Tomorrow morning I head to Memorial Sloan Kettering for my 12th PET/CT Scan.
Twelve. That number seems low to me.
I actually went thru my online charts and counted all my scans since I was diagnosed. I’ll be having my 12th PET/CT in 4 yrs. While it didn’t actually work out like this over the last 4 yrs, it averages out to be a scan every 3 months. (Thank God for easy elementary school math!). However, if I were to include all the MRI’s, CT’s and other tests, I shudder to think what the average would look like then.
Recently, I met with a filmmaker that’s working with the Compassion & Choices NY Aid in Dying Campaign. The opportunity also afforded me to see the lovely Amanda Cavanaugh, Outreach Coordinator for C & C. We spent some time in a few locations around Rochester. During the filming I shared why I’m in support of Aid in Dying Laws in New York State and why this is issue should be a bipartisan, non-religious, HUMAN issue between the patient and his/her doctor. One of the locations happened to be The University of Rochester, where my Son is a freshman this year. It was very surreal. I couldn’t help but acknowledging how ironic it all was. Here I was talking about Aid in Dying at the University my son attends shortly before I find out if my treatment has failed. How’s that for tempting fate???
The anxiety hasn’t kicked in yet. But it will. It always does. Eventually.
Everyone has a different way of dealing with an upcoming scan. There is no right or wrong way to handle the anxiety and PTSD that comes with scans like these. Coping mechanisms may even change over time. What worked for us in the beginning may not always work for us every time.
Here’s mine….because I’m a realist.
I always set myself up to expect bad news. I do this because I never want to be caught off guard by bad news ever again. I will never forget how it felt to hear my doctor tell me I had cancer as that conversation came out of left field. It sucked all the air out of me and I never want that feeling again. I would rather be completely relieved by good news than be kicked in the gut by a bad report. I also don’t ever want to be cocky enough to assume that I won’t get bad news; because sooner or later I will. It’s inevitable. This time I even prepared Adam. I would like to come home and tell him that I dodged another bullet, but until I hear those words myself, I’ll be mentally preparing myself for the “I’m sorry’ look in my Oncologist eyes or that tone in her voice if I get “THE” call as she gives me the news.
I’ll have my answers soon enough.