Sonya Janssen-Luper

First post: Sep 1, 2017 Latest post: Jan 7, 2018
This seems quite surreal to be typing in such a platform. Less than 5 days ago I thought that I was perfectly healthy. Last Thursday, I was headed to eat dinner with friends when I started to not feel so great. I tried to power through it in true Sonya fashion. It became evident the longer I sat there that it wasn't going away. I finally decided to go to Urgent Care. I was treated for a kidney stone and sent on my way. It was amazing. I felt great after they gave me an injection of pain medicine. The pain stopped as quickly as it had started. I even drove home. They did schedule me for a CAT scan the following day to make sure that the "kidney stone" was moving. I went for my cat scan despite the fact that I didn't exactly think it was necessary. I mean I felt perfectly fine. There was no returned pain and I had slept quite well. I visited with the tech who was doing my scan. We talked about her adorable kiddos and caught up as we've known each other many years. It was a painless and pleasant experience. I went on my way. It was a beautiful day and Chloe and I were headed to Indy for her appointment. Everything was great. It was sunny, not too hot and we were navigating through Indy rush hour traffic with no difficulty, swearing or near misses. We were looking forward to getting home and getting the weekend started.

That's when I received the call. I got a call from the Urgent Care nurse asking me to come back in to discuss my test results. I didn't immediately understand what she was saying or why she wanted me to come back in. Why would I need to go back to Urgent Care to get my test results?? I told her that I didn't think I could make it back in before they closed for the evening but she was persistent. I eventually convinced her to give me the results over the phone (now I know that seems crazy but I work with these people every day, we know one another and I was relentless). Eventually she muttered the words that I was in no way, shape or form prepared to hear. She proceeded to tell me that I didn't have a kidney stone at all but rather I had a "very large mass that was highly suspicious". It took it a minute to sink in and I was driving when I then realized that I had her on speaker phone and my daughter and grandmother were sitting there listening to the same thing that I just heard. I was initially perplexed but quickly realized that this was serious. Chloe cried all of the way to Lafayette and simply muttered 1 question "Are you going to die?" I didn't know how to answer that...and I still don't. I was able to somehow make it back to Lafayette from Indy and get to Urgent Care before they closed. That is where I received the details of the CAT scan. It was scary. I always thought that they measured masses in millimeters not centimeters. I thought that I must've misheard her on the phone. Surely the mass wasn't THAT big but sure enough, it was THAT big and a CAT scan has limitations but the Radiologist used a lot of scary words like "neoplasm, very suspicious and cystadenocarcinoma".  

That was Friday night. They also took a CA125 blood draw that night. As I sat in the very room where I routinely counsel other Urgent Care patients, I found myself feeling scared, vulnerable and confused. I had the most amazing nurse and supports with me but I still felt blindsided. How could this be? How could one pain, one trip to UC turn into this?? What was the next step? When would I get my blood test results? What did they mean? and most importantly, what was I supposed to do in the mean time? I was being referred to oncology at The Simon Cancer Center in Indy. I'm pretty familiar with that place considering the time that I spent working in hospice and now my days working in primary care with docs, nurse practitioners, nurses, and medical assistants. Why wouldn't they start by referring me to an Oncologist in Lafayette. Was it THAT serious? 

I did what any food loving girl would do. I went and ate Bruno Dough. It didn't taste very good and I wasn't very hungry. The best part of the meal was the company and the silly little girls playing with the hand dryer in the bathroom. I felt like I wasn't really there, rather watching from afar. I tried to act like the weekend was just a normal ole weekend but I couldn't seem to function very well. I received the results from the CA125. Those were not good either.  I muddled through the weekend with lots of tears. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate and I just wanted to rewind to Friday morning. I started the tenuous task of telling people because I knew that I was going to need every single support that I could wrangle up. 

Monday finally came around and I was happy to go to work to  do what I do...helping other people deal with THEIR problems. To quote a dear friend I was trying to "lose myself in my work". That had always been sound advice and I had generally always been able to do just that. Things were going just fine until approximately 9:05 am that morning when I got the call from The Simon Cancer Center. They had scheduled me for my pre-op appointment for Friday and surgery on Tuesday. In just 7 days.....What? no further tests? no other doctors?  and surgery? Just like that? And the word cancer was common language now. Everyone was referring to it by the "c" word.  (And it wasn't that special little "c" word that is reserved for vulgar girl talk)

Wow..... this is real: real scary, real serious and really real. Holy crap!!! So here I am telling you this so I can lean on each of you.  For maybe the first time in my life, I am not able to fix this by outsmarting, out working or out thinking it. "IT" is inside of me and growing at a feverish rate. I have no way of knowing exactly what it's done and what to expect in my immediate future.   What I do know is that I am prepared to do what it takes to beat this because "Ain't nobody got time for this". 

Rest assured, I am scared and nervous but my energy has to be used for this fight.  Please send me good vibes, positive energy, sarcasm and silliness. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. As many of you have heard me say this week "I am not a sad sack, I hate this crying crap".  Please help me stay positive...:)


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