Impromptu ER Trip

10 Apr

Did I mention I ended up in the ER a couple of weeks ago?


My bad.

I blame yoga.  I’ve recently upped my game with the yoga practice and have been trying to push my edge a little bit more each time I practice.  As we’ve discussed, I’m not in the shape I used to be and SURPRISE!  I ended up with some abdominal pain.  Nothing horrible.  Just a little twingey, stitchy feeling in my side that I noticed when I moved a certain way.

Now, normal people say, “Huh.  I have some random muscle pain. I must have overdone it with the yoga. Better rest up and back off.”

People who have just finished chemotherapy for ovarian cancer say, “Oh shit, my cancer is totally back.”

Ok, maybe not ALL people who just finished chemo.  Just crazy ones like me.

This is definitely the dark side of remission.  Every twinge, every headache, every sore spot could be cancer.  It could be the cancer you didn’t even know you had in the first place creeping back!  There’s really no point to this hyper-vigilance and I don’t always feel so paranoid.  In fact, most of the time I feel very optimistic and enjoy my life.  But sometimes, there’s nothing I can do to stop this black blob of fatal certainty from glomming on to my brain.  The fear has it’s own powerful logic and it’s hard to shake.  But, as William Kennedy says “fear is a cheap emotion, however full of wisdom.  And I’ve always thought of myself as a [wo]man of expensive taste.”

I did my best to reason with myself, but I ended up fretting for about 24 hours, constantly poking myself in the side…checking that yes, it still hurts and probably exacerbating the upset muscle even more.  Eventually I convince myself that I feel a lump.  Clearly my cancer has come back.  So that’s it.  It’s decided.  Nothing left to do but have some wine and lay on the sofa.

Chris suggested I call my doctor’s office.

I resisted…what are they going to do for me anyhow?  If it’s back, it’s back.  Why call?  I’ll see them in a couple of weeks anyhow.

Chris again suggested that I just call my doctor’s office.

So, the next morning, I left a long, convoluted message for my doctor.  One of the nurse practitioners called me back and I gave her a long, convoluted explanation of why I called.  This NP was one of the clinicians I’ve never seen.  Had she known me better, known my paranoid and persistent ways, the outcome might have been different.  As it was, she strongly advised me to go to the ER because who knows?  It could be cancer, it could be something to do with my potential, phantom fistula, but I’d better get it checked out.  Oh and don’t just go to any ER, drive 1.5 hours to the ER at the hospital because they have all my scans and records already.

Oh, goody.

Chris gallantly left work to come with me and off we went.  Luckily, there’s never much of a wait at the ER at my hospital and we got in quickly.  I chatted with the nurse – who decided that my pain is from all the “fist pumping you’ve been doing while partying since you stopped chemo, right?”  Turns out, she’s really not that far off.  The very nice doctor came in and ruled out urinary/kidney stuff, didn’t think it was a GI thing, didn’t feel a lump, didn’t think it was my fistula being all weird.  Basically she told me, yeah, I think you’re fine.  Little muscle/nerve pain.  Go on home.  Relax.

My abdominal area has literally not bothered me since.

Oh, and my CA-125 is down to 4.  Yeah, that’s right, FOUR.


3 Responses to “Impromptu ER Trip”

  1. Neal April 10, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Sometimes we are so stubborn that we don’t even listen to ourselves.

  2. Carol Thorup April 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I can totally relate. I finished chemo for uterine papillary serous carcinoma in January. I finished radiation last week. Every time I feel a twinge in my abdomen, I immediately think the cancer is back and my brain creates multiple gruesome scenarios. I’m hoping that with time my brain will be able to stop itself.

    I enjoy your blog and wish you continued good health.

  3. Erika April 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    FOUR!!!! What a beautiful number, Kerrigan!

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