Monday, November 19, 2007

Riding the Cancer Roller Coaster

The only thing more stressful than having medical tests is getting the results.

This afternoon started out with a bone scan (which doesn’t really have much to do with cancer, except for the increased risk of osteoporosis from Arimidex). I chatted with the technician and she ended up telling me that she was recently diagnosed with DCIS insitu (early stage breast cancer, before it forms a tumor) and that she is waiting to hear when she starts radiation. She was a real sweetie and even stood on a chair to take a picture of me getting the scan.

The second test was an ultrasound of a spot on my spine that I thought had been dismissed as clear after a CT scan a few months ago. The technician took the longest time studying the scans and going over and over the same spot on my back. Then she called in a doctor to have a look at it and they talked as if I wasn’t there, about “the diameters of the lesion” and whether or not it was “encapsulated” and other things that were too technical for me to understand. I started to panic when they talked about calling in a third person to have a look and then left the room.

All this time I was lying face down, with my mind racing ahead to treatment options and other not-so-positive scenarios. After much debate and a look at my last CT scan, they determined that it looked like nothing and that I should keep an eye on it and let the doctor know if it got any bigger. (How I’m supposed to do that when it’s in the middle of my back and I can’t reach it, I’m not quite sure!). I walked out of the hospital feeling a bit shell shocked, and made the wise decision to not go back to work this afternoon.

Just another day in the life of a cancer patient…

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