The past month and a half has been quite stressful. I had a routine CT scan to check on my kidneys and the doctor called and said there was a spot on my pancreas. Then thanks to the wonderful efficiency of our medical system it took all this time to get an appointment with a specialist and then get an MRI. Yesterday I got the news that it’s just a cyst. So it’s been a month and half of trying to cope by not thinking about it, which never works well, even if i can distract myself for a while eventually I’ll remember that I might have a cancer that is a swift and sure killer.
So I got great news, but at the moment I’m still riding a roller coaster of emotions, great relief but it’s still going to take me a few days to get back to the normal level of stress and anxiety I deal with daily. After an up and down ride yesterday I’m kind of numb. I twinge when I see some of the threads about people suffering in some way or another that didn’t get the good news I just had. And then I still have to have this thing checked periodically to make sure it’s just something benign. I had another cancer scare some years back, luckily just a stupid doctor who was sure I had prostate cancer before any tests were done and within a week I had biopsy showing no problem. I don’t feel like a survivor because I didn’t have anything to survive, but I do appreciate more what people have to go through with this kind of scare and the even worse news that they do have cancer.
So hopefully in a couple of days I’ll be back to my normal insane self and this will all become a memory. And I wish the best for all those who didn’t get any good news.
Omigod, I can’t imagine going through that! Having to wait that long for an appointment for something like testing for pancreatic cancer is criminal!!. Not just for the mental torment, but for the delay in treatment should cancer be found!
I’m elated at your good news TriPolar. Now do something you love, and relax yourself.
That is excellent news! It’s funny (not the ha-ha kind) how something like this alters your perspective, in your case temporarily, thank goodness-- where a brush with your own mortality makes you long for the ordinary problems of every day life that make you feel normal even while they’re driving you crazy. Hmmm, I didn’t put that very well…
At times when my husband was in the hospital, we would look out the window at the cars driving by and envy the people who only had to worry about weather, plumbing, car, school, work, in-law, and other daily problems. But when he was out, we quickly returned to normal, everyday whining and complaining.
Here’s hoping you’re soon feeling like your old crazy self again!
I just had the same experience with my bladder and, when I was told everything was normal, I completely broke down in the doctor’s office. The stress of having this weighing on my shoulders was almost unbearable. This was a few days ago and I’ve still not completely recovered emotionally.
Even just typing this up has me teary-eyed.
So incredibly happy for you that you got the same news as I did.
@TriPolar: Hip Hip Hooray!! Best news by far of the day.
I’ve had the same reaction.
But then I realized that most of those people in most of those cars have their own challenges. Somebody just died, is dying, or is losing their mind to dementia. They or their spouse just got laid off. Or their spouse announced a divorce. Their kid was arrested … again.
It’s easy to assume that our lives ought to be trouble-free and so the troubles we do have are somehow unique and rare. They’re sorta-unique in the specifics, but problems are darn near universal.
The more I know of other peoples’ situations the more I realize that serious life-altering (or -ending) challenges are much more common than they are obvious. Which helps me to have some perspective on the issues close to home.
Thank you all so much for your responses. I’ve had my shields on full all this time and your kind responses are helping me lower them. I wasn’t even sure if I should open this thread but a wise and thoughtful friend advised me to go ahead and do it.
I have to say how lucky I feel today. I know I’ve been lucky in some ways often in my life, but so many of those times I felt like a deaf man who won a lifetime supply of hearing aids. This victory by default is a special one for me.
I should have pushed harder when things weren’t happening. Either the first doctor’s office didn’t send the referral to the surgeon or the surgeon’s office didn’t do anything with it. I doubt either one will admit to the error. I was trying so much to avoid thinking about it at all that I let too much time go between calls to get them to finally act. To the surgeon’s credit he called me the next day after the MRI.
One of those funny things is that the CT scan also showed a large gallstone. I didn’t get in depth with the surgeon about that yet but I don’t really care. Even if they have to take my gall bladder out it doesn’t seem all that important. A couple of months ago I’d have been whining about it, and maybe in a few days I will be again. For now though, I have a brief period of bliss where my usual day to day problems are nothing but the humdrum trivialities of life.
I’m incredibly happy for you. I have that great relief on many levels but my stress will take some time to go away. Getting the good word just changed my day completely though, like I’d jumped from a gloomy world to a sunny one. I’m going to keep you in mind as I enjoy the sunshine.
Maybe it will end up on you if I drink some by accident Mixing a drink I hate with one I simply dislike is no treat for me. But I’m gonna have some clams. I might even make clam cakes. It’s a little warm for chowder for me, but if you’re still having problems getting the good stuff I can send you some.
Thanks. That’s exactly the kind of thing I like to hear
I haven’t had an in depth discussion with the surgeon since the MRI, I have to get a second opinion, and I’m sure there will be a lot of considerations to weigh for such a procedure, if it’s possible. Right now I just need a few days where I’m not dragging all that weight around before the cycle of doctor appointments and tests start up again.
I suggest making sure your followup visit(s) are with a specialist who is knowledgeable about diagnosis and management of pancreatic cystic lesions and can help you decide what further workup may be necessary. This article is a bit on the technical side, but describes the various entities and how they are diagnosed and treated.
If it was me, I’d likely be dubious about fussing over an incidentally found, asymptomatic cyst that had bland imaging characteristics, but others might want to monitor the situation more closely for greater reassurance.
Why didn’t your primary doc order the MRI? Why wait for the specialist to do so?
When my patients get a fishy finding like that on a CT, I (as a Family Medicine physician) order an MRI pretty quick. Then if it needs a specialist to sort out further, off they go.
Some issues need the specialist’s input to decide what to do next, but in my experience most questionable CT lesions which can be better analyzed by MRI don’t need their input. First thing they’ll do is order an MRI anyway.
Unfortunately you didn’t get great news; you got bad news, just not as bad as cancer. A cyst on your pancreas can be bad news indeed. If it grows it can cause the pancreatic duct or bile duct to close. My father had at least one such cyst and it led to his death.
We need a lot more info before passing judgment on his cyst. First of all, a lot depends on whether it’s a cyst vs. a pseudocyst. If the former, then it depends on the type of cyst. If the latter, it depends on the cause, size, and characteristics of the pseudocyst before making forecasts about what it might do.
Regardless, if I had a spot on my pancreas that turned out to be a non-malignant cyst (or a pseudocyst), I’d be dancing for joy, as the likelihood of horrible death after terrible debility would have dropped from 95+% in the case of cancer to well under 10%.
Sorry about your dad, but I’d still consider it good news for our OP, given his situation.