Sunday, May 27, 2012

No Metastasis

"No evidence of metastatic disease."

Those are the words I was looking for.

I've  had a bit of a scare going over the past couple of weeks.  

My basic complaint to my internist was, "I've completely fallen apart."  Among the details:  intense lower back pain accompanied by a host of other symptoms which have made both movement and sleep difficult.

She decided to order an MRI designed to detect the spinal problems that might be the source of my problems, but in doing so she also raised the alarming specter of breast cancer metastasis to the bone.

Not possible, I thought.  My cancer was by definition physically confined and there was never even the most minute evidence of its having spread.  But I did some reading and realized that an infinitesimal possibility for disaster did exist.

I thought about it very little, but the pressure was lodged somewhere in the folds of my brain: the recognition that life as I know it could end yet again, that major treatment decisions might be required, and that my prospects might be dim indeed.

I think the report was lost; the results were dictated the day after the MRI, but no summary appeared online until three days after I called a week later. (I have yet to speak to my doctor.) I was beginning to imagine that my cause of death might be Misplaced Medical Records.

At any rate, buried in a host of technical diagnostic terms that I eventually had to look up, the phrase I sought materialized.   I do have some spinal stuff going on that must be addressed if I intend to make a Camino or Mountains-to-Sea walk one day, but that's a minor complaint in light of what night have been.


  1. Goodness! I am glad to hear that it did not metastasize. Also, spinal stuff? Might it me related to muscles and tendons pulling disks out of alignment? If so, see a massage therapist who can do deep tissue work with a chiropractor who can align the bones - need to see both - just a chiro and the muscles will just pull the bones out again; just a massage therapist and the bones may not realign and instead pull on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments...anyway. It could be something altogether different, but just a thought. Hope you get to make the walk one day!

  2. It's a bitch. This cancer thing. Glad it's just a scare, but scares are awful in their own right.

    1. Yes, and I see that this is going to be part of the new normal. I have routine medical appointments this summer and I am already imagining the word "cancer" coming out of doctors' mouths.

  3. Thanks be to God with alleluias (I don't care that we are nearly back in the time we call Ordinary)!

  4. What an awful scare, glad waiting is over and you know what gives.

  5. I join the others in saying, "Thanks be to God!"

  6. First Oh my....and then...oh yes.

  7. I am both so relieved and so pissed that you had to go through this Robin. Enough already! I'm glad in the end it was ok.

  8. Great news in the scheme of things!

  9. Jeeze Looeeze Robin!! I'm so glad that particular scare has passed.

    Years ago my mom said something that has really stuck with me - "the golden years are not for sissies" .... and so we will soldier on.

    I hope that your summer doctor visits all get by with just questions about your cancer and not anything having to do with something new.