A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I've Never Learned to Limbo

I think I could live in practically any state...except for the state of Limbo.

However, despite my best efforts, I'm constantly being dragged there against my will. As a cancer survivor, you're often dangling between 2 possibilities -- do I have it, or do I not? Only time will tell.

After missing yet another call from the orthopedist, I aggressively tracked him down the next day--with the same determination as if he were an escaped convict--for an explanation of my MRI report. But his answer was disappointing. He didn't know. He advised me to have the report faxed to my oncologist for her to weigh in on this "mystery spot" on my leg bone.

Visions of my leg being sawed off raced before me. All I could think of was how everyone had said I was so brave to have this preemptive BRCA surgery, and I how told them that I could easily give up body parts -- like boobs & ovaries -- any day over losing something really important...like a leg. And now, here I am.

Cancer can cause one to become a drama queen--which I rightly have been crowned. There are some days in which it's simply impossible to be rational and calm. And this is one of them...or several of them, as far as I'm concerned. The worry that I have cancer in my leg bone hovers over me. I feel like Fay Wray in King Kong's grasp. That cancer has a grip on me and won't let me go, and I'm as weak and helpless as Fay Wray (without the movie star billing).

Cancer is like a terrorist. You never know when it's going to strike. So, you have to learn to live with this uncertainty. But try telling a control freak that.

After I ordered the MRI report to be faxed, I followed up with my oncologist's office. Again, no return call on Friday. Which gave me ALL weekend long to obsess.

I left another message this morning. No return call this afternoon. Finally, at the end of the day, my frazzled nerves won over my logical brain, and I took the matter into my hands. I called my oncologist's cell phone. I apologized for calling, but explained that I just needed to know, going forward, whether I should buy 1 pair of shoes, or a single shoe. Okay, so I wasn't quite that sarcastic, but it was something along those lines.

Tonight, she called me back from her home. I decided that although neither she nor I are Catholic, I'm still nominating her for sainthood...right up there Mother Teresa.

She told me that she wasn't overly worried about the report, but wanted to see me next week and have me bring the MRI...so she could explore this matter further. (In layman's terms, it's still not resolved.)

Limbo, like King Kong, just won't release me from its grip.

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