A lot has happened since writing yesterday and I want to start this writing with the best and biggest piece of news of all.
Kevin’s ass was kicked.
My thyroid cancer, Kevin, needs no further treatments at this time.
I met with my endocrinologist yesterday evening at 4 pm. Yesterday was full of some of the longest hours of my life. Ox and I got to the appointment early. I got checked in. We both waited to be taken back to the exam room. My vitals were taken. We waited longer… And the whole time inside my head I’m dreading the moment my doctor will sit across from me and tell me that the battle isn’t over. Here’s another unknown number of months where this thing will still be an issue on your mind.
But that wasn’t what happened.
My doctor did, in fact, come in and sit across from me. She explained, for the first time since my surgery, what the surgeon had done aside from removing my thyroid.
She explained concisely what my pathology found and that while, yes, one node out of nine along the front of my neck was positive, all of the other nodes from the left and right sides as well as all of the blood vessels and other tissues sampled came back negative. For the time being, we are not going to proceed with a radioactive treatment and instead monitor some of the things in my blood. If certain numbers stay low, then we’ll check less frequently. If they continue to remain low, then nothing else needs to happen.
So while it might be inappropriate to say this chapter is 100% done, for me, for now, I’m marking it as done. If a radioactive treatment is needed it won’t be until further in the future. I can, in fact, begin to enjoy this calm because it’s not the temporary month it felt like it would be. I have another three months or so before potentially having to look into additional steps. I can focus on school, life, work, recovering, being at peace with myself. I can not worry about cancer for the next three months.
And even if I do have to have a radioactive treatment, it won’t require a hospital stay for an unknown number of days. I would go to the hospital, take a pill, and then go home. That type of situation seems much more manageable, doable, within my world.
Labs were drawn while I was there. I won’t know until tomorrow or potentially early next week if my dosage of Synthroid needs to be adjusted. But adjusting the amount of a pill doesn’t seem as huge of a deal. Not when I know that I don’t have all of this other stuff to figure out.
It was an amazing appointment and I shared the news with several people while I was waiting to have my blood drawn. The sense of relief I had in being able to finally share good news was indescribable.
It’s over. At least, for now, it’s over. We did it. We won. It’s over.
Ox and I picked up pizza for the D&D group on our way from the doctor’s office. When we got to the house I shared the good news with the group because I couldn’t keep it to myself. No one there knew of my previous diagnosis or the surgery. They all seemed genuinely happy for the news and commented that they had no idea I had been going through something like that.
God, it was so good. I’m still riding the wave of relief. It’s done. It’s over. We won. We can stop fighting. All of the tension, and worry, and unknown can finally stop. For right now I can rest. We can rest. There’s nothing else for anyone to do.
So yes. That was the biggest thing about yesterday.
The day itself started alright. I felt frazzled for most of the morning. I knew I needed to do things and I did fairly well at working my way through my to-do list. I felt disorganized though. My mind wasn’t focused and at the time there were three areas of my life that I didn’t have clear direction in. Work, Jon moving to Nebraska, and my cancer.
I worked through different tasks at the apartment before heading out to counseling. I stopped at the house to pick up my clothes. I ran to Petsmart to get cat food and cat litter. I made it to counseling on time despite leaving later than what I would have liked.
Counseling helped me figure out a lot of my emotions. We talked pretty extensively about the work issue with me coloring. I talked about how I felt like I was more bothered by the fact that it became an issue involving my boss rather than being a conversation between me and the concerned parties. I also mentioned how I felt like it was one particular person rather than both nurses.
In my mind, regardless of why something bothers you, at least tell me, “Hey this bothers me, can you please not do it?”
Why did my coworker(s) feel like they couldn’t talk to me themselves?
That ended up being the root of my bothered-ness. If I’m supposed to work with these people, but I can’t trust them to communicate to me when there’s an issue, then how can we function as a team?
The end result of that ended up being me deciding to have a conversation with my FA to get her perspective. If she were in my shoes, and she knew people felt like they could not approach her with even minor issues, what would she do if anything?
I haven’t had that conversation yet, but I felt better for having a clear plan of action for the situation. I need to have a conversation. Nice. The work area of things seemed less like chaos since I know knew how to begin addressing the issue.
That led to talking about Jon and his decision to move. The issue of the dog might not be as hard as originally thought. His doctor does sign off on emotional support pets, which can’t be discriminated against. Jon has a really strong case for Queenie being emotionally supportive. He has an appointment with his doctor Monday to see what can be done for obtaining paperwork for her.
