Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Randomness Of A Late Winter's Day

Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."

-Charles Richards

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a strange late winter day. It was filled with many moments of random introspection for me. It started when the phone rang early, and it was a nurse from my doctor's office, calling to tell me I needed to schedule an Ultrasound for next week. The radiologist has been in contact with my doctor, because they wanted to have a closer look at the lump that they saw in my left breast. The office had already scheduled me for a time, but because there was a scheduling error, they were going to reschedule it. It seems two messages had been sent to my physician, since last Friday evening when I had my mammography done. "Can I put you on hold, while I get the doctor to speak with you?" Said the nice advice nurse. "Sure," I said. While I waited for my doctor to speak with me, I logged onto my AOL account, and there is was. "Dana Reeve loses her batter with Lung Cancer." I felt this heavy sadness well up in me, I really hopped she would come through, and live a long healthy life. So much beauty, so much strength, so much talent, so much love for her family and friends. It was hard to believe that someone so beautiful, who looked as though she had beat the odds, could have slipped away. I felt instantly sick to my stomach.

Suddenly there was my doctor's voice. She wasn't calling to tell me I have cancer, she was calling to reassure me that, while I have to let them take a closer look at that round little bump in my breast, I should be optimistic because most times when a lump is found, it isn't cancer. It could still be one of those calcium deposits I am prone to. It could be a non-cancerous cyst. The Ultrasound isn't painful, and if that test doesn't help them come to a clear conclusion, then they will perform a needle biopsy the same day...and before I go home...I will know for sure one way or the other. I felt a little better after speaking to my doctor, she was reassuring and very patient with me. I have had an Ultrasound before, so I already know what to expect. I was a bit unclear about what the needle biopsy would be like, but one of my very good friends here in the land, sent me a link to a photo of what it looks like and how it feels to have the test done. I can do that. I felt a lot stronger after seeing that picture and reading the personal observations of someone who had the very same test less then a year ago.

I believe I future will be ok. I have a since of peace tonight, almost all the apprehension I have felt in the last few weeks is gone, and is replaced with knowledge, and like I told my friend, knowledge is equal to empowerment to me. The questions weighing like a ton of bricks for me tonight, revolve around why more research funding hasn't been put into cancer research? Lung Cancer research in particular. I found out from ABC NEWS tonight that Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, then any other type of cancer, and yet receives less research funding then other types of cancers.

It's time for this nation to realize how important it is to put more money into the health and well being of our nation. It's time there was more federal funding being put into the research of all types of healthcare concerns. According to the National Priorities Project, the cost of the war in Iraq will reach 251 billion by the end of March of this year. $251 billion! It's obscene to me, that not only has the Bush administration wasted this money through their lies, but have in fact blocked other roads of healthcare research such as stem cell research. If you would like to see a breakdown of how your tax dollars have been spent regarding the war in Iraq, pay a visit to the National Priorities Project web site and see for yourself. Is it worth the cost, in human lives there, and human lives here.

I think about my friend Pam. When I began my journal Ellipsis, over on AOL, she was one of the first people to come by and say hello. To laugh at my silly humor, to give me advice about Elvis, and to brighten my day. She has been battling Lung Cancer since she was diagnosed last June. She has been a source of strength and a shining example of courage. The last time I heard her voice, was when she called me last November, the day I closed up Ellipsis. She called to see if I was ok, she was so sweet, and I kept her message so I could hear her voice again and again. She made me smile. She sounded exactly like I always imagined she would. Lovely, kind and very sweet. Pam had major surgery this morning. As of the last time I checked, there had been no update as to her condition. I am worried about her, as are many of us who came to know her through our AOL journals. I want her to be back with us. Happy and fun and healthy. Sigh... :(

I am not worried for myself tonight. I am worried for my friend. I am angry that we have a president who cares about nothing, but his own pride. I am in dismay that Tom Delay won the GOP nomination to the house yesterday. How can this be? Members of his own party have distanced themselves from him, since he was indicted last fall. Key words here..."Indicted last fall." He not only won his bid, he won it by 62%. Jeepers. What does it take for a member of the GOP to be ousted from the Republican party in Texas? Hell, how about Dick Cheney, going hunting with a friend, shooting his friend in the face, neck, and chest with birdshot, and not only being allowed to decline speaking with authorities for a full 24 hours, but receiving an apology from the victim. Do you honestly believe, that if that had been you are I, or dare I say a politician in the democratic party, we could have said, "no," to speaking to investigating authorities? I suppose that is a question in the abstract, like all the other questions I have on my mind tonight.

I know that there are no answers about things that happen with randomness. Moments when things turn, that we aren't even aware of until it is already too late. Sigh. Don't worry, I will be back to my old self tomorrow, I usually only ponder the randomness for one day, then I move on, because that is something I can control. Worry is a foolish waste of time, and should be granted very little attention, especially on a late winter's day.

"Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you."

-Anne Dillard

"The Randomness Of A Late Winter's Day"
Berkeley, California
March 7th, 2006


DesLily said...

Your news on the lump is encouraging! So few doctors give ouot encouragement, I'm happy for you that you found one that does.

I am sad too about Dana Reeves. On a number of programs carrying the story the same reason was given over and over as to why there hasn't been more research on lung cancer.. because they feel it is the patients fault for smoking.

I find that a big cop-out since many who have died from lung cancer never smoked.. including Dana!

also.. if they truely believe those who smoke don't wish they could quit they are sadly wrong.

and my last tidbit on the subject is simply this. I've read more then once that every person is born with cancer genes.. it's a matter of if they turn into a life threatening cancer or not.. in other words..luck has a lot to do with it, as in Dana's case

excuse me "mr government" you allowed people grow tobacco, to sell tobacco and encourage it for many years.. and now you turn and say it's the peoples fault ??? gotta love the government way of thinking... NOT

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I agree with Deslily on the screwy reasoning about cancer research. Me, I tend to focus more on breast cancer, because of Linda McCartney, who died of it here in Tucson. But it is very true what your doctor said - there are different kinds of lumps, and there's a good chance yours isn't cancerous. I had a spot or mass or lump or something about six or seven years ago, and it turned out to be nothing to be concerned about - just a cyst, or even just part of the shape of my naturally lumpy breasts. (You can see how important it all was from the fact that I don't quite remember the details any more.)

I am so proud of you for the way you are handling all this. Be strong! :)


Dave said...

Stay strong, Carly! I am praying for you and your friend.

Love ya!

V said...

Aw, Carly, my prayers for Pam continue.

Patrick said...


I admire your courage. I'm far too much of a hyponchondriac to be as patient as you are while you wait for the confirmation that it's not anything serious. (And I'm praying for you for exactly that.)

As for the cancer research issue, I'm lucky that I never took up the smoking habit. The smell of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous.

But even those who do smoke are addicts of the product. Some, after years of smoking, can't just stop on a dime. They've become addicted to a powerful drug and need real help in stopping.

To ignore research opportunities for a cancer because the majority of patients are believed to "bring it on themselves" is ridiculous, especially when there are plenty of cases where no such argument can be made.

I hope the recent high-profile deaths from lung cancer will spur new efforts to cure the disease.

And I'll keep you in my thoughts while you wait for the call from your doc.