It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep for reasons of both body and mind. I have been a little quiet the past week, because I’ve been internally freaking out—not even about the return of the cancer, but of some other symptoms that have been plaguing me since mid-October.
It started when I was on vacation, when I felt numbness in my arms and legs. Sometimes it would wake me up. Eventually, I ended up in the ER in Scotland, where the blood tests came back normal. I followed up with some more normal blood tests at Sloan-Kettering. I saw a primary care physician who also said my blood tests looked normal, but she kept asking me when I was going to go to MSKCC. (The thing with being a cancer patient, sometimes, is that other doctors don’t want to deal with you if the answer doesn’t seem clear cut.) On the 8th of November, I saw a nurse practitioner who did some tests and ruled some things out, but nothing seemed to point to any obvious cause. I had hoped my MRI would provide some insight, and though it showed that the hint of a tumor had grown to over a centimeter in a few months, I’m beginning to worry that this is something else. My oncologists are referring me to a neurologist.
In the meantime, the occasional numbness in my arms and legs and in between my shoulder blades has become progressively worse. It hasn’t just been a slow decline, however; some days are better than others. I finally tried to get back to working out this week, but after four days in a row, my muscles would cramp up and freeze. On Thanksgiving, my hands kept freezing into claws. The next day I felt OK, but then by Saturday, I felt off again, and on Sunday, I discovered the beginnings of a rash.
I can’t sleep because I have deep pain in my feet and twitching all throughout my legs, as well as a throbbing sensation, almost as if I can feel all the blood coursing through my veins. I am full of random pains—in my knees, elbows, shoulders. Whoever has a voodoo doll of me, I am sorry for what I have done. You can stop it now.
Since it’s so late, I decided to take to the blog, and I already feel a little better, with my mind at ease a bit. It is more comforting than looking up my symptoms on the Internet and convincing myself I have permanent nerve damage, the activity that I had previously been engaged in since about 2 am when the tingling, burning and pain nudged me out of a half-sleep state.
When I feel OK, it’s easy to forget how terrible I’ve felt over the past few months, and the times when I’ve almost just thought about going to an ER, or the nights I’ve laid awake, terrified of what’s happening. I’ve tried to be brave through all of this, but these latest symptoms have scared me more than anything over the past four years. At one point today, a small jolt of pain brought me out of contentment and I realized that I’ve been in various states of pain for more than a month. I’m worried of what it could be but also worried that I’ll end up posing desperate pleas on message boards for answers. However, I know I am lucky to have access to great doctors, so I hope the mysteries of my symptoms fall into place and relief is hopefully in sight. I’m finally tired again, so goodnight.