Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clear Margins...

Yesterday I went to the hospital for the latest pathology report and for my staples to be finally removed. The doctor delivered some very good news... clear margins. This means that the area removed around the carcinoma were not infected with cancerous cells. Who would have thought that two words could be so beautiful?

Another highlight was that the staples were taken out. The incision site is mending. A red scar, seven inches long runs along my side. The line is flanked on each side by a row of fourteen little red dots. Such a pretty little pattern.

Sadly, my tango with the hospital is not over yet. One would think that after this elaborate dance done at such a frenzied pace, it'd be time to rest. Unfortunately the tests are not over and on Monday I'm scheduled for a PET scan, which happens to be a very expensive procedure. Apparently there is some concern over my age and the development of this particular cancer. It is commonly found in people twice my age with much higher sun exposure and histories of smoking. Then I have to meet with an ENT to examine my sinuses and lymph nodes. If the PET scan is clean and the ENT doesn't find anything and my follow up exams are clear... then I'll be out of the woods.

This has definitely been a scary experience. The paperwork and money worries probably just as frightening, if not more so, than hearing that my body is rebelling against itself. I took that like a champ. Receiving the first bill... not so much. The love and support of the community has been of great comfort though. I really don't know what I would have done without it. I was on the verge of drowning and the kindness and generosity of others was a lifesaver. It's true that there's still a small mountain of medical debt to be tackled, but I feel much better about my situation and am very appreciative of all the efforts done on my behalf.

The prospect of returning to some semblance of a regular life is hard to imagine at this point, but it glints like something shiny in the distance... waiting for me to find it.

16 comments:

Emerald Window said...

Hang in there Angrew. My husabnd used to be a bill collector. He says that as long as you make some kind of payment arrangements with the hospital - even if it's just $5 a month- and you pay that, they won't come after you. When making payment arrangements, make SMALL payment arrangements ($5- $15 per month). You can always add more each month, but if you have a tight month, they will be upset if you don't send them what you promised.
Cenya

Beadaholique said...

I love the photograph you placed in your blog. The leaves clustered together like cells, the clear water margin around them - wonderful visual analogy, wonderful photo.
-Sarah

SummersStudio said...

Andrew, that is the best news! Long ago I worked in a cancer hospital in research and melanoma and skin cancers were among the areas I was involved in. Clear margins is the most significantly important outcome you can have at this point. I am over the moon for you and send you big hugs, LeAnn

For My Sweet Daughter said...

That's great! I am still praying and I am sure your pet scans will be fine.
Let the bill worry go, worrying will get you nowhere.
Shannon

Alice said...

Clear margins-such wonderful news! I will pray the pet scan and other tests bring you good news as well.

Love the beautiful photo!!!

rosebud101 said...

Andrew, that is wonderful news!! I'm praying for you and sending you best wishes that all your scans and tests will be clean and cheap. I know where you're coming from. Best of luck!

Jean said...

I love this. You are so amazing.

Anne said...

CLEAR MARGINS! As a nurse, those can be the sweetest words ever!!!

Sharon P said...

That is great news, indeed! Soak up all that Autumn sunshine and your friend's love and support.

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

i never thought of the words "clear margin" could sound so glorious! even though you still have some things to do, i'll take this as a sign of great news to come. i'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Janet said...

Thats just wonderful Andrew! Hold on tight. I dont know of your beliefs what they are or how you believe or what you indeed believe. But to me all of this life is no mere accident..as one looks at the calculated manner of how the body works to the minute workings of the cells to the infinate universe. My beief is in the Lord who "Never slumbers nor does He sleep". So it is to Him I will pray for you that all will be well with you! My thoughts are with you everyday Andrew...and I will be praying for you! ox

stregata said...

Such good news! Hoping that the further examinations bring equally good news!

hello gorgeous said...

and HOW gracefully did the staples come out??? It's SO ingenius! I KNOW it surprised me, did it you???

Will still keep fingers crossed for the next round of tests....but they are positive fingers these days and have every faith it will turn out OK for you ;o)

hugs

hello gorgeous xxx

Kristen said...

I TOLD YOU WE WOULD CELEBRATE!!!!
YIPPEE DANCE AND CARTWHEELS GOING ON FOR YOU AND IF I COULD SEND UP THE FIREWORKS I WOULD!
(yes I hope you hear my excitement)
HUGS

peggy aplSEEDS said...

i am so glad to hear about the clear margins. i'm hoping with you for all the other tests to have good results as well.

jennifer said...

i'm so sorry that you had to go through this but I'm happy you have some good news. you are so strong and creative, wishing you some peaceful moments.