Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Queen Awesome's Adventures in Cancerland: World 8

Needles, CT scans and appointments; Oh my!

Last Wednesday, after my appointment with Dr Bobyn, I got a call from Kim, Dr Baliski's receptionist. She called to book me an appointment to get a blood test and give me a bit more information. I was to go in and get my blood work done asap and once the results were back, she would send the request in for the CT scan. The hospital would them book the scan and call me with the appointment time. The next morning I had to drive my sister to some appointments so I requested that the blood work be done at the lab on KLO. Kari's first appointment was in that area at 8:15 am and would take at least a half hour. So the next morning, I dropped Kari off and headed over to get stuck. The girl that I had was great. When they first called my name, I was brought to a cubicle kind of area with 2 chairs. At this point my usual case of the shakes began. The taker of the blood noticed me shaking and asked if I needed to lie down. I declined. I just wanted to get it done! While she got everything prepared, another lady was brought in and seated in the chair across from me. No, no, this was not good. In order to keep myself even remotely sane during a needle, I need to pick a spot, stare and focus on breathing. Needles to the left of me; needles to the right of me; lady getting poked in front of me; nope, this won't work at all! Thankfully the girl was really good about it and wasn't bothered at all when I requested a more private space. The private area with the bed was available and soon it was all over. She told me it would be 2 business days until my doctors got my results, so I called Dr Bobyn's office right away to make an appointment. The soonest appointment I could get is for Thursday (June 10th), so I'll know what the blood work was for and the results then. Hurry up and wait. This is certainly a lesson in patience!

Saturday was another long and busy day. It was the day I started telling family. Allan had agreed to come up to help me tell Mom. I was pretty sure she wouldn't take the news all that well and I didn't know if I could handle her reaction. Waiting for Allan to arrive was nerve racking. My stomach was one giant knot. Allan arrived at about 2:00 pm and I headed upstairs. We sat down and Allan asked if I wanted him to say it. I said I would do it. "Mom, I got the test results back and it's cancer." Her reaction surprised me. There was some misdirected anger towards a caregiver that has been giving us problems and then not much of a reaction at all. I told her and Allan what the course of action would be and explained the different types of skin cancer and which one I had. I started to feel silly for having Allan come over. Mom was dealing just fine. Or so I thought. Sigh, yes, my great plan backfired. Allan was barely down the street when the tears started. She didn't want to worry Allan. Oy, he had been there to help! I spent the next couple hours sitting with Mom, trying to calm her.

After Kerrie got off work, it was time for Round 2. We had made plans to have dinner with my sister, Kari and I had convinced my brother, Bryan to come by for a bit. I told him that I had something important to tell him that I didn't want to say through text message. We got to my dad's house and I made dinner while Kerrie mowed the lawn. Once Bryan got there, I asked Kerrie to come in and we all sat in the living room so I could tell them. Kerrie focused on my sister and I stared at Bryan. I looked at my sister once and felt the tears coming. I didn't want to cry, so I focused on Bryan. Bryan had been sitting casually, but as soon as the words "I have cancer" came out of my mouth, he sat straight up and looked protective. Kerrie told me my sister's eyes got wide and her jaw dropped a bit. She was definitely shocked. I explained what type of skin cancer I had and answered Bryan's questions. Kari didn't say much. She had had a rough day already so I'm sure this news was a bit overwhelming. We sat and talked for a bit until dusk started closing in. Kerrie went out to finish mowing the lawn and I finished making the garlic bread. Bryan ended up staying for dinner. The turkey breasts that I had on the barbeque were a little dry by this point but it was nice to all have dinner together.

When Kerrie and I got back to my place that night, I was exhausted. I didn't realize how mentally draining the day was going to be. Dad and Karen will be home on Saturday. I will tell them this weekend and then a couple of aunts and uncles. And then this secret I've been carrying around will finally be in the open! I look forward to that. This secret business and watching what I say is tiring!

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