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Friday, May 6, 2011

Contact Your Doctor ASAP

(Watching the sun come up at the Houston Texas airport. Part of the 29 hour trek to Costa Rica)

My eyes are crossed from lack of sleep and there's a large kink in my neck. We have been travelling all night but here we are in San Jose, Costa Rica. The heat slams you like a hot wall the second you step out of the plane. We become sheeple following the persons in front through the customs line-up, afterwards to the suitcases, then to the line-up of taxi drivers and shuttle drivers with names written on white sheets of paper they flap in the air like flags. We see our name and feel the relief. We meet Jose from Hermedia who packs us into his van before whisking us off to his hotel for the next two nights. We whiz past palm trees and flowering bushes, past signs in Spanish and I feel the flood of words from past trips to Mexico come back to me.
Jose is a good guide and sends us down the street to the university quarter for cheap cervazas and seafood cerviche once we get settled in.

Tomorrow will be an all-day tour which includes a coffee plantation, a waterfall park with a zoo filled with long, nasty snakes, poisonous frogs and white-faced monkeys and the highlight- a hike to the live and smoking Poas Volcano. This is a dangerous and exciting country.

My lap top refuses to co-operate and give me my mail so I use the public computer supplied by the hotel. I see a letter from the technician at the Finlandia Pharmacy where I had the thermal imaging done on my breasts two days ago. The results must have come back. I don't realize I am holding my breath until I read the words "please be advised that you should contact your doctor as soon as possible." The air trapped in my lungs comes out in a loud "ooof" like I have been hit by a baseball bat. I bend over for a second, wondering if I am going to throw up.
It passes. My brain starts hollering I knew it, I knew it! This isn't over. The nightmare continues!
I fire off a letter to my girlfriend, the doctor. It reads "panic, panic, freak-out, distressed, over-stressed, what now, why me, panicked and frightened. Love Deb."
I then fell apart.
What did they find? Has the cancer spread? Is it in my bones, my brain, my organs? Will it be quick? Should I go home? Should I go to the hospital here? Will I have time for a shot of tequila? Do they have tequila in Costa Rica?
My husband thankfully points out I should calm down a bit, possibly with a glass of red wine in my hand?
It takes more than a glass.
Okay. Back to the world of cancer. So what am I afraid of? They've already put me through every thing they could dream up, except a torture rack, which maybe will come next. So I'll be taller. But thinner, I quickly add!
Come on, Deb.This will be dealt with the same way as last time. Analyze, cut, poison and nuke. I can do this. I will do this. In fact, I absolutely refuse to go anywhere, if possible, before I have grandkids. And at the rate our kids are moving, that may take years. We will just have to deal with this. I'm almost back to full steam again. I have enough energy to kick some more cancer butt!
And look at the positive side. Here is another license to go ahead and eat multiple pounds of chocolate bars again. Yeah! Like a five-year-old. What...go through all that cancer crap again? But I can eat lots of chocolate again? Okay!"
And just like that, as I prepared to hit the little mini super beside the hotel, a message appeared from Sandi. Like two arms coming from the sky to wrap around me and whisper, "shhh, shhh, it will all be okay." Sandi went searching for more information on thermal imaging and told me that any results the imaging company had was not a diagnosis. Only a biopsy after a mammo, ultrasound or an MRI could give me that. And there were lots of false negatives and positives with thermal imaging, not to mention my breasts were still healing from surgeries and radiation. Healing promotes rapid cellular growth which would look similar to a cancer growth. She assured me we would book more tests after my holiday. She also said she was sure there wouldn't be a recurrence that fast. Along with other very re-assuring things.
The breath comes out. The breath goes in.
The chocolate stays on the shelf at the store.

I have been back in Canada for two days now. The test results from the Thermal Imaging was in the mail, and contrary to what the tech wrote, it says that the findings seem to concur with the surgeries and radiation. It welcomed me to return, no charge, to establish a base line from which future thermal imaging will be compared to. There was a list of vitamins to consider which I see I am already taking. Again it said to try and keep an alkaline rather than an acidic body and to drink plenty of fluids at all times. Cancer likes acidic, dehydrated bodies.

Not to create a panic, but I think I'd like to head out and find some seaweed to chew on. I can follow it with a big glass of BC's finest water. And possibly a teaspoon of baking soda just to be on the safe side. Those grandkids seem like a really long ways away.

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