Monday, April 20, 2015

bouncing ball

Stand at the top of a driveway. Bounce a rubber ball as hard as you can. Notice how each time the ball hits the ground, it re-bounds a little less.

I have a lot of empathy for rubber balls right now.

In my last post, I somewhat hesitantly shared good news from my neurosurgeon. Things were looking better and he didn't need to see me or do another scan for three months.

I was relieved but also a bit uneasy. I pushed for the report from the radiologist. I also went to yoga classes, hung out with friends and family, rode my bike and went about my daily life with a little more spring in my step bounce in my walk than I have in a while.

Last Wednesday, the other shoe dropped. The phone rang at about 5pm as I was racing to get some food on the table and my youngest out the door to an orientation at a potential new school. My mother was here and I was trying to visit with her at the same time. I really wasn't braced for anything serious on the other end of the phone line.

It was the secretary who works with my neurosurgeon calling again. She told me that Dr. S spoke with the radiologist and they both agreed that the mass at the previous surgery site is “stable” (That's good. Not as good as “smaller” but OK.) but there is a second spot that is “of concern” to both of them. Dr. S wants to do another MRI, six weeks from the last one, and he wants to see me this week in his office.

Or something like that. It's all a little bit of a blur. I think I went into shock.

I was in a hurry and didn't really want to explain so I tried to pretend that nothing was wrong, failing miserably. I can't put into words how it feels to sustain that kind of blow when you least expect it and then to just keep going, as though nothing has happened. I've done it before but I have never been very good at it.

It's a testament to the (maybe) new school that the presentation and tour were absorbing enough that I actually remember chunks of the evening. What I do remember well is that when I got home, I crawled into bed and had a good cry.

The next morning I got up, got the kids out the door, went for a run and then had a latte on a patio in the sunshine. I felt better.

It's getting harder to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going on with my life. I'm bouncing back a little less high and it's a little easier to knock me back down again.

While I have had truly excellent, cutting edge care every step of the way, I wish that communication were better. I wish my doctors spoke with each other. I wish we planned next steps together. The process shouldn't wear me down. The disease is hard enough.

I'm feeling a little less resilient these days. Eventually, every ball stops bouncing, rolls for a while and comes to a stop.

I'm tired of this metaphor. I need to come up with a new one.


Caroline said...

Bounce your damn ball! And never stop. Doctors I think have a tendency not to tell the patients how much they talk to each other or do not. I would tell your doctors each time you see them that they are free to talk to one another about you.

Unknown said...

It's a great metaphor, though. Kudos to you for trying to carry on while in shock. Totally understand why you had such a tough time of it. Hope they are wrong, of course.

Anonymous said...

Like Carolyn, I hope they're wrong. Perhaps it's just a smudge, or you jerked during the MRI (maybe you twitch when you sleep!!?).

Have another latte and go for another run anytime you feel like you've lost an ounce of that bounce. Just keep thinking of your boys.

Hugs to you.

Virginia @furrypad

Lene Andersen said...

sonofabitch. Is it too much to ask for that they actually talk to each other?

Joining the chorus of those who hope they're wrong.

√Āngela said...

Well, it is their job to be concerned, I hope they find nothing to sorry about.
A huge hug for you!

Laura McNeilly said...

Hey Laurie! Here's an alternate metaphor to the bouncing ball: the sine wave. The amplitude and frequency can change, but the "ups and downs" continue to infinity. A metaphor for all of us! xxxxxxx

laurie said...

Laura, that's beautiful.

Unknown said...

I get that... You are already doing it, but I want to say, be kind to yourself... And maybe you can share with adults in your family? Keeping up the good face takes a lot of energy, and sometimes others want in (sometimes not, I know)... From a bc mets sister in Canada,

Chris said...

Laurie...just thinking of you. Following the journey. Witnessing open hearted.