Archive for April, 2009

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Scanxiety

April 14, 2009

The time is 3:16pm CST. I am on my couch typing. I have NOT made coffee, eaten, taken meds, or changed out of pj’s. I have PLENTY of work I should be doing and an impressive laundry pile that keeps getting shifted from one end of the bedroom to another. I haven’t turned on the TV, checked email, or answered my phone all day. I’m beginng to think something is wrong.

Yes indeed, I think something may be awry in the old noggin. I’m guessing its scanxiety. The ridiculous and convoluted scenarios that one concocts in anticpation of scan results. Every twitch you feel is most certainly a seizure. Discoloration of skin? Bloodclot for sure. Bumps of any size anywhere on your body are definitely tumors. Big ones. Ones that get AM radio reception when the weather is clear. (I don’t know what that means, either.)

I just can’t DO anything. Even sleeping brings me horrific dreams from my restaurant days. I get waiter nightmares of all damn things when I’m freaking out about a possible rediagnosis of cancer. Actually, I think that is more of a commentary on how freakishly stressful waiting tables can be; but I digress. Every time I close my eyes I get the familiar sight of my section of tables and a skanky hostess seating a group of two or four. And everytime I look up, that skinny bitch is seating my section again! and AGAIN! and AGAIN! I’m trying to enter an order in the computer and the piece of crap keeps freezing up and more and more suburban tourists keep flooding my section and I just KNOW they’re all gonna want hot tea because its the most pain in the ass thing to deliver and I don’t know how in the hell I’m going to get through another day smelling like garlic and wearing this stupid fucking tie! So napping seems like a bad idea.

Tomorrow I meet with my top oncologist to go over results of an upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and CT scan. It was a banner week, but I did manage to finish a pretty great novel in all of the waiting room time. I know the butt camera doc removed some polyps, but he doesn’t “think” they’re cancerous. Um yeah. I’ve heard that before. I’ve had many pals rediagnosed or relapsed lately and I just can’t help but think that I won’t be spared either. I have this nagging ache in my lower abdomen on the right side. Same area where my big tumor lurked last time. Maybe I’m imagining it. Maybe its just one of those things. Like an unexplained bruise you just sort of discover in the shower. No big deal. But the thing is, there is no more “no big deal” in my life anymore.

Colon cancer has no real external symptoms, so anything that feels remotely different to me is a big red flag I can’t ignore. I don’t wanna be a crackpot hypochondriac, but I just have NOTHING that I can really LOOK for as a sign of reoccurrance. Well that’s not true. I can check my poo for blood. But I didn’t even have that as a symptom when I was diagnosed. OH. Other big symptom: fatigue. Yeah. Says the girl on the couch. But seriously, who isn’t tired in this country?

My awesome doc says, “Let us worry about the cancer. You take care of you.” I know she’s right, but I can’t help but run these morbid hospital scenes in my brain. How I will tell my nurses that I’m not just here for a “port flush”. How I pass the time waiting for my home health care nurse to arrive. What expression I will manufacture when the doc delivers the bad news. That’s the creepy shit that keeps hanging in my brain. That and the memories of making hot freakin tea for fussy women with oversprayed hair who tip for shit.

OK. The time is now 3:54. Just over 24 hours until I talk with the doc. Twenty four individual hours to pass. Suggestions anyone on how to pass this time that doesn’t involve really doing anything? Or sleeping? Anyone?