Today marks the official one-year anniversary of the start of my cancer journey. Three days after I ran my first 5K – yes, let’s celebrate just a little bit more. I ran a 5K a year ago! Yes, I’m proud.
It wasn’t until the end of April that I started blogging about this journey. So, I’m going to go back and see if I can remember everything that happened. I’ve documented so much of this, that I might as well include it all.
So, on April 5, 2011, I woke up just like any other day. My right shoulder was very sore – not a shooting pain, but more like an ache (like if I had pulled a muscle). It had happened once before, a week or so prior, but the soreness went away after a shower.
This time, unfortunately, the pain was still there after the shower. I stretched out my arm to see if any particular movement caused the pain – nope. I examined for a possible bruise – nothing. I pressed around my armpit to see if it hurt in any particular place, like if I had pulled a muscle. I didn’t find any specific place that ached, but I did feel a knot that was about the size of a plastic Easter egg.
Now, if I am totally honest, I must admit that I am not a doctor person. I will take my kids to the doctor every day if they need it. But I am one of those people to absolutely HATES visiting the doctor. You think I would have learned, after a long, horrible bout with strep throat. But I digress. I do not like going to the doctor.
So, I called my mom on the way to work to get her opinion. Of course she was going to say, “Don’t worry about it, it will fix itself.” Instead, her voice changed to one of concern and she told me I needed to get to the doctor as soon as I could.
My doctor was on vacation. The office didn’t think they could get me in until the end of the next week. Mom encouraged me to call back and tell them what’s going on and see if they can get me in earlier. Seriously? What could she POSSIBLY be worried about?
So, I talked to the scheduler and told her my entire story. She passed me on to the nurse who got me on the schedule for the next day.
I saw the doctor (not mine, unfortunately). He poked around and we talked. He said that he wouldn’t speculate but that I needed to have a CAT scan as soon as possible.
So, I’m having the scan. It was like an ultrasound. The technician told me she was sure it wasn’t cancer because it didn’t look like a solid mass, but lots of fluid. She told me it looked like I didn’t have anything to worry about.
Besides the early news that this was not cancer, I was met with another tremendous blessing when I walked out of the office. Joyce Smith, my dear friend and tower of strength, was sitting in the lobby waiting for me. Why? I didn’t ask her to be with me, and I probably wouldn’t have. I just figured I would do this myself.
Joyce is a breast cancer survivor. She said that when she found out she had cancer, she was alone. She was not going to let me be alone during any part of this. What a blessing!
At this point, I was relieved. I was praising God because the technician was pretty certain that this was not a solid mass, but fluid. Solid mass equals cancer. Fluid, no cancer. All was good. I knew He had this all under control.