My favorite Looney Tunes character is Sylvester the cat, who, as you know, is always trying to eat Tweety bird. Tweety is no angel – perhaps he deserved to be eaten. At least I wanted him to be. But Sylvester always fails.
However, there’s one Sylvester and Tweety cartoon that I’ll never forget because it was such a happy surprise for me. Sylvester chomps the annoying Tweety. I remember jumping off my chair with excitement and yelling, “Yes! Finally you ate that little shit!” I felt so relieved that poor Sylvester had finally accomplished what he always wanted.
But that excitement only lasted a few seconds because Granny, Tweety’s owner, rescues the bird. Sylvester’s excitement is over.
This week, my excitement after receiving a good report about my pap/colposcopy results lasted about the same time as Sylvester’s victory, until my mind started to wonder.
I had a reason to feel discouraged when poor Sylvester didn’t get to eat the bird. But I realize that I have no logical reasons to feel discouraged or doubtful about my good test results — so why am I always over-thinking? Let’s just say I know what I am dealing with here: cells are tricky. Plus, I’ve heard too many stories about false test results. My mind often travels to the dark place.
When my GYN informed me that, according to the biopsies performed last week, I do not have cervical cancer, I was so happily surprised and relieved. In a way, I was already preparing myself to deal with another cancer, which is why I had made that appt. with a GYN oncologist at MSK. I am still planning on seeing him in a couple of weeks to get a second opinion. Or is this my third opinion now?
My excitement when receiving the good news about my results only lasted a few seconds because my brain decided to start wondering how accurate those results were.
If I wasn’t a cancer patient already I would have let denial do his job and allow my mind to rest at peace. I would have held on to the good news and kept going. I do that sometimes. But ever since I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer I tend to question many of the tests that are done to me and their level of accuracy. I do try to hold on to good news, especially when there’s nothing else that can be done to prove something is wrong with my health. I mean, tests can only go so far, right?
I sometimes have doubts after getting good results and I am not sure if I am being sensible. After hanging up the phone with my GYN this week, I started to wonder if those biopsies were taken from the same spot(s) the original samples were taken from – when the Pap smear was performed. What if she missed the spots? Yes, getting tests done is very important but you also want to get accurate information from those tests. No tests are 100% accurate, are they?
I know — this is the part where we need to stay “positive” and hope for the best. Keep the faith alive. But it’s a little challenging for me sometimes because I am already a cancer patient.
Why were my cells abnormal to begin with? I asked myself.
I need to be followed up again in 6 months with another pap smear.
I do feel a level of relief that the colposcopy report did not show cervical cancer, of course. Again, I don’t want to sound ungrateful. It is unfortunate that after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I just don’t feel like I can trust my body anymore. But I also need to learn to trust a little more because I am doing everything I possibly can to monitor my heath, while realizing I have no control over what can happen. My medical team is always on top of things, but there are limits to how much they can do as well. This is about all the control I can have when it comes to my health.
I need to hold on to the good news as everything can shift from one day to the next.