Bad Things Come in Threes

A while ago, I wrote about how good things come in threes. Well, I guess bad things come in threes too.

I didn’t write a motivation progress report this week because I screwed up. I’ve been forcing myself to work and to run, but I’ve been eating junk and not tracking my calories. When I get stressed and upset the only things that seem to make it ok for a little while are eating dessert of buying stuff. Since I’ve been busy working and running, I haven’t had time to buy stuff, so that leaves eating. I really hate myself for it.

The second bad thing this week is this lesion in my mouth. It’s been three weeks and it hasn’t healed. I burned the right side of my hard palate on a nacho a while ago. It felt like the typical minor burn you get from eating something that was too hot, but then I noticed there was something hard and sharp where the burn was. Exposed bone. Great. Could I really have burned myself so badly that I exposed hard palate bone?! It didn’t hurt anymore. The burned feeling went away after a few days, but the lesion never closed. I went to the dentist to get it checked out. She doesn’t know what it is, but thinks it’s weird, so she’s sending me to an oral pathologist. Why does all this weird stuff happen to me?! I just don’t want to deal with it right now (or fork out $300 for the appointment). I took the next available appointment with the oral pathologist which is guess when….. my birthday! How would you like a bone biopsy for your birthday?! Brilliant. This bone thing was kind of sharp, so it was really bothering me. Not really painful, more annoying, like a canker except sharp. So I got fed up and I pulled it out. I don’t know if that was such a good idea, but it’s out and feels better. Now there’s a big dent where the bone was. It feels like the hole that’s left behind after you pull a baby tooth out as a kid. I saved the bone shard in case the pathologist wants it. I wonder whats going on. Hopefully I’ll find out Tuesday.

The third bad thing really puts my whole exposed bone trauma into perspective. One of our friends has cancer. She and my husband met as teenagers and have been best buddies for nearly 15 years. Since Hubby and I have known each other for 10 years, I’ve obviously become pretty good friends with her. Lynn loves animals, works at an animal hospital and doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. It breaks my heart when such awful things happen to such good people. She’s 32 and two days ago she was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that has spread to her liver. How does this stuff happen so fast?! She thought she had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)! The doctors have told her it’s treatable, so she’ll take 6 months off work to do chemotherapy. Treatable?! Is that code for something I don’t know about? I think doctors forget sometimes that what is base knowledge to them is not to everyone else. As I scientist, I forget all the time, but it’s not my job to diagnose people and explain to them what is going on. Lynn thinks she is going back to work in six months. She’s looking at her time off as a vacation. No one explained to her what metastasis means. No one told her that there is a 6% survival rate after this cancer has spread to another organ. I’ve spoken to some of my twitter friends who have known people in similar circumstances. They had 6 months after diagnosis. I don’t know how to face her knowing this. I’m not going to be the one to tell her. She was supposed to meet with the oncologist yesterday. Hopefully they gave her a better definition of “treatable”. This is the kind of thing you see on TV, it’s not the kind of thing that actually happens to someone you care about. I’m in shock and feel totally sick about the whole thing.

I’m trying really hard to stay positive. Miracles do happen. She’s not just a statistic. She’s pretty healthy otherwise, there is hope. For now, we’re going to focus on her birthday which is on Thursday. We want to do something fun for her before chemo starts.

If anyone has known someone with colorectal cancer, or cancer with metastasis to the liver, I’d really like to hear from you, to know more about it.

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