such a terrible turn of luck after all this. I mean – I am nearing the age my mother was when she was diagnosed. Maybe that is enough to bring out imagined symptoms? I don’t even want to have such a dark thought. But I have to admit it has been lurking.
I’m just checking in here. It seems that even if I wanted to write everyday, that would no longer be possible. I’m in America now, still from the holidays. Still trying to get back to work, but I’m slightly in limbo. All the information that I worked so hard to scare up about my return to work in November, turned out to be wrong anyway once I went to clear with my company’s medical department to return. So…I had to start all over again with the process.
No one is very helpful at work. But whatever. It’s too bad not to be able to make any money, nor go to England and search for a wedding “breakfast” (as they call the reception) venue, but I don’t mind being at my dad’s. He doesn’t have internet yet (as you may remember) but we’re working on that as we speak.
Anyhow, that’s where I am these days. I continue to swim when I can and I can feel the stretching. It’s great, though there has been no improvement to the gnarled ligament (or whatever it is) just under my right armpit. We’re hoping that will soften up but I’m not sure. Anybody else have that after DIEP?
I hope had great holidays and I hope to be able to get online for longer and catch up with you soon!