Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The PET scan was another adventure. The day before I could only eat protein and non-starchy vegetables. Never thought I would miss bread and FRUIT like I did. Not only that, but I couldn't exercise, was not even supposed to take a walk. Couch potato heaven without the snacks. On the day of the test I walked from the waiting room outside to a trailer, then up on a lift to get inside. There, an IV was started in my hand and radioactive sugar injected. I had to rest in a recliner for 45 minutes, not even allowed to read, waiting for my tissues to take up the glucose. If I fidgeted too much I might have caused excessive uptake of the glucose in my muscles and thus ruined the images. So I slept. Finally into another part of the trailer for a CT scan, ho hum after all I have had.

The results were more good than bad but not definitive. The new mass was not "hot" as a cancer would be expected to be but "warm", close to normal. The next step is a needle biopsy scheduled for Monday. I can't help being optimistic as more checks fall in the NOT CANCER column. If not a recurrence, what?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Last week began another routine followup, starting with blood work. I was a little frustrated as I was not able to get the results before the oncologist did, plus, I had to delay my CT scan until this Monday. As you might imagine, I was a bit anxious going in to the appointment. Though my tumor marker was the lowest it has ever been, and normal, my CT scan showed a new mass in my pelvis, small, but definitely new. This looked like a recurrence of the cancer, but why was my tumor marker normal? A PET scan is scheduled for next Monday to answer this question.
What a let down. Yesterday was my birthday and instead of celebrating, I sat in the oncologist's office with John, hearing bad news. Today I was back at work, queasy from worry, trying to enjoy the birthday surprises arranged for me. Among these was a wonderful chocolate cupcake. Mmmm. It went a long way toward improving my mood. Amazing how a group of happy, singing people could remove part of the burden I was carrying. And how attending to my patients' needs made the bad CT recede in my memory.
Thank you all.