For weeks now, actually months I have had a date on my calendar. I suppose I was dreading it more each day. It seems I only acknowledged that yesterday. Yesterday was that day on my calendar.
Usually, my son would go with me to these kind of appointments. Unfortunately, for me but, fortunate for him he is out of the country. I am a tough woman. I know that. I very capably took myself to my appointment. When given a liter of Iodine solution to drink in half an hour. A little bit was saved, as instructed for just before.
I had no problem drinking it all in less than the half hour limit I was given. I wonder why I felt like it was some sort of competition. Maybe that is a segment of what makes us strong. That sense that we must meet a certain high standard. Often, too high. Nutty. Ah, well.
I was given two injections once put on the table. Thank god a vein was found swiftly and easily. No pain is the standard of all injections. Well, my standard of injections. It is painful when the desired standard is not met. All too often not met the first or second try.
Once the machine begins it is swift and quiet. Not like an MRI that clunks and thunks and bangs so loudly it is actually terrifying to some. It closes in so closely around you it is, to some, like a coffin open at only the head and toes yet, allowing no movement for the torso or you will muck up the scan. Unlike this a PET Scan is quite. Close but, not quite so. Though, I do hate the holding my breath part of the PET Scan process. I could feel my face turning red and the pressure building up in my head fighting not to let my breath out until, I am told. That breath I held seems to expand inside of me until, it presses so greatly as it is trying to force its way out. Just as hard I have to force this breath to stay put. Stay put. STAY! PUT DAMNIT!!!
The Iodine I drank is affected by the radioactive (lightly) second injection I received as I lay on the table awaiting being sent into the tube. Together they attach or highlight any cancers that exist in my gastrointestinal system. In my case especially in the colon, anus, and rectum.
I had told my oldest sister about going in for the scan. She was so worried she called me later in the day to see if I had the results. Nearly as soon as she said that she realized that it would be too soon. My sister was clearly as anxious about the results as I had been. I assured her I would call as soon as I heard. “Ok. Ok.”
Twenty-four hours or more I am told I have to wait for the results. Shit. I HATE waiting. Thank god I got a call this morning around 10:00 a.m. Laurie, one of the truly wonderful and supportive staff and nurses of my oncology center, called. I was glad and terrified to hear her voice. “It is clear.” “Your scan came back clear.” She told me that the “effects of the radiation are still apparent” I am cancer free for another however many months until, the next regular check up.
Only instants after recieving the call I telephoned my sister to tell her. WHEW! She was so relieved for me. And funnily I for her.