Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Journey of 2011.................... Fear............

Part 1

I have seen cancerous tumours before, just a couple of times, but they didn't look at all like the blackness I saw on that screen. It took up the entire screen and I'd guess that screen was about 4 inches by 6 inches. As black as the tissue was, it was still possible to see the hills and valleys of the tumor. There were definitely smaller, round bumps all globbed together into one scary looking mass.

I did not think to ask if that mass was the face of the blockage closing off my colon or if it was on the side wall of it, although they did give me the opportunity to ask questions. It just did not occur to me at the time. Now I wish I knew which so maybe I will ask the surgeon the next time I see him. Now that I have some distance from that day I find I have lots of questions I "should" have asked.

The first time I ever saw a cancer was on a lab rat that was part of a science project of mine. The project was on tracing insulin in the body and had nothing to do with cancer but one of my rats got it anyway. In the beginning I didn't know what it was nor did my advisor.

It started off as a small lump on the under belly of the rat. The thing quickly grew into a much bigger lump. It didn't seem to bother the rat when I palpated the thing but I finally made the decision to euthanized the rat anyway because of how quickly that thing grew.

By the time I euthanized the animal, the tumor was not quite the size of a golf ball. It was perfectly round except where it attached to the body. It was covered in white fur most of the time until right at the end. Then a small portion of it got blackish looking and the hair was falling out where the skin was turning color. I didn't know then it was cancer but it was the black color that told me something was terribly wrong.

As a young adult I saw a similar growth on a dog. It, too, grew fast but it did not turn black. This lump grew flatter and did not cause hair loss but I suspect this cancer was internal where the tumor on the rat was probably actually in the skin.

I have also seen many pics of melanomas but they don't necessarily get black, but they can. I have had a couple of pre cancerous growths removed in the last year or so and they didn't really look anything like the many pictures of melanomas I have seen either. They just didn't look or feel like other moles either so that's why I got them checked.

For some reason I thought of all of these things as I looked at the blackness on the screen. The fact it took up the entire screen really scared me and being alone made it that much harder. I dreaded going back to my room to wait for surgery.

The doctor who had done this test asked me if there was anyone he could call for me. Of course, I asked him to call Dave because when he'd left we still didn't know what time was surgery was to be scheduled. Now I was told it was to be within the hour.

Before I left that lab, the surgeon came to see me to. He still seemed to think he could do the surgery without having to do an ostomy and he asked me if I wanted him to call my husband about what he had seen in my test results. I answered, "yes" never thinking that both men would actually call but when I talked to Dave much later I learned that each doctor had called making sure he knew exactly what was happening to me.

I didn't even make it back into bed before someone came to take me off for surgery, I didn't get much time to dwell on the blackness that seemed to want to grab my heart even though the image stayed foremost in my head. There was just too much going on to dwell on my tumor specifically but there was one thing for sure. In my mind that tumor was absolutely huge. To me that made the odds that I might not survive this cancer go through the roof.

Even though I tried to push that fear back, it was obviously right there pushing at me every step. I kept thinking about my father and how we thought he would live. To me it seemed like there had been at least four years between his diagnosis and the confirmation his cancer was back but I could be wrong. I was a child then..........and I felt like that same frightened child now.............

To be continued...................

A Foggy Afternoon......

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  1. I think it's wonderful how efficiently the hospital staff were in your case. They sure seem to have been willing to get you fixed up as quickly as possible.

  2. They were certainly on the ball with your care, I can imagine how overwhelmed you must have felt though with everything happening so fast. A terrifying expreience

  3. It all sounds so scary heart goes out to you in such a situation...even to look back on the experience and relive it like you are by writing it ...scary. I know when my Dad got Cancer it was scary thoughts with you and your recovery ....hopefully you are getting to your horses, even if just for smooches

  4. I've been reading all along in some shock myself. I can imagine how overwhelming this journey has been...

  5. It's pretty amazing how quickly it all came together. They sure didn't miss a beat there, did they?Maybe that is part of it though. Just get through this, get the necessary stuff done quick and efficiently- worry about everything else later...

  6. Wow! Things really moved fast for you once you got into the hospital! I think that's good though, not so much time to think about it. That is interesting that the mystery nurse is someone you know. I think I would have been a bit uncomfortable having an acquaintance do that procedure too. You did well Mikael!

    Great pictures of your horses as always!!!!

  7. I can understand how scared you were but I think it was good that they got you into surgery so fast. At least you didn't have much time to dwell on things. It's hard that Dave couldn't be there with you and you had to go through all this alone. Very brave gal.

  8. Wow they really did move fast! I would be pretty worried too if I seen some big black tumor.