Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maybe I Didn't Overreact

Sunset at the dog park, moments before I got the news.


This is going to be an interesting challenge for me, telling you what's going on without going into "too much information" yucky detail.

On Election Night, I had a symptom that very seldom means cancer. Most likely it was stress-related, or a fairly benign hormonal imbalance. I freaked out a little anyway.

I got the go-ahead from John to go see my doctor, even though I have no job and no health insurance. She ordered a blood test. Tonight she called me back. Dr. L is 70-80% sure it's just me having stress and my usual wonkiness. After all, I've had plenty of stress since First Magnus folded, including Tuffy's cancer. But she feels that margin of uncertainty is too high not to test for cancer. Because of the lack of insurance, she wants to skip the ultrasound and go for a biopsy. I guess I'll have to put it on a credit card. If it's cancer, I'll probably be in debt for the rest of my life. John is worried that we'll "lose everything," but I told him that's not true. Even if I got a job tomorrow, it's presumably too late to avoid the preexisting condition trap.

Tonight I've been freaking out a little, trying to think about something else but not really succeeding. I've read bits and pieces of cancer sites online, and it's not comforting. I'm in most of the risk factor categories, although I only have one of the symptoms.

A little while ago I decided to save this entry to draft and not post it, largely because of the pre-existing condition issue. I don't want to give some future insurer an excuse not to cover me. But as I consider it further, I realize I lost that battle when I went to see the doctor at all. And I already went public, in similarly general terms, in an entry on BarackObama.com, and in a cryptic remark right here last week. Odds are excellent that I don't have cancer, and there will be no major problems for a company to disallow treatment for. But frankly, even if everything is fine this time, I still need the health care reform that Barack Obama proposed during his campaign. A lot of people do. I just hope he can get it done. Eventually.


Dogs on the bed watch for clues that a trip to the dog park is imminent.


Pepper watches for dogs in the Reid Park parking lot.

I'm not really up for writing about anything else tonight, but I can post some unrelated photos. I've been neglecting Pepper photographically recently, so here, by request, are two photos that feature her.

Almost-homemade soup is on the way.

We had Tuna Helper tonight, and I almost forgot to add the tuna. John says "no more Helper," even though we've only had it once. Guess it's time to figure out a different grocery strategy for our austerity food budget. I know! I'll try this activity known as "cooking" that Carly is so keen about. Check out tonight's groceries. For Wednesday's dinner, I'll be turning the remains of Monday's roast chicken into chicken soup. And look! A new entry in the "pumpkin anything" derby: two-bite pumpkin walnut cookies!

Karen

6 comments:

DesLily said...

your doctor is going to be right on this.. it's stress. I refuse to let it be more ..though stress can do some nasty things to you... I know.
I won't tell you to try to relax because I know you can't.. but she will be right.. it's stress.

Dawn Allynn said...

I know exactly how you feel. I had what we thought was cancer last year, uterine to be exact. It turned out not to be cancer at all, but it scared me so bad we went ahead and did a hysterectomy since I am not having any more kids anyway.

I will never forget how frightened I was while waiting, but at the same time, it gave me so much to consider that has changed my outlook on life.

Now my father has a mass, and that has us all worried as well, but we start to realize that worry won't make it better, only love can do that.

Big hugs coming your way from me... I am sure it's stress, but isn't it nice to get hugs for stress too?

just me said...

That is scary stuff but it is really a good idea to get it tested. Then you know for sure and can go from there. Stress can do alot of stuff to our bodies and I sure thats all it is.
Best wishes.
Barbara

Janet said...

I'll be thinking good, positive thoughts for you! This is scary, and I'm sorry :(

Jama said...

Stress can really create an inbalance to our body, take care and don't worry too much. Just take one day at a time and enjoy it the best that you can.

applebonkers.livejournal.com said...

Karen,

It sounds like the odds are against you having cancer, but I'm really glad you're being proactive and getting tested right away, because I know early detection is often what makes all the difference. I know not having health insurance makes it doubly hard - I sure hope we can get that problem fixed in this country! My thoughts, love, and prayers are with you, as they always are!

-Sarah