11.05.2012

The Third Baseline

After that little vacation where I pretended that I never had cancer, I'm jumping off the high dive this week and back into that strange little world.

I've walk back into a hospital and sat in a room I've sat in twice already. I'm drinking the magical liter of tainted water that will make those cancer cells glow in the dark, should there be any that want to glow. Should there be any at all. The water is room temperature and taste about one grade lower than what you might get out of the bathroom sink.

My first two visits were amidst confusion and worry and concern and the unknown. I sat there sick and frail and in shock. I laid on a table and tried to feel empowered knowing that the enemy within had been discovered and its time was now limited. But I was still scared and cold and laying on a table all alone knowing that my fate was being sealed by some fancy tube and some injection that gave me the feeling I might be urinating on myself. Or was that just the liter of water I drank?

There I discovered that two of the harder aspects of cancer are the unknown and waiting. Lots of waiting.

The second visit was after my grand sigmoid removal and belly button renewal project, and explored little spots in my lungs to determine if they were just a common occurance present in a good number of healthy people, or something growing that might also be called cancer. I expect those common little nodules will be admired again, and hopefully just for fun again.

About as tasty as toilet water, but better than barium.
This third visit will establish my baseline scan. My oncologist has no concern for finding cancer, or so he says. I am merely being radiated again to establish where I am post-treatment and have a scan to which all future scans can be compared.
 
Though my medical team sees this as routine and has no reason to be concerned or expect anything more than another clean scan, I can't help but mentally and emotionally prepare for unexpected news. I think I learned my lesson early on in the journey with cancer; you can't naively have expectations.

This CT scan has forced me to get that box out of the attic and open it a little. Then on Wednesday, after I cathartically blog about my follow up with the oncologist, I will put the lid back on and toss it up into the attic again. Maybe I can just be a part-time cancer survivor? Or only be one when it suits my fancy or is required by medical professionals or questionnaires.

It will only be a 48 hour wait between my time alone in a room being scanned and my next follow up with my doctor. And I know that somewhere out there on the information super highway are imagines of my insides being zipped around--fate in hand. Assumingly with no glowing parts. Hopefully with no glowing parts. But none the less, prepared if there are some glowing parts.

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