Sunday, May 1, 2011

Return to Cancerland: A Welcome Back

In 2006 I was diagnosed with an early form of bladder cancer. Superficial, they called it, and I kind of wore that label with sardonic pride. After the shock, the surgery and biopsy were over, I settled into a healthier lifestyle, drinking green juices, looking really stupid doing Qi Gong, and whatnot.

So imagine my surprise when not six months later IT was back. This foreign body that was actually part of me (though I'd never own it) had the gall to return. This time we brought out the big guns: mitomycin-C chemotherapy. I guess I should be proud that I managed to go four years without a recurrence.

Friday was the big day. A small part of me knew - even whispered to me - that after she had me come in for a cath sample and wanted to perform my cystoscopy two months early, that there were malignant cells in my cytology report. And we confirmed it: a tumor is growing over my left ureter. For the past few months I've been suffering with terrible pain in my back, I've been running a low-grade but consistent fever. Edema forced me to remove my wedding ring. All of these things are consistent with reduced kidney function.

Tomorrow (Monday) I go in for a CT scan/IVP to see if the tumor has invaded my ureter and if she has to remove part of that or even - God forbid - my kidney. I'll just be glad to know the answers to questions I don't have yet, if that makes sense.

I haven't danced yet, even though we're ready to set up a workout room and dance studio in what would have been our baby nursery, had things gone differently. I have a barre, some Pilates equipment, and we're going to get my dad's treadmill. We have a TV and DVD player in there. I just want to release - just dance like in Zumba class, or in Nia. It's hard to think of my body as a living thing and not a lab rat.

I'm going to post tomorrow after my scan. It's important for me to document all of this. Thank you for reading.