If I was a better blogger, I might have found the clarity to write this a year ago. But, at least now I have the space to have some perspective, so hopefully that makes up for it. There are several lessons to be learned her, and I hope in sharing these events that perhaps it may help someone else.
A year ago I was struggling with what I thought was leg issues… which turned out to be back issues. I was sent for an MRI on my back for “confirmation,” with a promise that if it was in fact what the doctor was thinking, that a simple series of injections would solve the issues I had been struggling with would be solved. So, when I went into the doctor’s office that morning, I was hobbling in with a smile on my face, thinking about getting back to running again and feeling better.
The doctor walked in, and I was so excited, that I didn’t even give him a chance to speak other than saying, “Hello” before I quickly blurted out, “Sooo, is it what you thought it was?” I was thinking that even if it wasn’t exactly what he thought it would be, that he would in the worst case scenario he would at the very least have some other course of action to take. As it turns out, I would have to redefine my definition of “worst case scenario.”
The doctor pulled up the MRI scans on his computer, and first, answered my question in a transitory manner, “Yes, it was, but that is the least of your problems…” It was then he uttered the seven words that would change just about everything, “We found a tumor on your kidney.”
I don’t know if denial can kick in that fast, or if I was just stunned, but at first I didn’t think too much about it. The doctor did his part, at least at first, to cushion it a little. There would have to be a CT Scan to confirm, and of course the “it could turn out to be nothing.” He said that I needed to make an appointment with my primary care physician. When I said, I would call him after work, the stress in his voice changed, he would not let me leave until he got my doctor on the phone, made it clear to my physician that he need to see me immediately, and ordered me to go directly to my physician and nowhere else. That pretty much snapped me out of “this is nothing” and the nerves began to kick in.
Nerves definitely kick in, but so does survival, which comes in many forms. Denial is a strong one. As I drove from one doctor to the other, I calmed myself down and the denial kicked back in. I denied and rationalized and created all scenarios that proved this to be a mistake, or anything other than cancer. The thoughts came so fast and so random, I barely remember the drive to my physician’s office.
Not much happened at my physician’s office other than to have him handing me a prescription for the CT Scan, more false hope suggestions of “nothing to worry about until we are sure” but followed with instructions to have it done As Soon As Possible with the offer of “if you have a problem getting an appointment quickly to give the office a call.” Needless to say, the urgency and speed desired here by both doctors did very little to allay my nerves, and fear began to settle in.
There is nothing can I, or anyone can say that would prepare you for news like this. There is no way at that moment to control feeling as they come rushing in from all sides. Some bright, some dark. Very Dark. The tendency is to turn inward, but having someone to talk to is probably just as important as medical care at this point. Because, just like me at this point… It is only the beginning.
To Be Continued…