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Anxiety Level: Normal

March 4, 2009

On Friday February 20th, I was numb.

If you remember, I have been having stomach pain, off and on,  and as part of some tests to rule things out, I had virtual colonoscopy on Wednesday February 18th.  By Friday I had forgotten about it, intending to call my doctor on the Monday to get an appointment to hear the results.  But when I got to the office, my message light was flashing.  It was my doctor’s receptionist asking that I call her back ASAP. My heart sank.  I called.  The doctor wanted to see me that morning, could I come in right away?.

When he came into the office I knew it wasn’t good. I had tried to tell myself otherwise, but his expression said it all. Not good news. The test showed something “very suspicious”. That’s the way the radiologist reported it. I asked my doctor what that might mean. And he said it. The C word. A very real possibility that cancer was present in my colon.

I went numb and I’m sure I went white. He paged the surgeon and stayed with me until the surgeon called back. I was told I would be contacted on the Monday for the next steps. I was lost; I barely remember driving to Kelly’s office. It was her lunch hour and some co-workers helped me find her. We found a quiet spot to talk and I tearfully told her the news. After some hugs and some comforting, I went back to the parking lot and sat in my van for a bit. I called one of my sisters, and told her.  After that I didn’t know what to do. I went back to my office  and asked them to be flexible for a few weeks. They were extremely understanding. 

I’ve spoken about my anxiety issues before. Everything else I had ever worried about now seemed insignificant. Hopefully that lesson will stick.

On Monday February 23rd, the surgeon’s assistant called and scheduled me for a real colonoscopy. She said in order to expedite things, the surgeon was sending me for the test right away, and he would see me afterwards, on Tuesday March 10th.

That test was today. And the surgeon himself was there. He’s a great doctor and a very nice guy to boot. I was not sedated much for the procedure, as my respiratory issues were a concern. It’s not a comfortable test without sedation, let me tell you. But today was one of the happiest days of my life.

After 12 days of serious anxiety, panic attacks and waking up most days depressed and terrified, the test revealed that there is nothing wrong with me. At least there is nothing wrong with my colon. I do not have cancer.

How can this be? Well, I was told by a nurse in the procedure room that virtual colonoscopies can sometimes be unreliable in that they can mistake, umm, left over materials in the colon, as something serious.

After I had gotten dressed the surgeon came to see me and said I did not need to go see him on Tuesday, there is nothing to talk about. He will send the report to my doctor and I can follow up with him.

I am on cloud nine. I can’t begin to describe the thoughts that had been going on in this head of mine the last twelve days. With Kelly’s compassion and support, I was able to get through the toughest times. My family, my faith and prayer was very helpful to me. And in the last few days, I have reached out to a few other friends, and their words of support helped me stay positive and to believe I was fine. And I am.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. quietCanuck permalink
    March 4, 2009 11:31 pm

    I’m soooo relieved and happy for you – and sad to hear about the tension you’ve been living with this last couple of weeks. What are you going to do to celebrate?

  2. March 5, 2009 2:43 am

    I’m very happy for you, too. Yes, do celebrate, and enjoy “not having cancer”! How often do we do this? Love, O

  3. March 5, 2009 8:31 am

    Sylvain! Even though I had no idea what was going on beforehand, I still got a HUGE wash of relief reading this today. I can’t imagine how relieved YOU were and are!! Like quietCanuck and Olivia said, you must celebrate, absolutely. Perhaps with some All-Bran? *grin* and *hug*

  4. March 5, 2009 8:38 pm

    Whew, what a rollercoaster for you. Here’s to many, many more years of uneventful plumbing. 🙂

  5. March 7, 2009 12:43 am

    Oh, I am so sorry I am coming to this late…but so relieved along with you and Kelly that you are well. Thank goodness. I can imagine the stress of thinking it might be cancer. OHMYGOD I would have been hysterical! So glad it was not and you can breathe easy.

    I never heard of a virtual colonoscopy…but I guess I won’t bother to ask my dr if I can do it that way next time. It’s not a fun event for sure, but better to see what’s really there healthwise huh? DH does it without drugs too…just because he hates giving up knowing what’s happening to him and the forgetting that the drugs cause.

    Stay well friend.

  6. March 7, 2009 3:45 pm

    Oh, my!

    Syl, it is such a relief to learn that you are okay.

    Obviously, the fact that you are full of it is what skewed the virtual colonoscopy!

    (I would apologize for the sick joke, but you would know I was not sincere)

  7. March 7, 2009 10:07 pm

    Ha, ha, Rick, a nurse beat you to that joke. K

  8. March 7, 2009 10:17 pm

    Yes Rick, seconds after the doctor had viewed the area in question, and noted that I was, in fact, cancer free, the nurse who was holding my hand at the time gave me a big smile and whispered, “see, I told you so!”. Then she added, “now when people tell you that you’re full sh!t, you can reply, YES!! YES I AM and I am HAPPY ABOUT IT!!”

  9. March 20, 2009 9:10 pm

    I am new to your blog and glad that you do not have have cancer. A very scary situation indeed. My positive vibes remain with you!

  10. Jacq permalink
    August 20, 2010 12:23 am

    I too am new to your blog. The ‘low’ of believing you had the Big C and the ‘high’ of learning you did not, was a rollercoaster just reading it.
    Happy tidings for good people happen for a reason. Guess you have much more to accomplish.

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