Monday's trip to Pittsburgh was good news. No cancer in the breast. No mastectomy. Flopsy and Notsy stay right where they are. I'm glad.
Tuesday was a waste. 3 hours there for a 20 minute office visit. It is not that the surgeon was unkind. She just pointed out that chronic pain was, unfortunately, not a rare side effect of breast cancer treatment. She was recommending physical therapy and medication. A little surprised, I said, "What about the mass?" She said, "What mass?" I said, "The one the surgeon found." She curtly said, "It is inappropriate to ask me to comment on another surgeon's findings." She went on to say that you do not expect to find breast cancer in the shoulder. So. It wasn't breast cancer, most likely, and the appointment was done.
I walked out of there discouraged. There's the words: most likely. I want to know for sure.
Today I was back in Pittsburgh to meet with their oncologist. Three hours later, I was headed home. She is concerned about the shoulder. She doesn't think it is breast cancer either, but she does think it's important to find out what it is. 'There are sarcomas' she tells me, and also says that she's not saying that is what this is, she is ordering two more scans specifically of the shoulder. She says that a surgical biopsy might be required, but she'll wait until she sees the results of these scans. She leaves the room to study past imaging and then returns. She's changed her mind, she tells me. She wants to do another full body scan in three months instead of six months, and she wants to know as soon as the MRIs of the shoulder have been completed.
I walk out of there with my friend Mary. We both feel relief. Nope. I still don't have all the answers, but for the first time in a while, I feel like my questions have been answered. I feel like there's a plan. That is a good and comforting feeling.