Me & my shadow

Its been a few weeks since I posted here for several reasons.  So living by the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved, I’ll explain in more depth.

Around five months ago I was diagnosed with adult asthma which in itself isn’t all that special — just a nuisance really.  However my doctor wanted me to see a specialist because she felt there should have been more improvement.

Thus after a two month wait I presented myself to the respiratory specialist who then proceeded to order several tests.  Then the next appointment was made and it wasn’t until May.

I made the appointments and a week later had the first test — a CT scan.  All seemed good and as they didn’t give me an injection of x-ray contrast I assumed it was all clear.  Three days later I got a call from the specialists’ receptionist informing me that the doctor wanted to see me later in the week and told me the time.

My immediate thought was that this wasn’t good, then I decided that there was no point worrying about whatever until I’d seen the doctor.   On the designated day Ross and I presented ourselves and were ushered into the room. We sat down and he began to explain why he’d brought me in earlier.  My x-ray was on the computer screen and he gestured to it and said that when they did the scan they’d found a shadow in my lung.  Or more specifically a tumour — only a small one, but still it was something that shouldn’t be there.  Bluntly put it is most likely a cancer.  Great!

Thus I’n now on the medical merry-go-round and playing the waiting game.

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It didn’t really hit me until I was about to have my blood test done.  It’s rather a shock to be presented with something like this — something that happens to other people where you express your dismay, talk about it for a bit and then move on with your life.

Not so when it happens to you.  I decided to allow myself that evening to wallow a bit, and then I’d get on with doing whatever I could the next day.

I cried a lot, phoned family and friends, had a few glasses of champers, cried a bit (lot) more and generally felt really sorry for myself.

Of course when I did go to bed I couldn’t sleep for thinking of all the worst case scenarios and probably a few more.  Thoughts such as ‘I should get my affairs in order!’  and ‘I really need to clean out my cupboards and get rid of stuff!’  Trivial, but of huge importance at three am.      So over the next few days I had quite a few weepy times, plus some really positive ones.    Initially the doctor wanted to do a biopsy, but I declined — opting to wait until the tests results came back.

The next important test was the PET scan which the doctor expected to show the tumour up as being ‘hot’.  However when those results came back it was only ‘warm’.   So that now means there is only a 70% chance it is malignant.  Much better odds now except that means biopsy.   More waiting — and thinking.

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My biopsy is scheduled for next week, and then another week or so before I get the results.  So effectively my life is on hold until I know for sure what my shadow really is.   Until then I’m trying to live my life as normally as possible.

One thing that has absolutely blown me away is the amount of love and support I’ve had from my friends and family.  Truly awesome in fact.

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We shouldn’t need to have catastrophes like suicide, heart attacks and potential cancer diagnoses to make us see what is all around us always.  But unfortunately we forget.  Maybe these trials are sent to remind us that we only have to ask for help and that we don’t need to do everything ourselves.

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