11.07.2012

Cee Tee Three

The family that prays goes to the oncologist together, stays together!
Scanxiety: the tension which builds particularly amongst those who have or have had cancer as they move towards their regular check up scan, hyperscanxiety being the period as they await results! 

Boy I missed this...said me NEVER!
Not sure why the definition ended in an exclamation mark, as that implies excitement. The only thing that's been excited today is my heart rate.

Though this scan was just routine and I was given no reason to worry by my oncologist, I couldn't help but feel this scanxiety I hear so much about in cancer circles.

Not the same anxiety I felt walking into the infusion room that made me want to find the nearest trash can, but the kind that bombards the mind and takes over thoughts and temporarily takes you to the land of "what ifs" until you can snap out of it.

I think the anxiety boiled down to the discovery of something new.

In the case of this third scan, it wasn't so much the new that has raised some eyebrows, as there isn't anything new. So that's good. Yeah. Exhale. Just a little bit.

With that said, the all-to-common-in-normal-people nodules in my lungs are still present as permanent additions to my chest. Though the second scan in January showed that they weren't growing and could be written off as little calcified nodules, one of them just had to stand out from the group and measure a different size this time. It's either growing or giving the appearance of growing. Now I can finish exhaling.

Before anyone starts getting all sorts of crazy, know that it could be months and months before anything comes of that little renegade nodule or its fate.

First and foremost, my oncologist let us know it could just be the way the CT scan was cut. These things are being measured in millimeters, and considering that most of you reading this can't even count millimeters without the aid of glasses, let's not put too much pressure on the CT scan to perform here. So there is the chance that the cuts are just a little different from my previous scan, making the nodule look like it's grown a few millimeters when it has not grown at all.

I envision a little fat pocket in a spiral cut ham. Depending on where the spiral cut hits, that little round ball of fat can look bigger or smaller. So perhaps the cut was a little off and this little nodule just got dissected in a different spot. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

The second possibility is that it could be cancer. But because this possibility is months off from actually becoming more than a possibility, my doctor did not appear to be overly alarmed, rushed, pressed or urgent in his actions. I'm sure if he felt a sense of panic, he would have addressed it immediately instead of sending me off to worry and wonder for the next few months. Clearly he knows that I never over think or over analyze anything!

The next few months are going to be lovely, because I didn't have anything else to occupy my thoughts with during that time.

In February, I'm going back for another CT scan. With the scan Monday confirmating a clean and clear abdominal region, he said I could skip that tasty liter of toilet water oral contrast and just get a chest scan. If only all this radiation would make my boobs magically grow, it would save Kyle from having to buy me some later.

Should that scan show further growth in that one naughty rogue nodule, we will take it up a notch and I'll hang out in the PET scan machine. If that machine doesn't grow me some boobs, Kyle better get out his check book!

So for the next 3 months, I'll walk around in that all too familiar cloud of the unknown that cancer is infamous for producing. The silver lining of that cloud is that I have 3 whole months to prepare for what may come or what may not come. In the end there may be a big medical climax that results in a big pile of nothing to worry about. I will be ready for the next step regardless.

One more scan down, a lifetime of them to go!

How much I love thee, let me count the ways. Now get your heads off this dirty couch in the oncology waiting room!

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