So while that takes some of the pressure off of the whole moving thing because it adds apartments back to our list of potential locations, not having an idea for timeframe makes things hard to figure out. Are we doing this in March? Waiting until May? When do both of our leases end? When are we looking to move in? None of this was known.
Another conversation was needed. That was the conclusion for that area of my life as well. Since Jon had officially decided to move, the next thing we needed to figure out was when. Is it going to be March, during my spring break? Would it be later, around May when both of our leases were closer to being over and my Sociology class was out of the way? What are the pros and cons of the choices we have and what one did we want to shoot for?
Two out of three areas addressed. That left my feelings regarding my upcoming appointment.
Counselor: What are you wanting to get out of this appointment?
Me: *sad laugh with tears in my eyes* I can’t have what I want. I want to be told that it’s done and over with and that I can tell everyone that I don’t have cancer.
Oh, Universe… Had I known then…
I said that realistically speaking I was hoping to know what the next steps would be and how time-sensitive they were. If I had to have this radioactive treatment done, did it have to happen soon? If so, then I would most likely have to try to get it taken care of during my spring break which may or may not affect helping Jon to move. If it could wait a little bit, maybe I could do it during the summer instead. Lots of unknowns in this regard, but I was on the road to having answers. All I needed and could do was keep breathing until my appointment and go from there.
I felt better after counseling. Still a little frazzled but not as much as I had been. I called Jon shortly after getting to my car and we talked about the whole moving thing. He agreed that though he would prefer for me to fly down now so he could be in Nebraska tomorrow, waiting until May-ish would most likely be the better option. We could plan things a bit more.
I headed to the gym and biked for roughly 30 minutes. Six miles at a top gear of 9. Not bad. Worked up a sweat. Felt good for having gone since I hadn’t the day before.
I called Jon again on my way home. It was during this conversation were I found out about the emotional support paperwork his doctor would be willing to fill out for Queenie, which is the name of his pit bull by the way. If we are able to get the paperwork in place then that puts the new apartments being built in Hickman back on the table, which is where I would really, really like to be.
I said I would call and see if I could get some questions answered in regards to the new apartments. I continued on my way home. Made the phone call. No one answered. Left a message. I started reading chapter 5 for my Sociology class and basically tried to keep my brain engaged enough to not dwell on the upcoming appointment.
Around 3 pm Ox came over. We headed into town. It started snowing as we got out of the car. Much lame. But the appointment went amazingly well so the weather couldn’t fuck with my mood.
D&D was fun. Our characters made it to level two. I found out that I forgot to put my character sheets back into the D&D bag and had to spend a majority of the time flipping back and forth between the pages for my character and a page with the stats for my Giant Badger. All that time I spent on making tables for my Bag of Tricks and then I don’t even get to use them. >.<
We headed home around 8 pm, stopping at the gas station real quick to pick up some cans of peas for the last meal I needed to make for the upcoming week. Ox and I went to bed with the kittens who were content enough to settle down with us rather than running around like coked-up fiends.
Ox woke up in the morning and got ready for work. Lately, we haven’t been having a cigarette together on my days off. He gets ready then comes in and kisses me goodbye, letting me stay in bed all nice and warm. I sleep until around 6 am which is when my alarm goes off. While there’s a part of me who misses that part of our mornings together, there’s also something sweetly romantic about goodbye kisses.
When I finally started my day, it started normally. Smoothly. Wake up, feed the kittens who would swear up and down they’ve been starving for the last eight years of their lives… Feed myself, take my med, make a to-do list, start tackling said to-do list.
Today’s pre-school stuff ended up being cleaning the litter box, washing dishes, finish reading chapter 5, take chapter five test, complete an assignment for school about a cultural icon, print cultural icon assignment and ensure it was in my notebook, cancel the loan application I had started with my bank, make a post on Facefail about the good news regarding my cancer, and post the picture of the puzzle my dad and I had worked on during his visit. All of that while the roast I needed to make for the last bit of my meal prep cooked itself in the oven.
Phew… That was a lot of stuff for only two-ish hours.
I drove to school. We began talking about the concept of universal wrongs. Do they exist and if so what are they and under what circumstances. God, I love the discussions we have in this class.
I had packed a bag for the gym but realized halfway to school that I had forgotten it at the apartment. Of course I did… So much lame, but the day was still young. I could go back out later or do something at home if I was feeling motivated to do so.
