Cancer Lesson #??: Cancer Makes You Paranoid.

Cancer Lesson #??: Cancer makes you paranoid.

More than two years have passed since my last chemo, and I’ve been praying for arthritis. Between prayers, I’ve practiced what to say to my family and tried to figure out how to get through another course of treatment.

You see, my elbow has been hurting for over a month now, and I was convinced my cancer had metasize metastaz metatastiz spread. (Another, less pressing worry, was learning how to spell metastasized.)

The pain isn’t incapacitating, excruciating, or even constant, but it’s consistent.

Did I mention bone pain is the main sign that cancer has metastasized?

At first, I thought, “No problem. I have an appointment coming up. I’ll just ask Dr. H about it then.” Except I wasn’t seeing him until October, and the hurt wasn’t getting any better.

Yesterday, I called and changed the appointment.

Today, one chat with the doc, five X-rays, one phone call, and the mystery is solved. The problem is not cancer in my bones – thank God! – but  Anastrozole’s effect on my ligaments.

Cancer makes you paranoid. Having survived it once, my continued survival depends on continuous vigilance. Unsurprisingly, this vigilance sometimes crosses the line into my personal version of a cancer conspiracy theory. In short, I think cancer is out to get me.

The idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds. According to Metavivor Reasearch and Support, Inc. (, 30% of patients with early stage breast cancer develop metastatic breast cancer.

You know that expression, “Even paranoids have real enemies”?
Metastatic breast cancer is mine.

Paranoid? Maybe.

But alive.