Waiting Like a Poppy in the Rocks

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While choirs harmonized their songs of hallelujah on Easter Sunday, and children anxiously hunted colored eggs and sweet treats to fill their baskets, and while adults busily prepared a special holiday feast, I asked Spouse to take me on a hunt for more wildflower photos. It was a hallelujah moment when the light from a partially clouded sky spread its magic against a hillside of solidified black rocks with fragile, but robust stands of California poppies.

Environment be damned, they grow and blossom — abundantly.

Photographers like this hillside. It’s juxtaposition. It’s unique. It’s a challenge to photograph because one must be mindful of traffic, mud, holes and lord knows what else to get that perfect photo.

For me this moment parallels how I feel these days:  Like a poppy seeking the sun and holding  my delicate bloom together against a hard and rocky environment.

You see, for now, I must wait.

Waiting. Waiting patiently — not my gift. 

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I suppose a few of my bad temper outbursts recently come from my inability to patiently await an analysis of the CT scans and blood panel taken on April 10. That’s about two weeks ago. As one would have it, the person who makes the call of what happens next with my treatment for uterine carcinosarcoma was “out of the office” and I’ll assume  probably for holiday time off. And I can’t grumble about someone who deals with people like me in battle with a challenging form of cancer doesn’t need some time off. Oncologists don’t always win the cancer battle. And oncologists who deal with challenging cancers hold an even smaller score card.

Yet! Yet I must wait to find out if “..cycle 6 of carboplatin and paclitaxel” brought this metastatic endometrial carcinosarcoma to its end. The likelihood is that the chemo slowed down the progress of this aggressive sarcoma, but not its execution. 

So inside my overly imaginative head I worry, 

  • If there’s no chemical warfare going on inside of me now, does this give power to the enemy to return, like a group of radical terrorists looking for an opening to kill?
  • Every time I feel a twitch in my lower torso I wonder if the original prognosis of a two-year quality of life was spot on.
  • If the chem-warfare has reduced the enemy to withering masses, is surgery my next option? 
  • OMG! what will my abdomen look like with more scars? 
  • Well, that doesn’t really matter because I’ll never be seen in a bikini ever, ever, ever again in my life.  But I still can’t look for very long at the mirrored reflection of the long scar from the 2018 “Lymph node, bilateral pelvic, dissection; lymph node, bilateral aortic, dissection; uterus, bilateral fallopian tubes and ovaries, hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy,” surgery — not to mention the second “belly button” hole from this year’s G-tube insertion; all topped off with breast surgery scaring from 2004. 
  • Am I feeling sorry for myself? Not really. Just horrified when I think about it.
  • Will radiation be administered?
  • Or do we go directly to a clinical trial? 
  • And what will a clinical trial entail? 
  • How will I manage my non-medical life with my in-treatment life, that requires rest for me, and absolutely EVERYTHING else weighing on Spouse and family? 

I haven’t a clue as to what is next. So besides my feeble patience, I’m also a bit of a control freak—and right now, I’m swimming at the bottom of the control pond.  I’m kind of grumpy. So I seek diversion. Thank goodness for my camera and the wildflowers. Thank goodness for the care and generosity of friends. Thank goodness for my family. Thank goodness for my writer’s mind that insists that I get it all written now.

Still, I impatiently wait.  I wait so that I can continue my poppy-like bloom against environmental odds. 

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UPDATE TO THIS POST:  The CT scans indicate that the goal for a 30% reduction in the large tumors has taken place. The largest, a 9.5 cm tumor now measures at 6.3 cm. Another that measured at 5.9 cm has been reduced to 4.6. The lung tumors are now less than 1 cm.

6 replies »

  1. C, sorry it is so hard, and I have just a glimmer of how hard, since mine has only been recent, and I didn’t have all the surgeries. But I had to wait a month for the results of my last PET scan right before xmas, until mid-January. Keep hangin’ on!!!

    -Meg

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