Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lady-in-waiting

My appointment with the ENT was brief, and the outcome is that my lymph node(s) (we're still not sure if it's one or more at this point) are not big enough to do a needle biopsy, and have not been around long enough to justify a complete removal, yet. The ENT wants to try 10 days of antibiotics, followed by a CT scan to see what's going on, and then make a decision on a biopsy if needed.

So I'm waiting. Again.

I was thinking a lot about how much we in the fertility world wait. There's the two week wait, obviously, followed by a wait for a first appointment if you get a positive, or a wait for the next cycle/treatment/test if you're not so lucky. There's the wait some women go through if they are unsure they're miscarrying, and the wait after a miscarriage to begin trying. I've added on the wait after surgery; the wait post-surgery until it's been "long enough" to warrant a trip back to the doctor since we're not getting pregnant, and now, the wait for a diagnosis on my itching/lymph node/liver issues.

To quote from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride, I hate waiting.

In a break from my endless search for answers to my health issues online, I decided to Google the phrase "waiting for diagnosis". As expected, much of what came back deals with waiting for a serious diagnosis and the effects such waiting has on the person waiting. One of the most interesting articles I found was written by a person who'd gone through some form of cancer. It's of particular interest to me since this person also had a lump on their neck, granted, but it also describes the way that waiting for a diagnosis differs from other types of waiting. S/he writes "What is it like to wait when the expected outcome is uncertain?" And this is what ties my current health issues in with my infertility - all I have at this point in both instances is a bunch of uncertainty:
  • I don't know whether my liver issues will prevent continuing with fertility treatment;
  • I don't know whether the lump on my neck could be a sign of lymphoma, the treatment for which could speed up ovarian failure;
  • I don't know whether I'll ever find a cause for my itching; and
  • I don't know whether all of this is really nothing, a wild goose chase that's serving to make me worried and depressed for no reason.
In short, all of my uncertainty keeps me in a constant state of worry. I know I need to remain calm about it, to allow things to come at their own pace, to deal with the news, good or bad, as it arrives. Ultimately, I may have to deal with things that I don't like. I may have to put off trying to get pregnant indefinitely. I may have to endure other health treatments that may be invasive or difficult. I may have to change my focus. But I have this need to try to prepare myself in advance. This is why I research and Google and arm myself with info; G doesn't understand it, and I think I've p.o'd more than one of my doctors in the past. But it's who I am and it's how I deal with waiting.

I sometimes think that knowing anything, good or bad, would be better than this.

5 Comments:

Blogger Catherine said...

Why does the phrase "infertility world" make me giggle? It's almost like a place in a comic book...infertility world.

OK...sorry...serious...

I hope the antibiotics do the trick on the lump(s). Hang in there. {{{hugs}}}

2/06/2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger SaraS-P said...

Waiting stinks.

Hanging out in limbo is torture.

I hope you get some answers soon.

2/06/2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Kath said...

Dear Lisa, this is so distressing. I'm so sorry that instead of getting clarity, you're being burdened with more and more uncertainty and waiting. That really is its own special corner of hell.

Thinking of you and hoping the uncertainty ends with good news soon.

2/06/2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

*hugs*

2/07/2007 9:18 PM  
Blogger Bronwyn said...

Infertility World... where everyday women become heroes of patience and hormonal surges!

The waiting really, really sucks. Hope you get some answers soon. (((Big hug)))

2/09/2007 3:42 PM  

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