It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? My bad. Dan and I went to Boston at the end of September/beginning of October for my work conference (which I’ll make another post on), then he went to Belgium for work and I went to Seattle for my three month check up.
Great news: my PET/CT scan and exam came back clean!
I flew to Seattle on a late Wednesday night so I could go to a dress rehearsal of the Barber of Seville on Thursday night with a friend, then have my PET/CT scan on Friday morning. Side note: the Barber of Seville is amazing and if you get the chance to see it, you should.
While I was pretty sure my scan would be good, there’s always that underlying fear that they would find something. It was also a very emotional day for me. Two days before, I had sent flowers to a friend who had had a baby, but I just wanted to let her and her husband know that we were happy for them and thinking about them. She responded with a picture of them and their baby and an update, which I apparently wasn’t ready for. I ended up crying on the flight over. The next day, a friend informed me another friend that I had planned on seeing during my trip was pregnant, and without meaning to, I started crying again. I was happy for my friend, but sad for our loss and for my pregnancy that would never be. Then I was angry at myself for being so upset over a friend’s happy news. And then I was stressed out about whether I should see my friend or not.
When I got to my scan, they had to ask the question: Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? And I lost it. I started crying and replied, “Can you please make sure that this question isn’t asked again?” The tech was so kind and said she would try her best to make sure notes would show up so this wouldn’t show up on my normal questionnaire.
I thought about my MRI in Houston during my Pet/CT scan. I remember Dan being in the room with me, his hand on my foot the whole time, trying to comfort me during everything. I remembered looking at our baby on the screen, and the tech trying to show us what she thought was the best angle. I remembered her making a comment of the baby not moving that much, even though before the scan she said babies usually moved a lot. I remembered wondering if that was the first sign that things weren’t going to end well.
It was hard to go back to that day. A couple tears rolled from my eyes, but I couldn’t move to dry my face and it was so cold. I said to the tech, “I know you’re not supposed to say anything, but can you tell me anything?” and she answered, “Well, I could see you bladder filling during the scan, and normally if I see something that’s worrisome I would have asked you to empty your bladder again. I didn’t do that, so… Take that as you will.”
I was so relieved and I texted Dan who was flying back from Belgium at that moment. He flew out for the day that Monday when we had an appointment with Dr. Goff. We sat in the waiting room nervously, and I was trying to get work done while we waited. When they called us back, we passed Dr. Goff who was sitting at her computer and had just dialed a number on her phone.
“I have good news for you!” she yelled as we walked down the hall. What an amazing feeling. Dan and I looked at each other and smiled, we both felt a hundred pounds lighter. Apparently we both looked so scared and sad, that she needed to relieve our fears before our appointment. I reminded her of our April appointment when the first thing she said to us was, “I have bad news.”
When she came in for my exam, she said the scan was clean. She did an exam and said everything looked good there as well. She did let us know that because one of my lymph nodes from the April biopsy was positive, I am at a 20-25% chance of the cancer coming back. We will monitor it by going back every three months for an exam with Dr. Goff, and every six months we will add a CT scan as well.
Is it possible that we have gotten through the worst? That I am now cancer-free? I’m cautious to be so excited, but hopeful that the worst is behind us.