Well, another six months have passed. Damn cancer. You’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop even when life seems wonderful. There is always that feeling that somehow something will not be right.
I had my last PET scan on May 21st. I was getting my “every six week” EKG at the doctor’s office and my scan results came in. No sign of cancer. Wonderful. It then proceeded to mention an enlarged heart and another organ with thickened walls. The week before I had had chest tightness which I mentioned to the doctor and the next thing you know I am seeing a cardiologist. It is nice when one can feel comfortable and at ease when one is not sure what will happen. The cardiologist took his time reassuring me about all the areas of my health which are really good and was able to do an echo cardiogram at the office. His technician told him – and he passed on to me- that there are apparently no signs of heart disease and no fluid around the heart – and we have now proceeded to schedule a stress test to confirm what he believes is a healthy heart. Wonderful. Meanwhile, my temperature continues to average 96 degrees, my left hand is now puffy as are my ankles, and my blood pressure was 110/40 this morning in the doctor’s office. It’s the psychological “hit.” Just when I am feeling fairly well and confident I have a whole different weath of concerns.
I haven’t mentioned any of this to anyone except Jim so you are all hearing about this at the same time. I keep reading article about dealing with people with illness. Let me tell you, I have now come to the conclusion that I will never assume someone is healthy. Sometimes it is just too hard to talk about it. And, in fairness, I probably am fine with the exception of “cosmetic” issues with puffiness. Think of that for a minute . . .I am not comfortable in sandals because of this “cosmetic” issue. And then I feel guilty because I feel I should just be so very grateful because here it is . . . 6 years after triple negatvie breast cancer, 4 years after stage four lung cancer and 3 years after operable endometrial cancer and here I am “fussing.” Add this to indigestion, nausea and momentary feelings of dread. Be patient with people with a diagnosis of anything – COPD, heart problems, etc. No one wants to talk about their issues all the time but it doesn’t mean their lives are impacted any less.