To The Best of My Memory…

Days passed uneventfully. I tried to continue working. Many days I logged on from home and attended meetings by conference call instead of going into the office. I’d had a CT scan the day after my GYN visit. Those results plus the positive biopsy confirmed the advanced stage the GYN doctor had predicted. A PET scan was run to determine exactly where the cancer had spread so the oncologist would know how to proceed.

My memories of that first visit with the GYN/Oncologist are patchy. I remember being in the exam room, I remember the chair I sat in. I don’t remember the exam its self, although I know it happened. I remember him sitting on the little rolling stool in front of me, giving me ‘the plan’. I remember him telling me that “despite its advanced stage, cervical cancer has a history of being very responsive to treatment, so we could be hopeful, we did have a chance of beating this thing.” He explained the cancer that had began in my cervix had spread to my left kidney, bladder, pelvic wall, surrounding lymph nodes, and there was some involvement into the upper thigh of my left leg, but I’d have to refer to my medical records to tell you exactly what it was. I really have blocked a lot. What I do know is that I could still walk but could no longer lift my leg to step on or off a curb or step, and had to literally lift my leg with my hands to get in and out of the car. He told me we would start with six weeks of treatment, having radiation five days and chemotherapy one day each week. He would monitor progress and responsiveness of the cancer and adjust or change as necessary. I explained to him that I had moved there from out of state a short time ago and asked if this was something I could handle on my own or if I needed to go back home, to be with family who could help me if needed. His response was that I would have to manage, that we needed to begin immediately. I asked him to stage my cancer and to give me some statistics – what were my chances. I remember his exact words, can still hear his voice,” I promise you I will do everything I know how to fight this thing.” That told me everything I needed to know.

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