Worry & Not Worry

I fell on my back about a month ago in step aerobics. This may seem impossible, but I did. We were sitting on our risers or whatever you call those long flat boards, holding those colored stretchy bands. I think mine was green, with handles. It was around my feet, but then slipped up and off my feet and I fell back. I wasn't hurt much. This is only important because I still have some pain (mostly when I push at the sites) around one vertebra and on my coccycx. And the pain wouldn't be important except that when cancer metastasizes it goes to the bones and shows itself as pain. I'm worried/not worried about it. I had a check-up appointment today with the surgeon. Her physician's assistant pushed on the places, hard, and said that if it was cancer, most likely it would have hurt more than it did. They both said that if the pain doesn't go away in a month, to call and get an x-ray. Deep down, I think it's nothing. After all, my sentinel node was clear. But I'm still afraid. I won't obsess, but I'll wonder.

I suppose the surgeon must like routine check-up appointments--they're a break from talking to scared women about how you're going to cut their skin and take some insides out. On the other hand, she may like talking to the frightened women and calming them down by giving them concrete information.

The surgeon has moved since I was last there, in the summer. Now she's in a nearby Fancy Hospital building. There used to be one large Breast Corral, with women of all ages waiting for mammograms and ultrasounds and surgeons. On the free phone you could hear people making traumatized personal calls. Now the "imaging" is separate from the surgery. I just followed the sign to a silent and empty waiting room. I saw the nurse there and she recognized me, and said I wouldn't have to wait long. She was right.

People ask me if there are scans to see if the cancer has come back, and there are, but the booklet the oncologist gave me (and which I can't find at the moment) says that there's no reason to do scans all the time, that mostly women report pain or other symptoms that turn out to be cancer. If I had the pain and I hadn't fallen in aerobics, I would be really worried. It does seem rather fast for metastasis. Chemo ended only five months ago, and the chances of cancer coming back without chemo was only 30 percent. I know someone who has "mets" and she did not have chemo. So based on one person I draw my conclusion.