Simply Peace

This has been a rough week. I have had a lot of distraction from wallowing over the annoying spot in my lung with a bit of "it's life" pandemonium. Considering my job, my father-in-law's surgery, my daughter's wisdom teeth removal and a planned trip to Kansas City to see my sons the last week has been jamb packed. Add in a brainstorming session to work on website development and my mind has been gridlocked with hardly any time to really think. This, however, is not the case with my friends and loved ones.

Everywhere I have been people have been inquiring about that damnable spot. "What did your scan show?"  is the standard question. When I tell them the plan complete with the "waiting game" I have received a variety of reactions. Most people ask "Why don't you just take it out?" and then go on to say they could never wait. I find myself more or less defending my lack of action and then walking away feeling like perhaps I should consider this a bit more. Enter in the busy week and time for dwelling on my scan results and decision on how to handle it has definitely been sporadic and often interrupted.

As the dust settles on the last ten days of my life I find myself with time to second guess and over think the entire situation. I know that I do not have any real peace about the plan. I am scared. Yes, the spot could be something else, an inflamed nodule or perhaps a "blob" (for lack of a better term) from breathing polluted air all my life. But then I think, "I am 49 years old! I am not a smoker. I have been diagnosed with stage 4 anal cancer. What the hell else could it be?" This thought makes me feel that perhaps I am being naive or in denial.  This drives me to do some reading of which little is found and what I do read gives no comfort or sheds any light on what should be done. This is because nobody knows what to do. I can only presume there are not very many people like me. I talk with one of my besties and she recognizes that I am conflicted and she listens and helps me talk it through again...and then again. Hash and rehash as my husband would say. We conclude that the only one that hasn't weighed in is my radiation oncologist. I know he has seen my scan and my general oncologist indicated that they had talked but didn't reveal their conversation or describe what his impression had been. (Why didn't I ask when I was in there? I don't know. Overwhelmed I guess.) A phone call was in order here)

I never want to be considered a pest. Why I feel this way when I have to call a doctor, I don't know. I mean, this is their job, right? I am paying them, right? This is my life we are talking about here not automotive work. I wouldn't think twice about talking to our mechanic. I would call him in a second if I thought something wasn't running right even if I just pulled off their shop property. Regardless, I still feel like a pest when I call, but call I do. I leave a message for Teresa, radiation oncology nurse extrodanaire. She will help me. She always does. When she calls me back she seems surprised to hear from me. I relay the whole story and she says she will speak with the doctor. She quickly has answers for me and says that the doctor wants to work through my family practice center, which is where my scans are read. They had already called over there and my family doctor is on vacation...naturally. They will follow up on Monday.

Oddly, I feel more conflicted than ever. I feel like I am borrowing trouble. I don't want to over step any boundaries, right? But wait a second here, this is MY life. I should not feel like a bother to anybody. I should feel empowered. I am the CEO of my own health care, right? We need to know if that spot is cancer, right? But what if they take it out and it's not cancer. Does that make taking it out a mistake? I think not. I think either way I gain something...even if that "something" is simply peace.

Lainey, Dakota sent you a hug.
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We all deserve peace, serenity and a life free from severe pain. That's not asking for too much. Staying positive is difficult at times, but stay positive we must for our own peace of mind, and the benefit of others who may be experiencing difficulty coping with our illness. Having cancer does not make us any less human. We still need to give and receive love. Ron
I am a big fan of the peace that comes from knowing, especially with the holiday season coming up.
Yes we do need some sort of peace. Like you I always need to ask the questions and yes I always feel I am being a pest BUT it is our body and we are the ones going through this so hopefully everyone understands this. Hang in there - we are with you all the way Annabelle
NEVER feel like you are being a bother to anyone regarding your health. call as often as needed. harass as appropriate. it's your life so control it. if you get grief, laugh it off and call them back even more determined. be strong, stay positive and keep a good sense of humor. tj OD@aT
Michele, you should not hesitate to call your doctor(s) with questions. You have a right to get a response to your questions, even if it's "I don't know," which then should be followed by "but I'll do my best to find out." Doctors are getting very well paid to attend to their patients' needs and questions. Hang in there, my friend. Hugs-- Martha
I am so sorry you are so conflicted and well meaning and well meaning friends are not helping in the matter. I agree with everyone else, your doctors are there to help you,so please don't feel like a pest. I was even going to suggest getting a second opinion, but talking with your rad oncologist will provide that second opinion. Good luck. We are all thinking of you and praying for peace in this situation and good news!
I think you are thinking in the right direction. This IS your life. I have always felt that information is power. If any doctor is worth anything he or she will welcome any and all questions, in person or over the phone. Wishing you peace, always. Linda
Michele, it is hard to know what, if anything, to say. I will never understand doctors who behave as if they are mechanics and the question can wait until - tomorrow, next week, whenever they feel like it. Whatever else, taking action to remove the spot (out, out, damned spot!) is hardly a "mistake," and it would be a relief to find that it was not a what brings you peace!!! XOXO
Michele, as you think and talk and pray over your decisions it does sound as though you are making a kind of peace for yourself. I don't see your request for more information as borrowing trouble, it's gaining knowledge and deciding to act, or not act, based on that. Even if you decide to do nothing, it's an act of decision not the absence of one.
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Michele, Waiting, not knowing if you are making the right decision, and everything that goes with it is a struggle we all go through. I am always questioning whether have chemo and radiation 25 years ago for my breast cancer was the right decision and in doing so did I set myself up for my anal cancer diagnosis 25 years later. Something I will never know but I always remember that I made the best decision I could at the time with the information I had. Having stage 4 like you and still dealing with the tumors in my liver (and then having them descover some "spots in my lungs" I try everyday to get up, remember that I am very lucky to have this day ahead of me, and go about my business as "normally" as I can. I cannot dwell on the things I have no control over...only on my reasons to continue to live. I hope that you can find peace (and piece of mind) during this process. I will be thinking of you, knowing you are a strong person, and know you will get the answers you are looking for. Always, Maya
The right decision is whatever you feel will bring you the peace you need. There is no right or wrong answer. Be sure to take a time out for yourself . . . it sounds like you have so much going on! Sometimes just stopping to spend some much needed "me" time helps to quiet all the noise in our lives so we can see the answer we seek more clearly. Having cancer taught me that making time for myself and taking care of myself is necessary and doing so in no way makes me selfish. Take care of yourself, I am sure you'll find the right answer. And there is nothing wrong with calling your medical team and asking whatever questions need to be answered, that is what they are there for!
I have worked in healthcare my whole life and I promise you things don't go as we intent. Call, be persistent - it is your life. Praying for your peace.
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January 31, 1963 - June 10, 2020

Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

June 10

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.


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