Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Game of Life

Last week, Keith and I played The Game of Life (based on the title, you thought I was going to get all philosophical on you and talk about cancer being my roommate again or compare having cancer to taking a wrong turn into a bad neighbourhood, didn't you?). I won all three times; I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty good at Life (get it?). Anyway, I managed to make it through each game with no cancer, at least one child, and more than $1.5 million at retirement. Here's hoping the latter two are what life has in store for me.

It was so nice to 'play' Life instead of live it. There is no room on the little female peg for any mastectomy scars and there's no square that you can land on that says 'Quit your job and go through chemo - you have cancer.' Thank God, otherwise that would be one hell of a depressing children's game.

Keith does not like board games but he does like 'Life'. The night after his three-round massacre, he asked what I wanted to do and I suggested playing 'Life' again. He declined my offer, not because he is a sore loser but because he was board gamed out. I would play that game every day if I could (actually, I thought about playing against my self the other day - it's a garuanteed win) because with the spin of a wheel, you can pop out twins, or win the lottery, or get paid $80000 as one of your paycheques.

Other than 'Life' the past couple of weeks have been great. Nothing really spectacular has happened and I think that's what makes it so great. Doctor's appointments have gone well, I am starting to feel really good, financially we are doing much better thanks to my insurance company revisiting my file and changing their decision, Christmas is almost here and you wouldn't know I had just been through chemo thanks to my hair growing back so quickly (although it does resemble a cockerspaniel from the back thanks to the 'chemo-curls' trying to make their presence known).

Obviously, my life wouldn't be my life without a little drama. I'm not going to lie, I have had a little stress over my upcoming test results. Last week, I had a mammogram on Wednesday. Once you've had cancer, you unfortunately become a bit of a cancer expert and you are able to throw around the medical jargon like a pro. As the tech was looking at my film, I asked if she saw any 'calcification'. I heard this word for the first time back in March, I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. In an older woman, this isn't a bad thing, it's kind of expected, but in someone my age, there shouldn't be a lot of it (there's also micro vs macrocalcification and the importance of its presence depends on the amount in your breast). Anyway, she said there was some but she didn't think it was anything to worry about.

For the past week, I've been waiting for my results and on Monday morning, my cell phone rang. I looked at the number, recognized it was one of my many doctor's offices and held my breath. I answered the phone and I heard "Can I speak to Katherine, please?" - Shit, shit, shit, they found something and now I have to go back in and potentially have another mastectomy. "This is Katherine" - wait, or can I be Denise or Samantha or Tess, today? No, no, I am who I am. "Hi, this is Dr...." Oh I know who it is and I know the drill, you're calling from Dr.ShittyTiming's office and you need to see me to discuss some test results. But then, the girl's voice on the other end of the phone said a different doctor's name than I was expecting, it was Dr.G's office calling. "Dr.G? Dr.G? how do I know that name? Oh right, it's my plastic surgeon's name." They were calling to tell me they had a cancellation and wondered if I wanted the date. Ahhhhhh! What a relief. I felt like throwing up and doing the can-can all within about 10 seconds of each other.

I can't book my next surgery (getting my implant put in and my expander taken out) until I know for sure that this lump in 'lefty' is nothing because if it is something, I will need an oncology surgeon as well as my plastic surgeon there at the same time, working their magic. I am to wait 4 to 5 days (today is day 5) and if I hear nothing then I am in the clear. Personally, I will feel better by Friday (a full 7 days, just in case their office is backed up).

Seriously, this cancer garbage never stops. It's a constant game of Symptom-Test-Wait-Result-Reaction. Well, honestly, it's more like Symptom-Wait-Appointment-Wait-Test-Wait-Result-Reaction. For those of you who have someone in your life who has dealt with cancer, give them a hug for me the next time you see them. I can promise you that every cancer patient has felt like this. The tests never stop, the appts never stop, and we all know that the worry NEVER stops.

I can worry all I want but it's not going to change the results and regardless of waiting for test results, as I said, I am doing very well. Honestly, I feel really good about the future, I have been lucky enough to get involved with some great organizations to help in any way I can, and I've finally taken over the driver's seat of my life and thrown cancer in the back seat (dammit, another analogy).

If you're on Twitter, say 'hello' @lovlykatielumps. I like to pretend like I know what I'm doing on Twitter but truthfully, be patient with me if you do decide to follow me.

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