Waiting Room


I felt tense all morning. Clay woke up soaked from head to toe. I had to change the sheets and wash the blanket. Well Kelly did actually. When he returned from the basement he informed me that our dryer was totally dead. It has been coming but I just felt so defeated. I looked at him and said,” I can’t do this. I can’t figure out how to get a new one and how to have it delivered.” He smiled and agreed to take care of it. He searched around on craigslist until he left for work. So no laundry was done today. And none tomorrow I reckon. It’s okay though. This is just life stuff. I can do this. Everyone has to do this. It is just harder when I already feel like all I can do is have cancer. Sometimes I feel like that is all I have energy for. Mentally and emotionally anyway.

I distracted myself all day with the normal tasks. Clean something. Kiss someone. Go to the bank. Drop off videos. Pick up toys. Make dinner for the kids early so they do not need to make it later. Read email. I tried to quiet the thoughts rolling around in my subconscious. I smiled for my kids. I forced myself to be nice. This does not come easy to me when I am feeling stress. Behavioral conditioning. I blame my stress on the fact that every time I get one of these scans it is bad news. Always. So that is what I have come to expect. Maybe Thursday will be different.

Jesse came back from London just as I was leaving for my scan. Everything felt rushed and chaotic. It was not the best start to our homecoming and my tests. My friend Abbie drove me to the hospital. I was told that I did not need to drink any of the yucky stuff. Just three glasses of water. Then the receptionist said I had to “hold it in”. Abbie and I sat for over an hour watching CNN in the waiting room. Finally they called me back. The cat scan technician said I could in fact go to the bathroom, which was wonderful. Then they told me there was no nurse to access my port. I had told the scheduling person that I needed to have my port accessed to inject the contrast dye. In case you don’t know here’s why…when both my breasts were removed they also removed a lot of lymph nodes from under my arms. When they do this it increases the risk of a condition know as lymphedema. Swelling that does not go away. To combat the risk it is recommended that you get no needles in the arms. Or blood pressure. Or tattoos. I already have considerable swelling of my left arm. The last thing I need is to risk it getting worse or happening in the other arm. After a few minutes they found an emergency room nurse who was willing to come up and access me. After that it was smooth sailing.

The cat scan itself did not last very long. Supposedly they did my neck chest and abdomen. This should give us information about the growth in my neck as well as the spot in my sternum and my ribs. I am not sure about the cancer in my spine. I am not sure if the scan will “see” that. But I guess from this we might have a clear indication if my current treatment is working effectively. The waiting game is rough. Waiting to find out if and how much your cancer has spread or hopefully improved. The waiting makes me anxious. I am not myself. I like to be laid back. I like to feel relaxed.

I came home from the hospital and Clay was in need of mommy time. I changed him and snuggled with him until he fell asleep. As I laid there I quietly prayed. I prayed for all my friends with cancer and those in remission. I prayed for my city. I prayed for Barrack Obama. I prayed for my children and yours. I prayed that God would heal me and also the acceptance of His will. As I prayed and meditated on God’s word I felt more and more at peace. I felt more loved and protected. My fear lessened. My peaceful mind returned. Much quieter in spirit I left my sleeping baby and engaged with my family. I am home safe with my kids. Kelly is at work tattooing his hands off. I am going to watch Eddie and the Cruisers with the boys.

Thank you to all of you who love and support me physically and spiritually. It means so much to me. It keeps my spirits high. It makes me smile and laugh. I am blessed.

10 Responses to “Waiting Room”

  1. ByJane says:

    You don’t know me. I read your posts–just because you’re so damned honest. And I’m doing my version of praying for you.

  2. Renee Khan says:

    You are blessed Andrea. You are here.

    I know the anxiety too well. I just had a bone scan and go for a CT on Tuesday. I am already a nervous wreck thinking about it. I also hate everybody right now. Probably because of the upcoming event.

    There is nothing to say but that I understand.

  3. debi says:

    I know I cannot know what you are going through. Still, the more I read the more tense I felt. But you ended your post on a very peaceful note. I am praying still. I really do care. God Bless and keep you in the palm of his hand.

  4. “I feel like all I can do is have cancer. Sometimes I feel like that is all I have energy for. Mentally and emotionally anyway.”

    I know exactly what you mean here. Especially this week when I feel like I have no room to even think about all the things I need to do. It’s hard to focus on life when you’re fighting for your life.

    But you seem to manage it really well. You are strong and intelligent and have support. And you can do it. You know that. It’s hard sometimes, but you can do it.

  5. Fudd says:

    I think about you and whats happening often. I wish the best of love and life for you. Im still here in NOLA, although I may come up to Philly for Fat Matt’s wedding in April. You remember Matt, my roomate from 19th and Spring garden sts. I ate sushi the other day, and I thought about our lunches together in Chinatown.
    Take Care.


  6. Jodie says:

    Andrea, I am delurking for the first time here… I found you thru WhyMommy and haven’t stopped reading since.

    I would reiterate all of the wonderful things people, friends and strangers, have said about your strength, your spirit, your being. Admiration doesn’t quite convey the sentiment, I don’t know the word that would describe it, but you, lady, are amazing.

    When you said ** “I feel like all I can do is have cancer.” ** I stopped. My goodness… isn’t that enough? I have to stop myself, because I become so angry, so filled with rage that such special, wonderful people like you and Susan have to face this and have your lives robbed of the simplicity that is just being.

    I’m probably fumbling all over my words here… I’ve started to comment several times, but I’m just not good at conveying what I need to on a computer screen. I sit in awe, every single time I visit your little corner (daily, almost!) at your ability to seemingly balance it all. Your strength just takes my breath away. Really.

    And when you write about feeling down, weak, sad… it just reminds me that we are the same. And I wish, with every fiber of my being, that I could take this away for you. And Susan. And every other woman – mommy, sister, daughter, friend – who has to face this.

    You are a wonderful person, Andrea. Your family is so blessed to have you. And I feel so blessed to have found your site. Thank you, for letting me in and thank you for sharing such raw emotions. Thank you.

  7. Julie says:

    Wishing you a good scan and continued peace my friend.

  8. Eva says:

    I’m blessed to know your thoughts, you are so brave. Eva

  9. Kate W says:

    It’s 11pm Wednesday night. I hope you get some good sleep tonight. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. We are all waiting to hear how it went.

    Kate XOXO (from Merle’s memorial)

  10. joshua says:

    clothes can be better the 2nd or 3rd time around, anyway! welcome home jesse!