Monday, May 17, 2010

a scare

Saturday I had a CT scan and an MRI. Over the past month or so, I've intermittently been awakening in the middle of the night with pain in my sternum. I've been worried and not worried, mostly taking my cues from my doctor; I trust him with my life. Friday he decided I needed to have some tests done. Having been through a lot at the medical center where I receive care, and having worked there for years until Abbott was born, people are prone to moving heaven and earth for me - in this case, squeezing me in on Saturday after deciding Friday that I needed to be evaluated. Not having to wait long was a real gift - anytime I get scheduled for a workup, I start fretting and getting panicky until it's over. I'm happy to say the tests did not show any cause for alarm - no cancer. I'll see my doctor later this week to discuss other possible causes of my symptoms.

In graduate school as part of my nurse practitioner training, I took a course on death and dying. Among other things, I had to write a will and get it notarized, and plan out my funeral (!). At the time of the course I had few possessions and didn't yet have children, so my will consisted of things like which relatives and friends would get particular books and earrings and other sentimental possessions. This was a couple of years after I first had cancer, and I was very uncomfortable directly facing my mortality; in general, I try not to think about it.

Throughout the close to an hour I was immobile in the MRI machine, I had very concrete thoughts about my mortality. I kept thinking, my life may be forever changed when this is over because of the information I'll receive. I may not be able to think of myself as a healthy person anymore. I need to think about what things I haven't done yet that I hope to accomplish before I die. Hurry.

30 comments:

Francesca said...

Oh Lecia, what a deep, strong and sincere post. I'm so, so glad that the tests results are good. Warm hugs.

Chai Ling said...

You will be blessed having to grow old with your husband, children and grandchildren and great grandchildren : ) Glad the results are benign. Take good care of yourself, Lecia.

montague said...

dear one - i am so happy to hear that the test were good... thinking of you and hope all is well. here's to a long, full and happy life!

Barbara said...

Oh! You must have been so frightened. And I'm so relieved for you and your lovely family they did not find cancer. Please keep us posted.
When you're young you rarely think about your own mortality...and in your case, after having gotten to know you just a little, you live life to the fullest with your family and the world around you.

I'm lots older, my children are grown, my job is done so to speak. But I still have things I would like to do...it keeps me young and active!

Tammie said...

such a moving post.

so relieved its not cancer. im sure you hugged your loved ones a bit tighter when you got the news.

Yiota said...

I'm so glad your news is good. Your post has reminded me to 'hold my loved ones tight' as often as possible.

pve design said...

You are in my thoughts. As I told you, I have a close friend fighting it out and each day is a gift, I am planning on teaching her water-color today.
pve

Jess said...

Lecia, I am so happy that you received good news from the tests.

E. MacDuff said...

In order to stay strong and be well, you must think positively. So stay strong and be well.

Ina in Alaska said...

So glad you can explore "other" reasons for your pain! Thank Goodness!!! WHEW!

Life is indeed a gift. I once heard Oprah remark on one of her shows that every healthy year after age 50 is a gift. I completely agree, but you are too young for what you have gone thru.

On a lighter topic, I had a chuckle when I read your Tweet about somebody complaining about the garbage cans in one of your Flickr pictures. WHATEVER!!!! Somebody put a random comment on my You Tube about my shower redo that was for my blog. They said it was a stupid video. Well, whatever to them too!!! xoxoxo

KPiep said...

Oh Lecia! I'm so sorry to hear that you've been having some trouble - and that you had to go through so many tests this weekend. Please know I'm sending you lots of hugs and well wishes today. I'm sure everything will be just fine.

Ruth said...

I'm so happy for you that you received good news. This is an extraordinary post.

Beth said...

I'm so glad to hear that the tests turned out well. Thanks for reminding me to savor every day!

Becky said...

Oh Lecia! Thank God the scans didn't show cancer.

Your description of your thoughts in the MRI machine gripped me. I know exactly what you mean. We just don't know what is coming. We do need to hold our loved ones tight.

shari said...

i have felt these feelings, too. thinking of you, lecia. xox

Frau said...

I'm glad everything turned out okay, thank god you got in early and know the results. Scary...(hugs) I'm glad your boys will have you around a lot longer.

Christina said...

i am so glad it all turned out, okay. i have these feeling too, at times. i just appreciate the word hurry, you have placed here.
xo

heidi said...

Just breathe. Hope all turns out well.... xoh

Jessica said...

I am so glad the news was good. I think scares like that really open our eyes--in a good way. Life seems a bit more sweet in the aftermath.

Blessings Flow Down said...

Exactly, heavy exhale...and grab your loved ones tight! Thank the Lord for great doctors and good news. :)

miriam said...

Lecia,

How fortunate you are to have such a great relationship with your medical provider; waiting is such a struggle.
So glad you were able to get in and get results (positive, too!) so quickly. What a relief to know that even if you are having some discomfort, it is not critically serious. I will keep you, and the boys, in my thoughts as I send healing wishes your way.
Good health is to be enjoyed; don't rush too much, you are already pretty far ahead in the game!
Hurry, but take it slow and easy.

Kwana said...

I'm so glad the test turned out well. I know about these scary times in the MRI machines. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

jenna @sweet fine day said...

thinking of you while you receive further information.Glad the initial tests brought good news! xoxo

Cynthia said...

Thank you for reminding me of what is important. Here's to your continued health!

* said...

I'm reading back emails and just read this entry. I'm so glad your tests were clear :) Thank you for being a bright, peaceful moment in my day :) I'm glad you're well!

-Allison in Frederick, Maryland

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

I am so sorry I am not reading this until now. I am so glad whatever is happening is not life threatening. And thank you for this post. I have been feeling this intensely. So very many people have been touched by cancer in the past 3+ years of my life. Since Finnian's birth, the battles have continued to be won, but just this past week, several blogging friends have posted about deaths in the family and I am reminded so intensely that the only thing that is inevitable in this life is death, so it is so important to make the most from and learn from each and every moment, good and bad, during our days.
Huge hugs to you, Lecia.
Nicola

Jane Flanagan said...

You're so amazing! I'm glad the tests were clear and hope you get to the bottom of this soon (and that it's all relatively harmless and treatable). Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

sean said...

oh lecia i am so relieved that it was not cancer again...i did not know you were a NP :) ...i am an RN too and i see death weekly in the ER (babies, elderly, young adults) and i too contemplate about my own mortality, knowing that at anytime it could be any of our last day...I come home from work and just squeeze and kiss my family...life is precious!!!!

Tirzah said...

So relieved that if something must be wrong, it's not serious. Still, it sounds really frustrating to be awakened by pain and not know why, even if you know what it isn't. I hope you get some answers and some rest, soon!

Elisabelle said...

oh...Lecia, what a relief to know that cancer is not back....
I cannot imagine how anxious you might have been...
sending your way big hugs!