The last few months I've been battling sinus problems.
First guess was an infection, but the antibiotics did not help. My dr thought I needed a longer rx, but since we weren't sure it was infection, I opted to wait and see. Allergies were also a possibility.
Some days, I felt broken -- though I figured running after Kaylee and getting little sleep were to blame.
I went to an ear, nose and throat dr last Tuesday.
He took one look into my nose and his reaction was distressing. I don't remember exactly, but once you hear cancer, you don't hear much else.
He said the chances were small, but we should do testing quickly, to alleviate any fear.
That day I had a CT scan. That afternoon he called and brought my husband and I back to the office.
The results were easy enough to see -- the sinus cavities on my left side were filled. He said it looked a lot like an antrochoanal polyp (one side and really big). It could also be a fungal infection... and of course the possibility of cancer was looming in the room.
One thing was definite. It was big and needed to be removed.
Surgery was scheduled for Friday. He would do a biopsy and then depending on the result, stop or remove the benign tissue.
As soon as I woke up from surgery, I asked the time -- one surgery would be longer than the other... It was less than two hours. My mom and husband were by the bed and someone told me it was malignant.
Although my first reaction was "are you sure?" I was calm. The fear of what could be was replaced with reality. Cancer. I was not surprised. I had all week to prepare. I'm sure the drugs from the anesthesia helped me stay calm.
I've known many who have battled cancer.
I lost my father, my husbands aunt, my uncles wife, my grandfather, my sister's mother in law.
I know survivors too -- two uncles, my aunt, a few friends, parents of friends.
What are the chances I would be added to the list? When I was a little girl, I was a bit of a hypochondriac. I was always worried I had cancer. As I got older, my fears subsided.
When I went to the doctor last Tuesday, the last thing on my mind was cancer. I had just given birth and nurse my baby? How could a diseased body support such miracles?
I will know more about a diagnosis on Monday. The weekend is going slow.
I am nursing my daughter as much as I can. The idea of early weaning is heartbreaking. I fear she will grow up without a mother. I am thankful she is only 1 as she will not remember. She may not remember me. I hope I can live on in her through the bonding relationship we've created and the stories and memories people around her hold close.
And of course, I am not calling it quits -- I don't even have a diagnosis, or 2nd opinion. My strategy is the same I used to run a marathon. If I felt tired, in pain or I couldn't go on, I would ask myself, "can you finish the next mile? just up to that next tree? will you be disappointed if you stopped because you know you had it in you to keep going?"
As long as there is a chance (even a fools hope) and I can make it to the next tree, I will. I will come through this a survivor, regardless of my mortality.
I am scared. Writing is an easier form of communication. I say the word cancer with tears in my eyes and a closed throat. I write it with ease. I am thankful for this outlet.