The Waiting Game
Waiting can be difficult. I’ve been doing a lot of waiting these days it seems. Waiting for medical appointments, waiting for results, waiting for procedures, waiting for it to be time to take my next dose of pain medication, waiting for big deal medical treatments.
The old expression ‘a watched pot never boils’ comes to mind so I try to keep busy doing things to distract myself and take my mind off of things and to keep my mind active and positive as I also work through high levels of pain…..and I wait.
Right now I am waiting to hear from the cancer agency to book my initial consultation appointment with my Oncologists. Meeting with them will provide me with information and schedule for what I am being told at this point will be radiation treatment followed by chemotherapy. I am pretty much on hold for everything else in my life waiting for this process to begin. Waiting…
I have been incredibly fortunate so far with very little wait times between finding a lump, diagnosis of breast cancer to having my surgery completed. When meeting with my surgeon for my post surgical checkup the beginning of last week he indicated that the cancer agency is really quick and I should hear from them soon. Great news as I am off all medications for my Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease, formerly known as Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was just about to start the process of switching from one biological drug to another due to being non-responsive to the drug, or experiencing a fail as it is referred to. When the diagnosis of breast cancer came into play I needed to stop biological medications as well as the Methotrexate in preparation for surgery. On top of that, they cannot be taken at the same time as receiving chemo so I have been told to not resume them while waiting for chemo to start and to manage pain as best I can until then. The good news is that the chemo is pretty much assured to knock the Rheumatoid Disease into remission so that I will gladly welcome. I’d just like to get on with it so that I don’t have to be in such pain. Managing through a flare without your prescribed medications is not something to sign up for, take it from me. I’ve been off all meds for 5 weeks now.
So this is what I am currently waiting for….to find out WHEN my appointment is so I can plan. I am ready at a moment’s notice and will take the very first one that is available. Starting treatments is going to be the beginning of the next stage of this journey and I need to bank my energy and stay healthy so I can take it all in stride. And I need to be able to make my plan. It’s what I do and it’s a way for me to have something that is under control during this time when things are anything but under control. Just let me know when it will all start and I’m good to go. Not knowing is driving me crazy and there are things I want to do prior to starting treatment (like getting my hair cut really short) and not knowing when my first appointment is seems to be turning into my “big deal” in this waiting game.
I was feeling really good after surgery, perhaps on a high from the whole process (I know, I’m weird – I’ve been totally energized and so up through this whole thing so far) and I was active and going for beach walks every other day. Then a flare hit and now I am back to fatigue levels of being completely exhausted. Activities like getting dressed currently require some assistance and a rest period afterwards. Pain levels are such that there is no question if I am taking my pain meds every 4-5 hours. Sometimes the last hour is a tough one but I am tougher. When dealing with chronic pain you get used to this and you do something else and before you know it you’ve worked through it and made it through the waiting period.
What are you waiting for?