Thursday, February 4, 2010

I am having phantom nipple pain right now. Weird.

I've gotten a few requests regarding the pathology report, and I've kind of been waffling for a while about whether I want to share the information. There were no surprises in the report. It was neither particularly good or bad. In fact, it was pretty much exactly as I expected. I had a big tumor that chemo had shrunk some, but not all. I had some positive lymph nodes, but not all of my nodes were positive. My margins were clear (they were able to excise the entire tumor).

I'm reluctant to share the details because the path report doesn't provide any meaningful information. It doesn't change my course of treatment. It doesn't say whether my cancer is gone or not. It doesn't even give me valid information about my chances for survival. I know that we all need comfort right now, but there is no comfort to be found in the path report. Even at its best, this information provides a false sense of comfort. At its worst, it provides a potentially false sense of despair.

The fact of the matter is that this is a difficult process that's fraught with unknowns. I think it's important not to look for answers where there are none to be found. Sometimes, there is just no certainty to be had. That's just the way it is. And as I struggle to accept this, I need others around me to be cognizant of it as well.

In lighter news, I met my radiation oncologist today. I'm pretty sure today's theme was 70's ski lodge. I'm hoping for 80's hair metal next time. Also, when I asked where I marked down which super powers I'd like to receive, they let me know that usually super powers develop randomly, but they generally emerge soon after the first treatment. So, as of next week, I may be able to fly (which could require ab strength I don't currently have).

8 comments:

  1. Well, margins clear is a very good thing! Keep on keeping on, or insert whatever hippy phrase in honor of the 70's ski lodge you desire. :)

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  2. I get these crazy itches, but I'm still numb and can't feel myself scratching. So frustrating! You're right about the pathology - they are clinical and matter-of-fact but don't (can't) include all of the nonquantifiables, and even all that data can't say whether someone survives or not. It just gives your doctors the info they need to treat you best, so there's comfort in it there. Hope you're doing well.

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  3. "In lighter news, I met my radiation oncologist today. I'm pretty sure today's theme was 70's ski lodge. I'm hoping for 80's hair metal next time. Also, when I asked where I marked down which super powers I'd like to receive, they let me know that usually super powers develop randomly, but they generally emerge soon after the first treatment. So, as of next week, I may be able to fly (which could require ab strength I don't currently have). "
    awh! ♥

    i love reading your blog.

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  4. if you had the ability of flight as a superpower, you'd have everything built in. superpowers don't require upkeep. superman doesn't hit the gym. your ab weakness would vanish entirely while in flight and reemerge when you land.

    trust me.

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  5. flying would be a pretty sweet superpower, especially since w/o nipples, you are far more aerodynamic now.

    i myself would opt for STFU power. oh man, through the tv i'd use it on all the loudest blathering idiots. i'd cripple their mouths and throats. they'd go see their otolaryngologists and their otolaryngologists would just shrug.

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  6. Much like the STFU power, my ideal super power would be the ability to vomit at will with no ill effects. So, when someone starts saying something stupid, I could just puke on them.

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  7. How's your phantom nipple pain?

    Have you developed super powers yet?!

    Hope you're doing well..

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