I went to the doctor the other day because I’ve been having this pain in my Achilles tendon for some time now. I decided that since my own therapy of ice/elevation/ibuprofen was not doing the trick in alleviating the pain that I’d better get it checked out. Well, shit! – the routine visit turned out to be not so routine. Not exactly what I was prepared for. Thank God for Xanax (and alcohol) or I may not have made it through the rest of the day after this visit.
He took one look at my ankle and I could tell by the expression on his face (this doc is not very good at pulling off the professional doctor poker face) that something was up. There is a large, hard lump that seems to be either attached or coming from behind the tendon. My doc decides to send me to an orthopedic specialist. Cool. No big deal. I leave the office and am merrily on my way. About an hour after I leave the doc’s office I get a phone call. It’s the doctor – he calls me directly – doesn’t even have his office girl do it. Great. I answer the phone and he says, “Don’t panic”. WTF? RIGHT! How do you NOT panic when your doctor says those words? You know it’s got to be something BAD! He begins to tell me that he discussed my case with the orthopedic surgeon who, in turn, felt that there was something ‘unusual’ about the lump and – sight unseen – decides that I should be whisked off to the cancer center. What? No x-rays? No MRI? No biopsy? NOPE…go directly to the cancer center, STAT.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because this kind of shit happens all the time in my crazy mixed up life. Ugh! I had a similar situation several years ago (Polyps, Cysts and Tumors, Oh My!) but the dear doctors waited until after the tumor was removed to give me the news that it was cancer. This time it’s like they’ve already given me a diagnosis of malignancy – before I’ve even had any tests done. I’m sure they are just being cautious knowing my history, but come on, way to scare the ba-jesus out of me. So, dear friends and readers, if I have to have my limb lopped off in the next few weeks in order to save my life, please bear with me as I may not be able to post regularly. Thanks in advance for your patience…and keep your fingers crossed for me!
UPDATE: 2/26/08 – met with the oncologist today. If it is indeed a soft tissue sarcoma (which is very rare, apparently) we have caught it at an early stage, which is good. I am having an MRI next month and will go from there. If the MRI shows irregular cells then I will have a biopsy. If the biopsy shows malignancy they will remove the tumor and use radiation therapy, if necessary. If no irregular cells are visible at this time then I will just have follow-up MRI’s every three months to make sure there is no change in the tumor, and will also have the option to have it removed. So kiddos, it looks like I’ll be around to entertain you for the time being!
Thank you, everyone, for your uplifting words and support. I appreciate you all so very much!