“You have a cyst.” That was all I needed to hear. After hearing that everything else becomes white noise. A simple blood test for my thyroid and it turns into this, a cyst the size of the Grand Canyon in my liver?
Well, what do you do with that kind of information; do you pack it up into a small parcel and place it in the pantry with the rest of the groceries? Do you completely ignore said statement? Do you turn around thinking that perhaps the doctor is talking to someone else?
Cyst’s, I have been here before, back in 2009 I went through the whole cancer scare with my “boob doctor”. And now this? It all just gives you pause to throw your hands up in the air and say … well you know what I would say; I don’t need to repeat it here.
“Oh, I say to my doctor, I have a cyst in my liver? What exactly does that mean” as I retrieve my head from the clouds? Well you have already had the blood tests, and the ultra sound so I am going to send you for an MRI. Do you have insurance? Always the first question out of their mouths, “yes I do”. Good the sooner you go the better. Now I am really worried, and worry is my middle name.
After I get over the whole cyst thing at the doctor’s office I make an appointment for my MRI. When you have cash you can do pretty much anything you want, and getting an appointment for an MRI with a fist full of cash in my hand was a piece of cake. I got an appointment immediately.
MRI’s are fun aren’t they? Thankfully it was at a private clinic so everything looks clean and fresh and very upscale. But that just gives you a feeling of false security, because you may be in some swanky private clinic but you still have that cyst in your liver.
“Ms. Farley, we are ready for you now.” Oh great I am so thrilled I think to myself. “You can just change in here” the woman shows me a lovely changing room with a key and everything so nobody steals my cold hard cash, wait I have no cold hard cash I’m using it all to pay for my MRI.
“Now I will be in the other room” the technician tells me. That makes me feel comfortable. Why are you leaving I think to myself and what is this machine doing that you have to leave the room?
“I will give you instructions through these headphones. When I tell you to hold your breath you must hold your breath or we will have to do the pictures all over again.”
I feel like a little kid being scolded for something I did and I haven’t even been rolled into the machine yet.
“OK” I say always being the ever pleasant and pleasing patient.
The whole process took longer than I expected and apart from the constant hammering of the machine it wasn’t so bad.
What was horrific was waiting. The waiting game, waiting for the news, to hear if you’re going to live or die. That is a game I don’t like to play.
It never fails either that you try to do all kinds of things to keep your mind off what kind of news you might get but it never works because news as to if you will live or die is pretty important and so you spend quiet a lot of time thinking about it.
I got some things in order, made sure my kids and husband would have support if I left them suddenly because of the giant cyst that may or may not be a blob of cancer in my liver. I wanted to make sure that I would not be forgotten by my family and so made sure my friends and family kept my spirit alive. That was really all I did, everything else didn’t matter much to me at that point. And I waited.
Finally after two weeks of driving pretty much everyone and myself insane I called my doctor. She told me she didn’t have the results. I told her they had been sent and basically she lost her temper with me and told me she didn’t have them and hung up more or less. I was shocked and dumb struck at her reaction, I mean really who was the one worrying about life or death her or me? Obviously it was no big deal to her.
When I didn’t hear back from her I went to her office and found out she was gone for two weeks; on holiday? Oh don’t you just love the doctors in this province, nothing like personal care and good bedside manner right? Well you know what I wanted to say to her, and I won’t repeat that either.
Thankfully there are angels out there and the secretary who was my angel that day called me later and told me that the cyst was benign. I wanted to jump through the phone and give her the biggest hug of her life. I was so touched by what she did for me. The anxiety about medical procedures is far more exacting on the brain than the actual news. The waiting is daunting. And thanks to the secretary that day my waiting was over. Now it was time to figure out what to do next.
I never heard from my doctor by the way, I suppose I will hear from her at some point but I haven’t heard yet. I go to see a specialist next month to figure out where I go from here, in the meantime I am blessed and extremely happy I have a reprieve from death. I feel far to young to go yet and it seems I have far too much left to do.
So next time you go for a routine blood test brace yourself, you might find out something you never knew you had, like courage, and poise and love and hope and all of those things that make life perfect even with a huge cyst in your liver.