So remember last June when I went to get my CT scan results at the hospital only to be told they hadn’t been completed yet? And that the saving grace of that whole debacle was being driven to the hospital in Spain’s ONLY Jaguar taxi??? Well, it happened again today. The Jaguar bit. The test results were all there today.
I mean, what are the odds? I didn’t even notice I was back in the Jag until I slid into the back seat (the driver held the door open for me) and saw THAT LOGO on the dashboard. And then I got all fan girl again, asking Pedro if he was still the only Jaguar taxi in Spain (he is) and also asking if I could get a card from him this time (which is how I know his name now). And then I thought… maybe this is a good sign, that everything is going to be alright.
Well, after waiting over an hour in Oncology I got to see my doctor, and she told me that I appear to be cancer free. Good news, right? Except I am still processing all this.
Since the PET scan a year ago that set off alarm bells, when the “area of inflammation” that has been showing up on my PET scans since 2008 had increased dramatically (previously it had been slowly shrinking), I have undergone a whack of testing: colonoscopy, endoscopy, several blood tests and 3 CT scans (latest CT was in November). And now, apparently, I am fine.
Well, that’s good! Glad to hear it, and all that. But now what? I mean, really, now what? My oncologist told me today that after ten years “cancer free” patients are given the “alta” (not sure what this is called in English) and regular scans and check ups are no longer required. I was told that if I experience pain or other symptoms, that they will check me again. Otherwise… nuthin’?
I don’t know. I mean, I am obviously happy that they have decided I am cancer-free after all this time. But, you know, I had fucking stage-4 colon cancer with metastisis to my liver and peritoneum and, to this day, none of my doctors understand why I am still here. I also know that by the time you feel pain caused by cancer you are already pretty much a goner. It’s the preventative testing that saves lives. So why am I getting kicked out of this option?
Okay, I wasn’t totally being shown the door. Because when I asked the doctor what sort of “control testing” they would be doing with me from this point on… well, she caved and said that they could do an abdominal ultrasound with blood tests in six months. And okay fine… I’ll take it.
I mean, I get it. CT scans are expensive, and PET scans even more so. In comparison an ultrasound is nothing. But once you’ve been through all I have gone through, and have talked with so many doctors, and never feeling like you are getting the whole story… it’s hard to believe you’re being told the whole truth. But for now, this is what I have.