Today, I arrived early at the cancer center for my regular bloodwork and CT scan. It is a routine that I have done 6 times since my last chemo treatment in the fall of 2011. All of the routine things happened today. My veins are still in hiding, so getting my blood drawn was difficult. And I was asked again by radiology tech, “Have you ever had a CT before?” My answer was “Not this year”. My best guess is that I have had close to 30 CT scans. I starting getting CT scans when this technician was in elementary school. I suppose I should learn to just say “yes” to this question, but it is a reminder of how long my life with cancer has been going on.
And the beauty of the 2013 version of the CT scan is that not only does it take much less time than the 1996 version, but it also takes much less time to have the results interpreted and sent to the oncologist. So by the time I walk back downstairs to the waiting room and get to see my oncologist, he already has access to the analysis and results from his colleague and can tell me what the game plan is going to be moving forward.
Back in 1996, I would have to setup a followup appointment 3 or 4 days later to get these results. The wait, the delay, the unknown was all so unsettling, that it would basically ruin my week. But now, I have only 20 to 30 minutes of this unrest. Wondering if life is about to get turned upside down all over again. While not nearly as agonizing, still it is a half-hour that I don’t anticipate with breathlessness, that is for sure.
I imagine that at this point that I should share that my scans were clear and again cancer-free. My oncologist also told me that I don’t have to come back for 6 months, instead of the 3 months that we have been doing each other. This means that I will officially only face and beat cancer twice before my 40th birthday. This is the only gift I really needed and wanted to receive this year – to get to 40, cancer-free.
[I am jumping the gun a little bit, my birthday is not for nearly 2 months, but I am fairly certain that there will be no reason for me to be anywhere near a hospital or CT scanner until my birthday and even less of a possibility this if for some reason I am in a hospital or getting a CT scan that a cancer diagnosis is not happening in the next 8 weeks. Basically, I am ’rounding up’ to 40.]