Monday, December 04, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0376 - Same Time Next Year

A year ago, I was in the middle of a series of medical tests, first to confirm the original diagnosis of a malignant tumour by my gastroenterologist, then to stage the cancer so as to determine the best treatment protocol. This year, I am engaged in another series of medical tests but with the goal of declaring me cancer free. Unfortunately, the first test, a colonoscopy on the 30th of November, revealed some strange tissue near the anastomosis of my low anterior resection, something which prompted my surgeon to take a biopsy as he had done about this time last year when he performed a sigmoidoscopy. That second biopsy last year confirmed that the tumour was definitely malignant. This year, I have an appointment on Thursday to see what the pathologist says about the biopsy taken a few days ago.

On Wednesday, I have a full chest, pelvic, and abdominal CT scan, again another test similar to what I had this time last year. There is no MRI scheduled this year. Instead, I have consultations with a urologist, an allergist, and my family physician who will be performing the first of my post-treatment complete physical examinations, something which will be done quarterly for the first couple of years. What this all means is that it will be very close to Christmas when most of the results of this round of medical tests are delivered to me. It's almost a mirror image of last year.

Is it any wonder, then, that my thoughts keep returning to events of a year ago, to the prospect of more bad news. Yes, I realize that there may be nothing but good news to come my way in the next few weeks. And I understand that there is little to be gained emotionally from speculating about a diagnosis of recurrent cancer. But realizing and understanding such matters and feeling them viscerally are two different things entirely. My reptilian brain stem is responding to fear, an emotion so basic and so primitive that the higher level functioning of the cerebral cortex waits its turn for my attention.

But blogging should be more about sober second thought, about reflection and not reaction, about thinking things through, not venting. But I think I'll wait for that...maybe Thursday would be a good time to think and write with greater clarity and perspicuity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reptiles can't friggin' spell 'perspicuity', so we can now see which part of your brain is winning.

Way West