I hadn’t been back home long. Long enough to have sat down at the computer to begin writing. I wasn’t all that far into it when I noticed that Dagger was chewing on one of the threads to my current cross-stitch project. I got the spray bottle and sprayed him a few times to get him off the table and away from my project. He jumped down then started hacking a bit.
My brain froze at that moment.
Me: He ate a needle. Oh my god. I bet he ate a needle.
I rushed over to my project. Two of the three needles that I had been using were accounted for, but one was definitely missing. Dagger hacked a bit more as I rushed over to him. He laid down and let me open his mouth. No blood. No signs of a missing needle. He even started purring and licking his fur where the water had gotten him.
Me: Maybe he didn’t eat the needle?
I did a more thorough investigation of the table and the surrounding floor. Needle still missing.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
I called Ox.
Me: I think Dagger swallowed a needle.
Ox: What do you mean?
Me: I mean, I think Dagger swallowed a needle.
How else do you explain that you think your cat swallowed a needle?
I didn’t stay on the phone long. We both thought calling the vet was our best option for figuring out what to do. So I called the vet.
Me: Hi. This is Jennifer, the owner of Dagger and Saber.
I explained what had happened, how Dagger had been acting, and how he seemed fine now, but that I couldn’t find the needle anywhere. The vet said without doing an x-ray there wasn’t a way to know for sure. I could take a magnate to the suspected areas of the table and floor and see if maybe the needle was hiding somewhere. The vet said they could do the x-ray at the clinic for $125 and that they could do it as soon as I could bring Dagger in.
Ox had already been on his way to the apartment. I called him back and told him what the vet said. When Ox got inside he looked around for the needle as well. We were both hoping an extra set of eyes would maybe find it. No dice.
We packed Dagger up into the cat carrier and drove the five-minute distance to the vet office. The technician took him back and returned a few minutes later.
Tech: Yep. It’s in there.
Fuck my life. Seriously. No one in their right mind can be creative enough to come up with some of the shit that happens to me.
They said there were a few options since the needle was still in his stomach. It was possible another location could go in endoscopically and retrieve it. If we stayed at the clinic we were at, they would have to perform surgery. She would call and get prices for everything so we could make a decision.
Well… the endoscopic thing would have been over $1200, not including the $125 I already owed for the x-ray.
Surgery was $600, including the x-ray.
So I signed the consent forms for the surgery and struggled to maintain my composer long enough to at least walk out of the front door. I was so furious. At myself for leaving my needlework out when I knew I should have put it away. And at the Universe because fuck you. Is this because you gave me what I wanted yesterday? I don’t have cancer but now I have to worry about Dagger dying? Fuck you. Just… fuck you.
Ox held me saying that it wasn’t my fault and things would be ok.
Me: I know. But it feels like my fault. If it’s not my fault then why does it feel that way?
Ox took me back to the apartment so I could be with Saber. This is the longest the kittens have been apart from each other. I didn’t feel right leaving her alone. I didn’t do anything for a while. I didn’t want to go to the gym or workout. I didn’t want to go back to writing. I didn’t want to color or cross-stitch or watch anything on Netflix.
I ended up cuddling with Saber and taking a nap. Ox called me once. I went back to sleep after our phone call. The next time I woke up it was to the vet calling me.
Dagger was awake and had already had a snack. The surgery went beautifully and he would be ready to come home tomorrow. They even saved the needle for me in case I wanted it back. There’s a sick part of me who does. Maybe to frame or something. I don’t know.
So that’s where I am currently in life.
I’m very aware of how even though the Universe throws random shit at me, it’s usually during a time where I can do something about it.
In this instance, I was actually home to see what was going on. I was aware of the missing needle seconds after it happened, rather than hours later if I even went to cross-stitch tonight, or potentially even the next day when Dagger started having issues for “no reason”.
No. I saw it. I knew about it and could react to it.
I also have the finances to handle the situation. Trust me, I would rather spend $600 on pretty much anything else, but if this situation was going to happen at least it happened during a time where I could afford it.
So… yeah… fuck you, Universe, but at the same time thank you.
Thank you for letting me keep Dagger. Thank you for my appointment yesterday. Thank you for making it seem like having Jon move up here will actually be doable.
Thank you for so many things. If you could stop fucking with my life that would be great.
Dagger – Vanquisher of Needles