My web site is devoted to medical and treatment information about this rare cancer. My blog is devoted to sharing what has been the more difficult part of the journey for me, the emotional and spiritual road I've traveled as a rare cancer survivor.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

CT Scans

CT Scans. I dreaded them. I was in anguish anticipating dates of impending scans. I don't know how to even describe my feelings on the days I awaited CT scan results; those days were horrible, terrible. Sometimes the unknown, the waiting, was almost worse than the initial diagnosis. A woman I know with breast cancer told me that the ten minutes she waited for the result of her mammogram were the longest in her life. Ten minutes? I waited days for CT scan results. I'd have paid a lot of money to have results in ten minutes. Ten minutes of anguish vs. hours and hour of dread.

My life after chemo and surgery rotated around scheduled CT scans and their results. I lived my life from CT scan to CT scan, afraid to plan my life beyond the next scheduled scan. I felt sometimes like I imagined a prisoner must feel as they came before a judge for sentencing. Would I be paroled and on probation...able to live my life in relative freedom until the next scheduled CT scan? Or would my CT scan sentence me to yet more surgery and more chemotherapy, put me back on that merry-go-round of uncertainty. Or would my CT scan result be a death sentence, would I be put on death row spending what was left of my future anticipating my demise? I suddenly felt sympathy for the convicted criminal, as strange that sounds. We were in the same fraternity.

I know I watched every movement, facial expression and mannerism of the person conducting my scans. Did they look like they'd seen something on the scan, had they flinched? Did a facial expression that wasn't a smile mean they saw something on the scan that was negative, a new tumor? When they weren't overly friendly, did it mean they were keeping a professional distance as they saw something terrible on the monitor? When they smiled and were friendly, were they covering up so I wouldn't know what they had seen? I never paid so much attention to body language as I did to that of the person conducting my scan.

I've passed the 5 year mark and wondered if this means I can get off the CT scan merry-go-round.I've heard from some that we should get CTs yearly for life.I haven't decided if I will do that yet.

Many write me who are stuggling while awaiting scheduled CT scan or awaiting results. I know only too well what a difficult time you are going through. My heart goes out to all of you.

1 comment:

Graham Davies said...

Exactly my feelings too. I underwent surgery for the removal of a urachal mucinous adenocarcinoma on 1 March 2006. My first post-op MRI scan was in June 2006. Around three weeks later I was given the results: OK. My first post-op CT scan was in November 2006. In January 2007, after a skiing holiday, I was given the results: OK. My next CT scan is on 7 August 2007. Another long wait, I guess. I feel great right now, but what's going on inside my abdomen?