The Good, The Bad, The Unknown

I admit it, I’m a control freak. I hate not being in control, and I have to tell you, cancer leaves you feeling completely out of control. It’s a horrible feeling. But, perhaps, it’s God’s way of reminding me that I am not in control, no matter how desperately I want to be.

On Wednesday, I had a PET CT scan. Overall a fairly easy test. Except for the fact that nobody can find my veins. The guy in the hazmat suit who was in charge of injecting me with the radioactive glucose, had no luck finding a vein. He ended up injecting it into my wrist, which hurt like a son of …….  I can’t remember the last time an injection brought tears to my eyes. But this one certainly did. Then I was left in a room by myself, marked with a “radioactive” emblem. I was given a remote control and a warm blanket and told not to move for about an hour. I watched “The Price is Right” while curled up in the fetal position. At one point I had to use the restroom. I was instructed to use the facility marked “hot restroom.” Ok, so I admit this made me giggle.

About 10 minutes into the 11:00 news, another guy walked in and asked if I was ready……whatever that means. I couldn’t tell if I was glowing or not, so I left it to his professional judgement. I was told to lay down on a table that would scan me from head to mid calf. I couldn’t help but thinking…..”hope there’s no cancer in my toes.” The test took about 25 minutes, then I was given a little “goodie bag” with water and snacks. I would rather have had a margarita. And off I went.

I was hoping to hear something that afternoon, but no phone call. I was hoping to hear something the next day, but no phone call. I took matters into my own hands and called my surgeon myself. That’s what he gets for giving me his cell phone number. He assured me that there were no results as of yet, but he would call me the minute he knew anything. He called later that afternoon, just to tell me that he still hadn’t heard anything.

So that brings us to Friday (today). Waiting…..waiting……waiting……no phone call. I emailed my oncologist even though I knew he wasn’t in the office. I’m positive everyone checks their email even when they’re away from work, just like I do. So I was sure he would get back to me. About 4:00 pm I get a phone call from his nurse. Again, she is simply acknowledging my email, but reiterates that there are still no results. At this point…..I’m getting pissed. How long does it take to read a scan? Really? These evil masochists are going to make me wait until Monday? Seriously? I refrain from coming completely unglued, and manage to thank her for calling me.

My 8th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. Mark and I prepare to go out to dinner. A happy occasion, but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over me and dampens the mood. Ativan? MMMM…….better wait as I see wine or martinis in my near future. Dinner is pleasant, but quiet. And then……… cell phone rings. It is a woman named J. She has been an angel on earth since the minute I met her. She is not a doctor, not a nurse…..her official title is “care coordinator.” All I have to say is thank God for J. She seems to be one of the few people that “get it.” She calls me at 6:30 on a Friday night with my PET CT results. Anyone else would wait until Monday……but J. knows I want the information and I want it asap.

So, good news is there is no evidence of cancer anywhere…….except my spine (the bad news). It’s not as good as “no cancer anywhere,” but certainly better than “cancer is everywhere.”  From what I have read, metastatic disease to the bone is the easiest to manage, but also the most painful. Again, good and bad.

The next step is a biopsy. J. asks if I want her to arrange the biopsy and take the first available appointment. She truly is an angel, I’m convinced. Surgery, treatment, and next steps depend on what the biopsy shows. Of course I want to get it done asap. There are still many “unknowns,” but the picture is slowly getting clearer. I am so grateful that I do not have to suffer through an entire weekend not knowing the results of the PET. My nerves are shot and I don’t know how I would have survived.

There are still many unknowns and a long road ahead. I keep praying, keep hoping, keep looking forward to whatever comes next. I’m feeling more hopeful. Hope that I may make it to see Nick graduate. Hope that I can continue in a career that I love. Hope that life may be “normal” for a few more years.

Again, thank you for the prayers and support. Thanks for your emails, cards, and comments on my blog that keep my cup of hope filled and overflowing. I’m blessed in so many ways.


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7 Responses to The Good, The Bad, The Unknown

  1. Leslie Durant says:

    I always say that great things happen to great people. But when bad things happen to great people it confuses me. Then I read your post and I see that your anniversary is tomorrow — a great thing…and God has blessed you with Nick – great again. So, I see that great things do happen to great people – always overpowering the bad. Love to you!

  2. Dale says:

    Glad you finally got the word. Wish it could have been better- as in ‘no cancer’ anywhere but your breast. However, I always believed that the big C hadn’t spread everywhere or anywhere other than where you knew it was. Like I told you, you’ve got to stay positive and be an optimist. Because expecting the worst and being a pessimist is frankly an awful way to live. And you still have a lot more of that to do.

  3. Stacy says:

    Kay – I am truly sorry that you will be going through the painful process of the spine cancer. But remember what your Daddy and Uncle Neil (true Marines) alway proclaimed. “Pain is only weakness leaving the body.” WEAKNESS is not in your vocabulary. We are blessed having you in our lives. Love to you all.

  4. Heather says:

    Again, thank you for continuing to keep us updated on your situation. I went to a “24 hour prayer” gathering at my friend’s church last night and we lifted you, Mark, and Nick up in our prayers. I think about you daily and send a BIG hug your way!

  5. Sarah says:


    I have been watching your blog several times a day, looking for updates on your PET CT scan. I am so happy to hear the cancer is not in your liver! You WILL be seeing Nick graduate because you are a fighter! I love you lady and will continue to pray for you. Remember, I am here whenever you want to talk.
    xoxo- Sarah

  6. Sarah Hanson says:

    Kay- I have been keeping you in my thoughts. I am confident you will beat this! You will go on to see Nick graduate! I will continue with confidence in my heart, for you! You are so strong I believe in you! Love to you and your family!

  7. Suzanne says:

    Kay – I can’t stop thinking about you. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. But what I do know is you have more the strength, wisdom, and love than anyone I know! Your zest for life and your love for your family and friends is obvious! I know you’re going to beat this and see your son graduate from high school! What a wonderful and memorial day that will be!!!
    Love, Suzanne

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