the calm before the toxin
It turns out there was more information given when I was all loopy that took some time for family to relay to me:
STAGE II T3/N1c/M0
Notes from the American Cancer site:
The most common staging system is the TNM (for tumors/nodes/metastases) system, from the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).
Details of this system are in the graph below:
T3: The cancer has grown through the muscularis propria and into the outermost layers of the colon or rectum but not through them. It has not reached any nearby organs or tissues.
N1: Cancer cells are found in or near 1 to 3 nearby lymph nodes.
N1c: Small deposits of cancer cells are found in areas of fat near lymph nodes, but not in the lymph nodes themselves.
*** The doctor said she noted N1 because there are LN in the area but show now signs of cancer but it had to be noted. ***
M0: No distant spread is seen.
Wooohoooo! Stage 2! and my lymph nodes appear safe! The doctors have told me that these tests are not 100%. I might later find out I’m stage 3. I’m so close to the line that they cannot tell me for certain. The best we can do is go forward with treatment to shrink the tumor before surgery. When surgery happens they’ll be removing lymph nodes to put them under a microscope so they can be absolutely certain the cancer never made it that far. I got angry about not hearing from anyone for two days so I called my oncologist today. He got back to me right quick to let me know he’d been waiting on labs and he received them this morning and had a chance to look over them. He’s put in a call to radiation for them to call and set up a consultation with me, and once I’ve talked to radiation about my treatment I’ll go back in to see my oncologist about starting chemotherapy in pill form.
As soon as I was off the phone with him I was online looking at chemo pill information. That’s the first time I’ve looked up cancer-related information eagerly. Even the doctors expect that I’ve done a lot of research already. Come on, seriously? I’m supposed to research info for a cancer before I learn what stage I am? It seems more reasonable to me to wait and learn where I’m at before I go exploring the vast internet. That’s not to knock all the research my loved-ones have done. That makes sense. They don’t have cancer and they want to be the best support they can to me, so I can understand why they started reading up on the subject. Not me. I have cancer and I refuse to worry over the unknown. REFUSE. There is plenty of known to worry about. I have reached my limit on worrying. I’m pleased with myself for not reading about stages 3 and 4 cancer. I would have worried myself sick, stuck in bed, unable to go to work or eat or have a conversation, and it would have all been for nothing. Snaps to me for knowing myself so well. I get a big pat on the back.
I’m in a great mood this week. Soon the treatment will start and I’ll miss how I feel right now. At this time I have no drugs or treatment to feel side affects from, my new diet has my stomach in no pain at all, and I feel good. I’m enjoying every second of it. Let’s enjoy this brief moment of peace, and when chemo starts we can all get back to feeling sorry for me.