I know I have talked before about scan results…the frustration of waiting…and then the “trying to understand” the results. Today was a CT scan result day, which involved an appointment with my oncologist.
It was slightly different than previous scan results because this one was supposed to ascertain how successful the radiofrequency lung ablation had been (the lung procedure I had had in January – see here for more details), in simple terms had the electrodes zapped the little buggers in my lungs? Except it didn’t…the results didn’t ascertain anything…they were inconclusive. Apparently this isn’t uncommon, the lungs take a while to heal, there is scarring and swelling…so I will need another CT scan in two months, and if that is inconclusive, a PET scan.
I’m sitting there thinking “okay, I can deal with this, blah, blah, blah” while deep inside there’s a lot of pent up emotion, churning around and having a real problem with the word “inconclusive”. You see, each time I have a hospital appointment, I get stressed, I can’t help it, I try and distract myself (today I left two bits of art as gifts to unsuspecting recipients – see the Art Abandonment Project here), I try and mentally prepare for the best and the worst case scenarios, BUT how do you prepare for the “we don’t know” scenario? Because you spend so much time fretting (whether or not it is in the front of your brain or not, you are still doing it) in the lead up to these appointments, when you get a result like this, a “frustrating, in the middle, not sure” one, it takes quite a while to come down emotionally…indeed I often feel the need to do something rather extreme the moment I leave the oncologist’s consulting room…such as screaming very loudly, or punching the first person I see, or collapsing on the floor and crying uncontrollably! But I don’t, I just hold Mark’s hand, walk back to the car, drive home, go to bed, pull the duvet over my head and wish it was all a bad dream.
So in two months time we go through the whole palaver of that process again -
- …waiting for the CT scan appointment,
- …arranging an appointment for a cannula to be fitted on the same day (I have to have the high contrast dye and they can’t inject me directly because I have crap veins),
- …going to have the cannula fitted and hoping the receptionist has told someone you are there,
- …having your arm put in a bucket of very hot water,
- …having sharp things stuck in your arm, usually several times,
- …going to the CT scan waiting room and drinking yukky white stuff,
- …waiting and waiting,
- …having the actual scan (which actually takes about 15 minutes),
- …hoping that someone has arranged a results appointment with your oncologist (although last time I arranged it myself and I probably will next time),
- …and finally waiting for the results appointment.
But let’s take some “positives” (I know Lesley, don’t faint!) from today:
(a) Nothing has changed, which is good (most of the time) in cancer world!
(b) I know no more than I did yesterday…I have no new information to freak myself out with!
(c) I am still an impatient little shit!
P.S. Oh yes, I might be starting radiotherapy next week at Colchester if they have a free slot…it will be a 5 day course (consecutive)…this is the superficial type which will target the lump under my arm, at best it will shrink it. I know that it will be a “good” thing to have, but all I can think of is the pain it is likely to cause, the hassle of getting to Colchester (I don’t drive) and the fact that I am really pig sick of hospitals.