Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Down, One to Go

I met with Dr Specht today and got the results of my first three of this week's tests—my MUGA, my PET, and my CT. In the MUGA, my heart function was considered to be the bottom end of normal, but there's not really any concern about that. Read more about the MUGA here. It's a number that fluctuates, and mine has been up and down, and I certainly seem to have plenty of energy and whatnot, good blood oxygen, etc etc. No one was concerned. My PET was completely normal, and my CT was not only normal as far as cancer stuff (or at least showed nothing new), my lungs had even cleared up more (Dr Specht thinks from the pneumonia scarring of last summer).

For the first time ever in an appointment, however, I broke down and sobbed and said that I had been feeling a lot of anxiety recently. Understandably, this alarmed Dr Specht, and she was suddenly worried that my tests had missed something important (or, perhaps, that tomorrow's test will show something important).

What the tests had missed, of course, is that emotional health cannot be measured using any sort of radiation.

Anyway, I explained that I had been feeling what I've now come to realize was mild anxiety, off and on since ending Taxol in March. It has recently become acute, particularly this week when I've been having major tests, am still recovering (structurally—my back has been growling at me on the left side where there's an old injury) from my surgery, and am planning a trip overseas that starts on Saturday and involves a transit time of about 17 hours.

I told her that I'd taken some time in September to really open up my emotional floodgates; that I'd found out and cleared some stuff that I'd been holding onto for 18 years, that I'd been grieving some major losses (my dad, my expectations of a normal life), in some ways for the very first time. I told her I was seeing a therapist, that I was not interested in medication (with the exception of some Ativan to take to Chile), and that I did not think I was crazy. I told her that she was not the first person to be alarmed, that I have been pretty calm and collected through most of everything for the last ten years and so this is definitely a departure, but that I really felt like I'd spent a long time focusing all my energy on physical and mental health, and now that I've achieved them, it was time to work on rounding out my whole Self with a dive into the Emotional Soup.

She told me that being a miracle did not, in any way, mean that I wasn't allowed to grieve and be angry, and she said that I had, again, convinced her that I was in good shape. She would like me to be on Keppra still, and was alarmed by the couple of migraines I've had with the language issue and the tingling fingers. I pointed out that those had occurred while I was taking Keppra, and I know that she is just concerned for me. She agreed that Dr Jason and I would work out that one based on what we see tomorrow.

I am not feeling anxious tonight.

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