With a Nor’easter brewing off the Atlantic coast this morning, I headed off to my second PET/CT scan in as many months. I was supposed to do this last week, but Hurricane Sandy made landfall and a 90 mph wind gust pushed the arm of a construction crane back over itself and there it hung like the sword of Damocles over 57th Street and 6th Avenue. The neighborhood was evacuated and many lives were disrupted. Businesses were closed, power was off, streets were blocked. It was a mess.
Minding its own business in the elements and then – BAM! – it’s a hunk of twisted junk that no one quite knows what to do with. It goes without saying that I can relate to the crane. Since July I’ve felt a bit like I have been just dangling from a high wire and wondering how or if I will get down, untangled, or somehow mended.
The TFK is working: the Death Star is much smaller, so much so that the boob is actually looking more normal these days. But the stickler has been the lower back pain I’ve experienced in earnest since mid September. It reached a near crescendo two weeks ago when I was, frankly, debilitated and leaning on my Swiffer–until I got a cane. And I’ve been walking with a cane since. The PET/CT was performed to see if the disease has progressed, notwithstanding the improvement in the Death Star. Or, if it is the same, if the lesion is pushing on a disc or nerve–which I kind of suspect.
The good news is that despite the consistent low grade pain that is in my lumbar/sacral area, the debilitating hip pain seems to have resolved itself. And I hardly needed the cane today–but took it with me just in case. And whenever something like this happens I immediately say to myself, “Oh, see? It’s gone. I can forget about it now and move on.” But this is a little different, isn’t it? I can’t wrap myself in denials this time. I have to remain vigilant. It’s not my strong suit.
I’m more than a little nervous about feeling better. That’s just crazy, when you think about it. Nervous about feeling better? Truth be told, I felt fine the last year and not only had the Death Star established its boob orbit, but it sent out tie fighters to establish cancer colonies elsewhere in my body. I felt fine. Then out of nowhere I was essentially debilitated for three weeks–and quite suddenly I began to feel better. How can that not be suspect? Was I just imagining all of that?
I’ve actually had to stop reading the discussion boards because I don’t know what to trust anymore. I can’t really relate to folks who are having mastectomies and going through the hell of chemotherapy and all of the associated side effects. I always accepted that I would need a lumpectomy at some point, but if TFK works I may never have to sacrifice any breast tissue to surgery. On the Stage IV boards I’m confronted by women who have been living with breast cancer and NED for years and it confuses me: do you die of this shit, or what? If long term survival is so bloody rare, then why do I see so many women surviving for so long? What’s going to happen to me? How do you plan for this stuff?
You can see why I can identify with the crane. Despite all of the activity around me, I’m just kind of stuck there until forces out of my control say differently.