Friday, November 20, 2015

Haunted

Last week I went for my routine gynecological appointment.  Because I have a high probability of cancer recurrence, I have to get ultrasounds twice a year to check my uterus and ovaries.  Unfortunately this is what life is like after cancer.  Lots and lots of doctor appointments. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for medical technology and its ability to detect problems when they are still treatable.   Early breast cancer diagnosis and treatment allowed me to see my daughters graduate college and hopefully beyond.   I’m a fan, especially when the news is good.

But this time I got a red flag that my uterine lining is thickening.  It could be a result of the estrogen inhibitors I take, or it could be signaling something more nefarious.  So the PA said she wanted to do a biopsy.  Okay, back in the stirrups I went.  But she had a problem being able to get through my cervix and finally gave up.  Which is when I remembered that as a result of sexual assault, my cervix is scarred over.  I was told this long ago when I was going to be the partner to get pregnant - the scars would prevent that from ever happening.  At the time I was devastated but honestly, it's something I don’t have much cause to think about anymore.

Anyway, now I have to return to see a doctor who will do the procedure.  They gave me a prescription for some meds that will help open the cervix and some for pain.  I’m not at all sure they will help because of the scars.  I hope I will be able to talk to the doctor about it when the time comes although I have not been very successful ever being able to talk about it openly.

Still, there are two things that I want to note about this.  First, is that even with this reminder and obvious trigger, I handled it calmly.  Yes, a few choice curse words went through my mind., along with some “when will that one event stop controlling so much of my life?”  kind of thoughts.  I really hate that this stuff pops up in the weirdest of ways, randomly, and with no hope that it will ever be gone entirely. Haunted for life.  But the good news was that I experienced no flashbacks, no out of control anxiety, no PTSD symptoms at all.  I always like to emphasize these times as evidence to myself of healing.

Besides the possible return of cancer, the other thing that is occupying my thoughts is the impact of the world violence that has been is the news.  Most people are mourning the dead.  But my prayers always go to the injured of which there are always many, many more. I suppose my sympathies go there because I empathize with the physical and emotional burden that these people will have to deal with for the rest of their lives.  Like me there will be the horrific first impacts.  But even decades later, injuries will nag and limit.  The most random of sounds or smells or sights will body slam them back to relive their horrors again and again.   Or perhaps like Daphne, their memories and injuries will be too much to overcome.  These are the stories the news never tells. These are the stories that continue to haunt me.  

22 comments:

  1. I hope the biopsy goes well. I've had a couple of them but don't have the problem of a scarred cervix. I can't believe men do that to women, and yet I do believe it. I'm sorry you went through that. Sending hugs.

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  2. Wow - that just made me look at things from a whole different perspective. Hope everything works out well health wise... Keeping good thoughts!!!

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    1. Thank you. Always appreciated

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  3. I am happy that for this time, for this event you were able to escape the PTSD symptoms. That is huge! I wish it could be every time, but I understand why it can't.

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    1. It is so important for me to hang onto the small victories. It gives me confidence for whatever is ahead.

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  4. I am just now writing a sermon about the disparity of compassion for victims of violence. I would like to include, with your permission, your thoughts about the long term impact of violence on survivors. This was very enlightening as they are often the forgotten ones, especially over time.

    Good luck with both the biopsy and the results. You will be in my prayers for both an easy procedure and a positive outcome.

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    1. Permission granted earlier, of course. And thank you. All prayers gratefully accepted.

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    1. Thanks. All love and light and hugs very gratefully accepted.

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  6. On the second anniversary of the Boston bombing a local station did a story about this very thing. 3 people were killed but over 260 were injured. Those that were injured, and even just witnesses, are still dealing with terrible pain and memories and may be for life. It's truly horrible.

    Please let me know how the biopsy goes and if there is anything I can do*.

    (*besides sending Nutella)

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    1. WiIl do.

      Nutella covers just about everything I need : )

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  7. I took Tamoxifen and also had an increase in my uterine lining. Turned out totally benign. I hope the same will be for you.

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    1. Thanks. I am trying to keep my thoughts on that simple explanation. Glad it worked out for you.

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  8. my friend, you are one of the reasons i regret not blogging as often as i used to. (working on that). i don't like not 'being here' when you post something like this, so honest. i am overdrive praying that that biopsy is nothing, nothing, nothing. i know it's hard to wait for results in any case and your reason must make it extra hard.

    i can't tell you how much i admire you. (ha, i probably tell you every time!) i have a strong feeling everything is going to be alright and your holidays will be nice. you are deserving of that!!!

    i know what you mean about injured survivors. and i know the frigging flecking world is a mess. and i know good people like you make all the difference.

    love love
    kj

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    1. Thank you for you very kind words and for your prayers. They mean a lot to me.

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  9. I hope the biopsies aren't too difficult and you get good results, and quickly. Waiting is difficult.

    And I often think about those who are injured but not killed and what life ahead holds for them.

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    1. Thank you. I hate the waiting. And the stress eating.

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  10. Good for you, 8. No crippling triggers, no panic, no flashbacks... but, justifiable anger! This is such important progress. I'm glad that you are acknowledging how much further along your path you are. That is huge!

    I'm setting an intention, saying a prayer, holding the good thought that this uterine lining business is a side effect of the estrogen killer. But, seriously, have you considered having those spare parts taken out???

    Like you, I think about the survivors. Their road is so hard. No matter what the type of violence, it never completely leaves us, I think. The imprint is always there. We are lucky, who can manage to live healthy and satisfying lives afterward. Even though you didn't mean it that way, it's a good reminder of the beauty of our lives.

    Thinking about you, my friend, and holding you in my heart.

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    1. I have thought about it and will be talking to my doctor about. I would like everything I no longer need removed, including my gall bladder that has stones. Although I'm not sure my body is ready for yet another surgery.

      We are lucky, and I think the scars help to remind us of that.


      xoxoxo

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  11. You write with such truth and strength about something not sufficiently considered by our world. Living with scar tissue - of body, mind, or heart - such a price we pay for that. Thank you for writing about this. And much love, support, good outcome energy to you. ZC

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    1. Yes, thank you for reminding us that scars can effect the body, mind and heart.

      And thank you for the kind words.

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