I'm Not Every Other Woman, Now am I

“Everybody else’s mom is letting them go!” If you are a mom there is no doubt you have heard those words exclaimed from a plaintive child to which is commonly replied. “I’m not everybody else’s mom, now am I.” A similarly worded phrase was playing through my mind in my oncologist’s office on Tuesday when he revealed that I had a new “spot” in my right lung on my most recent PET. Forgotten was the list of questions in my notebook about my neuropathy and sciatic pain control as well as my complaints about having to wait for my scan results. I really could tell things were not okay from the way he entered the room. My bestie and husband had accompanied me to the appointment and I had gone through the usual routine of checking in, paying my “cover charge”, and obtaining my pager so I could be summoned by the MA when my turn to be seen arrived. Things seemed very “business as usual” and aside from my weight being down a little bit my vital signs looked good and we just sat joking and chatting while we waited for the doctor. When the pocket door slid open he entered and then turned to very slowly and deliberately close it. In his hand were my scan results which he had folded in half and his face was very serious. He started out saying “Well, you know the thing about the lymph nodes in the lung is they are a drainage system.” He immediately noted the puzzled look on all our faces and then asked “You’ve seen your PET results, right?”  “Oh.” He said. Then he read off a paragraph about some “hilar node” in the right lung. I immediately felt like I was being sucked backward into a dark, dangerous tunnel from which I had just safely emerged the vacuum of which created a sound over which nothing else could be heard. I felt a silent scream come from somewhere deep in my soul as the rug of my existence was yanked abruptly from beneath me. I tuned back in just in time to hear him direct me to get on the exam table. As I rose to get on the table I heard my husband and bestie asking some well crafted questions while I was trying to center my own thoughts. “Why!?” screamed my inner voice.

I sat down on the table and the room was quiet while he examined me. He was letting the news sink in before he said too much of anything. Then he sat down at the computer screen in the room and pulled up Google. “Are you serious?” I thought to myself. He was entered hilar node in the search box all the while talking about what it meant that the cancer had appeared in the hilar region of the lung, something about the lung lymphatic highway or something. I, of course, am distressed by the fact that he is “googling” what I assume is my type of cancer. I mean, shouldn't he know this already? Geesh! He clicked on an entry and a study came up. He immediately hit the “back” button. After several more attempts I just couldn't take it anymore and asked “What are you looking for?” “An anatomical picture of the lung hilar nodes. It’s hard to believe there aren't any on here.” He said. “Try clicking “images” on the top left corner” I said. He did and instantly the screen filled with a dozen or so pictures for him to select from. We all laughed. That was some much needed comic relief. After a thorough anatomical lesson I felt a bit of dread as the ramifications of location of this new spot soaked in. I heard “lobectomy, platinum based chemo, perhaps radiation, and a consultation of both my CT surgeon and MD Anderson.”  Further tests were discussed and would be scheduled ASAP.

As my oncologist opened the door to lead us to Kendra, the miracle worker scheduler, I had one final question on my mind. A question, that as I said earlier, was playing on a memory track in my head but worded just a little differently. “Why can’t I have breast cancer like every other woman my age?” I asked with a child like whine in my voice. “I wish you did too.” He answered solemnly. “I would know how to better care for you then.” But the answer that I heard in my mind went something more like this…. “I’m not every other woman, now am I.”

Leanne sent you a prayer.
Janet, Rachael sent you a hug.
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Michele-- This is certainly not the results you, or I or anyone else on this blog were hoping for. I have been in that exam room and experienced that look of dread on the face of the doctor as he/she enters the room. It's a horrible feeling. You have certainly had to experience that more than your fair share of times. I'm so sorry, but I am not about to give up on you, your doctors, or the new doctors who may get a crack at slaying this beast inside of you once and for all! I hope that consult with MDA is arranged and that, if necessary, you can go there for treatment. That spot has to go! As you get scheduled for the upcoming tests, procedures, and appts., please keep us posted. You will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers, as always. Hugs-- Martha
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Michelle, I don't know what to say but I can't leave without saying I'm sick, and heartsick, to read this. I hope you have a miracle worker for more than scheduling. Sadly of course women do get this cancer a lot, just not as many as have breast cancer...and nobody even wants to hear its name...I too wish I didn't feel so "special." Will wait for your news about more tests and scans and keep you in my heart always.
Michele likes this comment
Michelle I am sorry to hear the news , thank God you have family and friends who love you and will support you. You are an amazing woman.. and I can tell you will get through this also. I will pray all the answers come easy and you get through this quickly and get healthy fast. hugs and love Sabina
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No, you are not every other woman. You are quite special. I know you have mulled this possibility, but the abstract is much more comfortable than the concrete and proximate. You are in my prayers, as you navigate the test and decide what you want to do.
Michele likes this comment
You will get through this. You have way too many supporters and prayers going on for any other result.
Michele likes this comment
Michele, Just shoot me now.. I can't believe this .. Here is the thing .. Cancer is a chronic illness and we have to just try and keep it in check.. I know that is probably making this small and it's not .. It's a big deal.. But I know you will deal with this one breath at a time like you always have.. I'm really sorry you have to go through this .. Know we are here .. Love to you.. Lori
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Michele, So sorry to read this...thoughts, prayers, hugs are with you...you are and will continue to fight and beat this thing because of the woman you are! jeanne
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May you continue to have the strength and courage you need to battle this cancer. Praying for VICTORY! You are by no means every woman... you are amazing! Hugs, Linda
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Hope you are not still in that dark tunnel Michele - it's such a terrible place to be stuck. I agree with the others you seem to be an amazingly strong woman - but maybe at this time you would like not to have to be strong. What can anyone say? Hope the treatment is easier then you imagine and twice as effective. Hugs to you. Jan x
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I don't know what to say, Michele. Your news made me so sad and angry at the same time. My prayers are with you. Mari
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Michele, I know that tunnel, not an easy place; but there is light somewhere at one end or another, it just takes us strength from within to see that it exists. They do not have all the answers and if we believe they do we are making them Gods and they are human like we are. You are unique and however the cancer is with you, its your cancer and acts according to how it wants with you. That is why it is so hard to use a rubber stamp on cancer, does not work. As someone said its a chronic illness, more like an autoimmune disease; it robs vital energy from your immune system, creates its own cells to do with what it wants, follows no rules and without intervention it takes control. Start by making your body a fortress, strong and determined. Pull strength from everywhere, give your body wholesome food and drink; live within an environment cancer hates. Use that google search engine and find options, the more weapons you have in your corner the more you will win and it will lose.
Betsy, Michele like this comment
What a b....I can't believe you are still having to go through this sh..What I do know is that you and all your loved ones will tackle this in your usual manner. Thinking of you Hugs Annabelle
Michele likes this comment
Michele, I am so sorry to hear your news. My prayers are with you. Do they know it is cancer for certain on you node? Stay positive! I got the news of cancer in my lung after my rounds of 5-fu and rescan. It was surgically removed and I had chemo following the surgery to make sure the metastized crap was out of me! I am 3 months clear. Hang in there. You have the prayers of many with you!
Michele likes this comment
There are 2 nodes. Inoperable spot. Biopsy Tuesday by EBUS then off to MD Anderson.
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Vital Info

Posts

October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

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. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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