Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Still fun and games, for now.

In other words, nobody around here is losing an eye, at least according to current plan.

So, we went up to Duke Eye Center yesterday. We were there from about 8:45 in the morning until about 6:45 at night. It was a long day, and people were shining bright lights in my eyes like they were expecting me to give up war secrets. But with the exception of one monolithic, lumbering orderly who expected me to follow him to the CT area without so much as a glance at me or a kind word, every single person I met was thoughtful, helpful, and gentle, even when they were doing something frightening.At one point a nice young doctor approached me with something she referred to as "a metal Q-Tip" and my handler nearly had to have me restrained in my chair.

My handler was Greg, BTW, and if ever a fella passed the sickness portion of the "in sickness and in health" exam with flying colors, it was he. Unfortunately, the test isn't over yet.

You would think, with all the poking and prodding and shining and flashing and testing that I would have been a bit testy at the end of the day, but I was feeling surprisingly calm and grateful. Dr. Mruthyunjaya, who is the boss of my eye, was incredible, even as tired and stressed as I was. He was direct and informative and managed to be compassionate at the same time. I seriously love him like I love Michelle Obama. Except Michelle tells me to exercise and she can't save my life. So maybe I love Dr. M. more.

He confirmed what Dr. S. had told us. It's a melanoma, though not the kind of melanoma you get on your skin. I didn't do anything to cause it. It's medium-sized. We will treat it aggressively, which means with a radioactive patch sewn behind my eye for five days. Yes. I am badass enough that I get an eye patch IN my eye. A nuclear one. Take THAT, sissy pirates.

The doctor is optimistic that this treatment will address the problem. He acknowledges that there is still some chance of metastasis, but he is optimistic that it won't occur. He didn't say what Dr. Google told me, that if this tumor does metastasize, I will die from this cancer. We are not going there right now. Right now I have a doctor who knows his sh*t, who is going to launch a full-scale nuclear attack on this tumor, which I have begun to refer to as "The Situation." It helps me somewhat to think of it as having a spray tan and a low IQ. It's going to be sitting there, waiting for someone to bring it a beer or some hair gel, and it's never going to know what hit it.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I'm very scared. Only an idiot wouldn't be scared. But I believe in God, and I believe in my doctor, and I believe that God moved me away from the Podunk, GA Regional Medical Center so I could be near this doctor. I'm in good hands, and right now I'm choosing to trust in that. A friend recently posted on Facebook something to the effect of, "Don't ask, 'Why was this done to me?' Ask, 'Why was this done FOR me?' When you do that, everything shifts." So I am trying to remember to ask the right questions, and to be quiet while I wait for further instructions.


16 comments:

  1. You are totally badass, and The Situation is about to get hit. Hard.

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    1. From your lips to God's ear, my friend.

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  2. "I didn't do anything to cause it."

    Keep that in mind while others ponder the many ways you could have avoided "The Situation" [sarcasm] Some doozey comments we received have been filed deep away, for security reasons. Some people are just plain...never mind. Some day, I'll share.

    Right there with you in so many ways: prayer, thoughts, prayer (I said that), your worries, and remembering. Remembering our own (similar) story many years ago. And look, 15 years later, that boy is your average teenage boy; oh! boy!
    Love you dear friend. Thanks for keeping us all updated on "The Situation".

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    1. Thank you for walking with me and holding my hand. Your boy is an inspiration to me, even before this.

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  3. Thank you for the update on your "Situation"! I am praying for you and just know that you will be fine. I am sure it is scary, so if you ever need to chat, let me know!! xoxo

    {{{{Hugs to you}}}}

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    1. Thank you for everything, especially the hugs.

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  4. I believe that there is nothing that can magnify the delirious joy of life more than a life-changing personal health issue. Being blessed with a "likely" terminal diagnosis almost 18 years ago, I only in retrospect realize that it was truly a blessing in disguise. A major health issue has a way of reminding one that life is to be cherished and every moment savoured. I found out who my true friends are, who my true family is and most importantly, who I am.

    To those who have never experienced "the joy of suffering" due to a serious health issue, I can only tell them that they have something profoundly powerful to look forward to. Appreciation of life's simple joys is so much deeper and meaningful only when one realizes that life is ephemeral.

    I am in absolute awe of your optimism and realistic expectations in the face of adversity. The mind heals....and so will you.

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    1. I think we have what everyone wants, and nobody would be willing to pay for. Still, you extract the gifts that the circumstances bring.

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  5. Glad you are in good hands and that you like th good hands you are in. I will be praying for you and "the situation." also, I have to giggle a little to image, the tumor ther sitting waiting for a beer, and boom.! Bye bye tumor.
    Thinking of you so much. (((hugs)))

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    1. Thinking of you, too. We will get through this. A little beaten up, maybe, but we'll get through.

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  6. Oh Becki. I'm just now seeing this, and you've got me laughing and crying and shaking my head in near-disbelief. You know I don't pray, but I'll be cheering you on as you give The Situation a righteous smackdown. xoxo

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  7. I'll take the support any way I can get it. Let's hope for a swift cancellation of "Jersey Shore: Retina Edition."

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  8. It's like that funky sweater your aunt knits for you that you can't imagine ever wearing, and then one day you realize that the initial incredulity of receiving it ended up making it a memory you'll treasure in that place in your brain that stores those "what'll you hear THIS one!" stories. I have no doubt that you'll kick this the heck out of your system. I'm planning on it, in fact. Now practice your inner eye pirate speak -- ARRRR!!!!

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  9. You're a fighter, so I'm positive this, too, shall pass. Seems like even with the onset of "The Situation", HE has guided you to the right direction.
    Love, hugs and prayers -- as always.
    (My eyes have been causing me grief for a year now-- and posting this comment for the nth time, is just hysterical since I can't seem to make-up the security codes, lol).

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  10. Becky, I love your blog, always have. Remember the food one??? It was like food porn. And although I hate this topic, your writing is as beautiful as ever.
    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
    Crystal

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  11. Fifteen years ago I was having eye problems and went to my doctor. "You might have a brain tumour, or cancer in your eye or something else," she said with no preamble and no hint of emotion, because she was an idiot with no heart. Turns out I had "something else" -- an infection behind my eye caused by spores in chicken poop. This is obviously very different from your own circumstances and not very relevant but so many people are amused that bird poop lead to my eye ball being removed (then cleaned off and popped back in) and so I thought maybe you'd appreciate the fact that at least you no one is laughing at your medical condition. Dignity -- it's such a grand thing.

    Anyway take care and if this comment doesn't amuse then you should track down Brandie because she sent out a call on twitter that you needed support. And so I came here.

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