Saturday, December 1, 2012
Knowing What You Don't Know
I've always felt I could take care of myself and could figure out what I needed. But that's a bit of self-delusion, especially when something serious happens. This little cancer journey--and I say little because it's new and because there seems to be a positive resolution in the near future--has reminded me that things aren't black and white. Not everything is knowable. The experts don't always agree. They CAN put something on the internet that isn't true. You know, just one surprise after another.
The trip from fear about something wrong to knowing it to fixing it to continuing to treat it has gone remarkably fast. My information changes day to day, partly because the facts change a bit, partly because my own rather uninformed thoughts are disposed of, though sometimes I've guessed or have understood something I've read on my own. It's funny what we know but not really--yes, some cancer cells had gone elsewhere but it's not a metastasized cancer. It's a couple of isolated cells. "They got it in time" has real meaning.
Wednesday I saw the radiologist and despite some things about the course of this cancer that sound a little like what I'd read about prostate cancer, it's not at all the same. So the passing thought that maybe radiation wasn't necessary since the cancer is very slow growing and it tends to affect, shall we say, older women, a question about doing that seemed to horrify the radiologist. She in fact seemed to know that I was going to ask, because I think I hinted at it with the oncologist a few days earlier.
It's not that I think I should or that I'm opposed to radiation. Just a question, folks. I'm also a little fuzzy brained still, maybe from the surgery, probably just being very tired, something radiation is likely to increase in the short run.
It will keep me busy--five days a week, five weeks. But the sessions are really short, after the first one where they measure and mark you to make sure they don't set your heart on fire or something. I was offered a slightly different option, three weeks, longer sessions but that would mean slightly less radiation delivered. But I'm in for a dime, in for a dollar. Five weeks it is, starting in January.