March 14, 2007 § 25 Comments
My last chemo treatment should have been a celebration. Instead it was a punch in the gut with a second bowl of punch thrown over my head, ice cubes, beverage, ladle and all.
I had been in for imaging the week before; MRI and Cat scans. Routine tests, I predicted the results; a shrunken tumor and everything else in order. I was ready for phase two. Take my breast, radiate me, reconstruct me in six months time and set me free to share the gospel of breast cancer.
I had a plan.
Results from my MRI were pretty straight ahead. My right breast remained unremarkable at least to the folks who read the MRI. They’re wrong of course. My right breast is spectacular but that’s another website.
As for my left breast, the primary tumor had shrunk considerably. My mother said, if you look for trouble you’ll find it, and that’s what an MRI does. At 12 o’clock on the left breast there was a questionable mass but it doesn’t matter to me. I’m having a mastectomy. All those lumps and questionable bumpy masses can congeal in the bowels of pathology. Let them reveal their secrets to science and soon to be scientists. I’ll get use to an AA cup all over again, and contemplate my new girls down the road.
I met with my oncologist. He managed to squeeze in a series of morning appointments before boarding a plane to Switzerland. Marty and I had glanced at my lab results the night before. They were posted online; we couldn’t resist the sneak peek.
The MRI was as expected, but the Cat scan report was all wrong.
suspicious sclerotic foci within the lower thoracic spine as well as within the pelvis and right proximal femur, suggestive of progressive metastatic disease.
Was that my report? My primary tumor had shrunk down to nothing. How the hell could cancer show up in my bones four months later swimming upstream in a sea of toxic waste?
We looked to Dr Come for his usual dry but level headed mix of wisdom and insight.
“Talk to Dr Houlihan in my absence. If the cancer has spread, there may be no need for the mastectomy”
He was boarding a plane, but I was just run over by the cargo hold.
I do not have metastatic disease.
The reader could have been aggressive. Maybe it’s osteoporosis. What the hell is vague sclerosis. I do not have metastatic disease.
Marty doesn’t believe it. My Angel Oncologist in Virginia doesn’t believe it. I don’t believe it, but my doctors at the BIDMC act like it’s entirely possible. That’s just preposterous.
I’m requesting more test. I want definitive results. “Vague sclerosis” sounds like guess work. I need facts. Black and white. Bone biopsies. Something I can see under a microscope.
I have a very different plan and a party I am planning.