It’s ironic how Patty and I went through her journey nearly five years ago. Yes… it sucked but we learned so much… not just about cancer but also about each other, life, God and just how strong we both could be. So having gone through this together, we’re somewhat familiar with what’s going on with me. Granted there’s been no official diagnosis other than the tumor is real, but having the “C” word hanging above my head and not knowing is somewhat unsettling, to say the least. I think I’ve done pretty darn good putting everything into perspective. Bottom line is that it is what it is and there’s not much I can do about it other than stay positive and go through whatever tests the doctors want me to go through. Sure, I could easily burry my head in the sand, ignore and hope everything goes away, but I know that’s not going to happen. So, I’m reluctantly going to every appointment and test that’s scheduled! ARGH!!!
So there’s been some encouraging news. After my appointment with the urologist last week, he had ordered a battery of blood tests. That was a week ago this past Monday. I got the results last Wednesday. I was a little concerned when I heard the doctor say, along with all the other blood tests, he also wanted to run “Tumor Markers.” Having gone through this with Patty, I knew exactly what that test was for. Tumor markers are used to help detect, diagnose, and manage some types of cancer. Elevated tumor markers is a good indication of the presence of some type of cancer in your body. Scripps has a pretty good patient record system in place where I can actually log in to my account and review my medical records. So I had received an email from Scripps stating my medical records had be updated. I went online and there it was… the result of my bloodwork. The first click was on the “Comprehensive Metabolic Panel” which is pretty much every function/organ in your body. Everything came back within normal range! And believe it or not… even my liver function was normal! Ok… that’s good! I then saw the “Alpha-Fetoprotein” result button. That’s the tumor markers. I hesitated for a few seconds… closed my eyes and clicked. I slightly opened my eyes, pretty nervous what I’d see. The normal range for the tumor markers is 0 – 15. Mine came back a 2!!!!! That’s way on the low side! Terrific news!!!!! That’s very encouraging!!!! Phew! Ok… I’m feeling good!
I got a call last Thursday from the scheduler for my urologist wanting to schedule my surgery to get this damned thing out of me. She said she was currently scheduling his surgeries in mid-July! But, she said he had put a “stat” on my chart meaning he wants to do the surgery as soon as possible. I’m good with that! So, she was able to “squeeze” me in on Monday, May 4th at 4:30 p.m.! I’m good with that!
As I said, I’ve been doing pretty well ever since getting this news. I keep telling myself “This is just a bump in the road! That’s all!” And I’ve been sticking to it… until yesterday. The doctor’s office called yesterday wanting to schedule my MRI. I have to tell you, I HATE MRI’s! OK… I’m claustrophobic. I admit it! And sliding into that damned tube really makes me go crazy! Fortunately, in the past, the doctor had prescribed some Xanax (anti-anxiety) to help get me through the process. It’s worked before and I’m pretty confident it’ll be fine again. Anyway the scheduler called at 1:30 p.m. and asked if I could come in at 3:30 p.m. that day!!! Two hour later! I immediately panicked! I could have gone in, but I needed time to process this request. I told he that it wasn’t a good day but I’d be happy to come in the following day (today). She said “But the doctor put a “stat” on your MRI and we need to get it done right away!” Too bad… I wasn’t mentally ready to do this and what difference is a day going to make?! I again told her that it wasn’t a good day and I’d be happy to come in the following day. She said she needed to call me back. She called back a half hour later with my MRI appointment today at 11:00 a.m.
So… here’s the deal. I thought I had everything pretty much in perspective. But the tests continue and that’s the reality of what’s going on with me. Patty lovingly laughs saying “Ed, in no time at all, they’re going to know everything going on in your body!” Great! I’m not happy about the MRI but the reality is that they’re taking this very seriously and there’s definitely a sense of urgency from their side. So Ed… suck it up and go with the flow!
So, I’m putting this back into perspective and hanging on to 70% of these tumors are non-cancerous! My tumor markers were on the low side! All my bloodwork came back within normal range!
Bring on the MRI… and the Xanax!