Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Don't Panic."

When I first started writing this blog after being diagnosed with stage III melanoma in January, I discussed needing reassuring doctors. I am the type of (needy?) person who needs to be told the truth in a positive manner. When a doctor stares at an ultrasound picture, shakes her head, and says, "I don't know" I assume I am going to croak tomorrow.

Dramatic, I know.

When my good ol' friend The Wizard called me today, I had prepared myself for bad news. Being the "glass is half full" type of doctor, I should have known he would reassure me that I am not going anywhere anytime soon. He did just that. He automatically says, "So, about your ultrasounds, they still look fine to me." He agreed that there is a need for an ultrasound/needle biopsy, but that he is still not overly concerned. He said, "there is no need to panic." That is what I needed to hear because I was (not-so-secretly) panicking.

I shared a brief summary of the experience I had with Dr. Lee and The Wizard politely me, "next time, no panicking. You call me instead." Have I mentioned that I adore this guy? He won major brownie points with me today. The Wizard explained again that thyroid nodules in young women are common and usually benign. He also stressed that I had 2 major surgeries within 2 months of each other. There has been a lot of trauma to the upper part of my body. I am still recovering. In other words, BREATHE, calm down, and give my body a chance to heal. Because I still have the swelling issue above my collarbone, under the left neck incision, he believes the "concerning area" could be lymph nodes overcompensating.  Since I do not have lymph nodes in my left armpit or the right side of my neck due to the most recent surgery, this theory makes sense to me.

We also discussed my first day in the "Chemo Suite." I asked him questions about my dropping blood pressure. He said that the nurses tend to be paranoid during infusions because they want to stop any complications before it becomes a huge problem. He said because I am "young and thin" that it is normal for me to have a lower blood pressure, and it may have continued to drop just because I was comfortable. I did list how I have been feeling since the infusion. He said, "You do realize those are side effects of Ipi, right?" Oh, how I hope...

This phone call made me relax. I wonder if doctors realize how their attitude, tone of voice, and vocabulary can change an entire situation. I know I am not out of the woods yet, the biopsy still needs to be done, but I am not going to prepare for the worst. I know the possibilities, but I also have my faith. Sloan Kettering is taking such good care of me, why should I doubt them? If the biopsy shows something unattractive, they will tackle it head on. I know that.

Yesterday, as I was spending time on my friend, The Treadmill, I was listening to my iPod, and Jason Mraz starts singing, "We will cure this dirty old disease. If you've got the poison, I've got the remedy.
The remedy is the experience. This is a dangerous liaison. I say the comedy is that it's serious. This is a strange enough new play on words...I won't worry my life away..I won't worry my life away..." Isn't it odd how a random song can play and it is somehow fits perfectly into your situation? My buddy Sean, from PolyChrome, sings this song every once in a while, but it never registered just how perfectly it fits into my life. Oh, music... But Jason has the right attitude, I should not worry my life away.

As my sister reminded me, I have melanoma. But, I am not melanoma. I am made up of so much more than this dirty, unpredictable cancer. So, like Jason, I won't worry my life away.

PS) I did not realize how adorable Jason Mraz is until watching the video...Cutie!

Jason Mraz: The Remedy (I Won't Worry.)

1 comment:

Kate said...

Thank goodness for Mr. Wizard!! So glad he was able to reassure you and looking forward to reading about good biopsy results! This is a great song and the lyrics are so strangely fitting. Glad you aren't worrying :)