Scanxiety. It's a word we cancer freakazoids toss around when we have upcoming dates with the CT donut, or the bone scanner coffin, or the MRI spaceship, or the mammomasher.
Oddly, I had none when I first became acquainted with those machines. No Ativan or Xanax required. I just sat there and let them do their work and didn't think of what (else) they could possibly find.
I didn't react when I was told that the MRI results revealed that an area north of the original tumor "lit up". It was going to be scooped out anyway.
Fast forward to the Walk of Terror to the pre-op area. The staging area for us lucky fucks that get to be under the influence just like Michael Jackson, only with less dying.
After I put on the highly fashionable shower cap to cover my (soon to be ex) hair, I was fitted with these ridonkulous automatic compression stockings that my fastidious plastic surgeon always orders so that his patients don't wake up with elephant legs in addition to their highly altered body parts.
Thanks to the power of Versed, the last thing I remember is looking at the now-breathing stockings and wanting to rip them off.
Seven hours later, I was the proud owner of:
- A nippleless saline boob balloon, with skin grafted from my back replacing the cancerous areola.
- A horizontal back scar the likes of which hurt worse than labor.
I was awake in the recovery room, but not aware of anything. Apparently I was one feisty bitch in there. The nurses were treated to me shouting repeatedly: "I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE I HAVE CANCER! I'M ONLY 33!" No one in my family was allowed to see me in the recovery room, which makes me think they shot me full of Haldol or something to make me stop yelling.
I regained awareness in a tiny hospital room with flowered wallpaper. My husband and parents were standing in front of my bed. They had been talking to me but apparently I was staring at them and not answering. When the curtain finally lifted, I remember my husband saying "The lymph nodes didn't have any visible cancer, but pathology has to confirm that."
Wow, my first lucky break. That could bump me back a stage.
"And she thinks she got clear margins."
I could a drop a letter! Stage IIA!
I could win 38% more chance of survival within five years.