News vans lined the street as I drove up to the hospital. A major strike was being held by the Teamsters. A 12.5% immediate raise was not enough, apparently. I was there to undergo annual thyroid cancer follow-up testing: blood and ultrasound. I have been concerned about my one good vein, as this was my third blood draw in a month and an IV was placed there as well. My GI problems prompted much investigation and I am still holding out on the Big Kahuna- the colonoscopy. I will probably not do it, as all of my tests came up normal.
My good vein held out just fine and the neck ultrasound was quick and dirty. I don’t think the tech even measured any lymph nodes. I felt a heavy feeling of indifference as I walked out. This is not going to do anything to my life if it’s bad. It was already ruined when I was young and bright-eyed, with my whole life ahead of me. A lot less of me is ahead now, and I am not young, nor bright-eyed anymore.
The same indifference accompanied me to the endocrinology appointment. All of my blood work is exactly the same, both USC’s and Beckman-Coulter’s assays show the same low TgAb and barely-there Tg that has been present for the last six and a half years. She told me to come back in six months. Instead of checking out and scheduling the follow-up appointment, I inadvertently slipped out an exit door that put me right in the middle of the head & neck surgery clinic. I only realized my mistake when I was back at work. I told myself I would call later.
It’s been a month. I have not scheduled the follow up appointment. This is bad because my endocrinologist only sees patients once a week. The longer I wait, the more likely this will turn into a seven, eight, or nine-month follow up appointment. I just don’t care enough to schedule it. Maybe I won’t even be in LA anymore in six, seven, eight, nine months.
It’s accurate to say that I have found peace with my current state of “We can’t say you are NED but it’s probably nothing.” Now I need to come to terms with all of the time and years I have wasted living from a place of fear, extract myself from it and try to live from a different place.
Many of my posts end with me trying to tackle this same, essential question of “Who I am and why am I here?” I’m not sure I am any closer to answering those questions, though this was a dilemma pre-cancer as well. I have been led to believe that a person who knows who they are and why they are here while young is fortunate. But I was that person. Unlike Rene Descartes, I didn’t need to spend nights writing by candlelight to dissect my core values and beliefs. They were blown up by circumstances outside of my control and continued to be twisted and scattered as the years plodded on. A lightening strike that fuses it all back together again in an altered, glassy form would be appreciated right about now, would have been appreciated five years ago.