Here I am. Pre-scan. It’s been more than a year since the last scan, but there is a lot riding on this one. Not only is this the greatest span of time we’ve ever left between scans, but this is the one that decides whether or not we can proceed with our fertility doctor.
I enjoyed my delicious contrast drink and happily accepted the offer of a heated blanket as I lay on the platform, dutifully following the directions. “Hold your breath… You may breathe.” Along with scanning my abdomen and pelvis, I have to have a chest scan, too, since Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma can recur in the lungs. The final step, activate that contrast with the IV, have the eerie peeing-in-your-pants feeling, and call it a scan. Then, time to wait.
I am lucky to have an amazing oncologist and nurse who understand how nerve-wracking this wait can be and called me that evening to let me know the good news… all is clear! Uterus is unremarkable. If there’s a time in life you don’t want to be unique or remarkable, this is that time.
There have been so many times in this process where I felt as though I was treading water in my life. The idea that I could move forward, see my fertility doctor, and craft a plan was almost unbelievable.
So, this past Monday, we met with my reproductive endocrinologist to discuss the next steps. Even though I recall doing rather well in sex ed, each appointment serves as a reminder that I don’t know crap about my body. I listened and diligently took notes of things to Google. I should start taking pre-natal vitamins…and start birth control? Does this lady know I got no ovaries and any natural pregnancy would be a medical marvel?
Thank goodness for a Facebook community of Chicagoland women with fertility issues. These badass women know their shit. They sent me resources on all the acronyms (somehow more than the education field) and suggested procedures and treatment approaches to ask about. Turns out the birth control pills help to build up the uterine lining (insert NBC The More You Know logo here).
Along with reintroducing estrogen to a body that had an estrogen-fueled cancer, it was time to stop to my medications that further suppressed estrogen and helped with my menopause-induced hot flashes.
The vertigo has been unreal. I feel a little nauseous. I get these weird heart palpitations and prickly feelings on my skin. Turning my head even a little bit throws my equilibrium. It will be a week tomorrow, and my first day back at work today ended with some tears in the parking lot. There was most definitely some self-pity in the tears. And some general pain. And lots of frustration. And, of course, self-deprecating internal monologue: “These are not the worst side effects in the world.” “So many people are going through so much more.” “You got good news, so just deal with this.”
Seemed like the perfect time for a blog post. Along with generally not feeling well this first day back, my co-sponsor and I had way too many phone calls and emails about students who didn’t get into National Honor Society. Though the majority came from kind and understandably disappointed parents and students, a few were so very out-of-touch (I’ll spare you the specifics). I was reminded once again that we all have rough days and get disappointing news. We all get to feel our feelings. But, at some point, we get to choose how we frame our attitudes. So tomorrow, I’ll keep on keepin’ on, a little dizzy, a little less patient, but pushing forward.
Next up: Hysteroscopy and biopsy on Friday, April 13…. muahaha!