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I play tennis on two teams. I love tennis. Tennis is my soul, and it is my nemesis. I’ll never be as good as Serena, but tennis forces me to find me. I started having severe back pain during practices and matches. Visits to a chiropractor and physical therapy were doing nothing. Then, after a routine follow-up visit with my oncologist, I got a call that they wanted to do a CT scan. My liver enzymes were elevated. “No big deal,” my nurse said. “We send patients like you for these all the time, and it’s usually nothing.” I believed her. I was “all but cured.”
I spent a couple of very tense days where nothing but my mortality was on my mind. Then I got the call no patient ever wants. The one from my doctor’s phone extension, the one that starts, “Hi Lynn, are you driving?” My two children were sitting on the couch with me. I swallowed hard and, heart pounding, I walked away into another room. “Your CT scan shows lesions on your liver and from your neck to your femur on your skeletal system. I believe that your breast cancer has metastasized.” Whoosh — the sound of my mortality growing smaller like the air escaping from a balloon.
A brain MRI showed I had one more lesion in my brain. Seriously? A brain tumor too? At this point I start referring to my cancer in a very negative way. It is real to me — a monster hiding in the corner just waiting for the right moment to pounce. It has the power to wreak havoc on my life at its whim. I hate it. My prayers sound like screaming. They are always directed at Cancer.