Denial is not a river in Egypt, but it’s still a nice place for a vacation.
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I’ve had a lovely float trip down denial the last couple of weeks, but tomorrow it’s time to get back to reality. I have two doctor’s appointments tomorrow. The first is a lung capacity test. This will check why I’ve been getting extra extra short of breath from time to time. I explained to the oncologist that it seems to be directly related to a drop in red blood cell counts; in other words, chemo-related anemia. He wants to check everything, though, just to be thorough.
The second appointment is with the brain guy and the radiation guy to get the results of the brain MRI that I had a couple of weeks ago. The MRI was to check if the brain tumors are still shrinking from the radiosurgery I had in August. The last check two months ago showed 50% shrinkage. I haven’t had any new symptoms so it’s not likely the things have grown back. Then again, I never really had any symptoms to speak of originally — they found the two small tumors during a routine scan. So, let’s pray for a complete disappearance or at least continued shrinkage — that would be shrinkage of the tumors rather than my brain, of course.
My next doctor’s visit is on Thursday when I resume my course of poisoning. I just can’t wait! Yippee skipeee!!! Makes me want to put on a big-hair wig and wave my pompoms. Rah rah rah. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=cheerleader&iid=7225729″ src=”9/b/2/4/CHEERLEADER_LOS_ANGELES_b1ea.jpg?adImageId=9525626&imageId=7225729″ width=”234″ height=”353″ /] These last couple of weeks I have managed to fight back a little, though. I have had a terrible time with my eyes — swollen, watery, sore, nasty nasty nasty. The oncologist said, “Huh. Never heard of that. Better go to an eye doctor.” So I did. The eye doctor is a dry eye specialist who had seen three people that morning who were going through chemo. Chemo causes eye problems. Who knew? Apparently not the oncologist. I had a staph infection in my eyes, damaged tear ducts, and damaged oil ducts. The medicine I received is working wonders. Next stop is the dermatologist who will help me deal with why my face swells up and turns purple after week three of chemo and she’ll also be able to help me with my yellowish fingernails. Wait…. purple and gold. I think I might have Husky Fever. Go Dawgs!
Some time in mid-February I will have my torso scanned to see if there are any new tumors anywhere and to see if what I had in my rib and lung has decided to go away. You know how to pray for both of those. If there’s shrinkage or disappearance, then the end is in sight for chemo. If there’s no response or new growth, then I might be stuck on this #*(&%)# or some new #*(&)%) for several more months.
So, to wrap up, I found denial quite restorative. I highly recommend it. Sometimes it’s the only way to get through the day — or through a couple of weeks. Yes, I suppose it’s unhealthy to be in denial if, say, you have a drinking problem or your spouse is beating you. If you have a major health problem that you’re doing everything you can to fight, and there’s really nothing more you can do about it, I think denial is a mentally healthy coping mechanism.
Denial has meant that sometimes I’ve ignored some of you because I decided to ignore cancer for a while. So, I hope you don’t take offense. I’ve read every post and every email and if I haven’t replied I do intend to do so. You are all very kind and generous and I wish I could give you all a big hug. At any rate, I can give you a huge public thank you here.[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=Thank+you&iid=176811″ src=”0173/81a76601-9c22-43df-b535-3614a81d4442.jpg?adImageId=9525853&imageId=176811″ width=”413″ height=”413″ /]