I am going to try to be detailed here because this post will be one that I will probably refer to as I continue this cancer journey. Especially if everything turns out okay.
Today I had a 6 month check up with Dr. Ansari, my oncologist. Everything was fine--I will say that so you don't worry as you read this--BUT, because of my annoying cough, he decided to do a chest x-ray. I will not know my results until tomorrow. Ok...now that I got that out there you know my frame of mind. Feeling really good about the visit but worried about the chest ray results.
So I get there and I first have blood work. Easy. Then I ended up waiting quite awhile to see Dr. Ansari. While I was waiting for him in the patient room, I freaked myself out for a moment because the nurse had the computer screen turned on...I immediately thought he was going to show me something in my breast MRI, when actually, she was just typing in data. I didn't remember the computer screen thingy being in the other rooms I was in so my mind assumed I was in the "I have bad news" room. Silly.
So I waited some more. I could hear Dr. A with a patient next to me...I knew he was a new patient as I heard him make introductions. I figured the poor guy needed lots of time so I certainly wasn't upset or anything. Finally, Dr. A came in and said hello, and started reading my charts, etc. He ALWAYS stops at the letter from Dr. Wolf, my ENT at U of M, and makes mention of it. (Like it is the first time we have ever talked about the letter that is almost a year old). Anyway, then he finds my MRI report and says "normal" so that is good. Then he says he needs to examine me and "'when we are done we will talk." His exam was basically a pat down through my clothes and all over my neck and shoulders...I don't know what he was feeling for (I don't mean to suggest there was anything inappropriate about it..it was just weird) When he was done, I asked him to double check my neck area and explained how bad it always hurt and he said anything that was hurting me was related to my schwannoma removal in 2001...I asked him if there was any research to show ACC breast metting (my shortened word for metasticizing) to neck and he said NONE. (which I have found as well but it was nice to hear it from him) He then said 'but we will do a PET/CT in 6 months, not for the cancer but because Dr. Wolf wants to see if the schwannoma has returned. So that was something I didn't expect him to say.
Then he sat back and said "so how are you doing?" I said "physically, I think I am doing well, but HOW IN THE HECK DO I DEAL WITH ALL THE WORRY OVER EVERY LITTLE SYMPTOM???? I explained how I thought I had liver cancer, (he smiled) how I thought my neck was filled with ACC, and now that I have had a minor cough for three weeks, i thought I had lung cancer. As soon as I mentioned that, he said "then we do a routine chest xray. that is easy" He knew I was very nervous about it but obviously, it is the thing to do since chest xrays are no big deal in terms of cost or radiation. He said " we do today. i will only call you if there is an issue. But you can call tomorrow if you want." (he knows me!) He then talked to me for about 15 minutes about how normal I am, that most of his patients feel good every week prior to visits with him except to the week just prior, and how good they feel when they leave him. (that is me to a T) He was very understanding and said that in time, it will get easier. I pointed out that my cancer comes back YEARS later and he said "do not confuse ACC/breast with ACC elsewhere. They are two different things. With ACC/breast you are "surgically cured" as you had clear margins" (that was nice to hear too, but i know better but will hang my hat on it after tomorrow's results!) I then told him I thought I should see him every 4 months and he smiled and said "you call me whenever you want, but I do not need to see you every 4 months. " He explained that it simply wasn't necessary and that it could cause me more anxiety than I already am having, He did say "I would never refuse to see you". I then said "well, it sounds like I am more worried than you are." And he said "I am not worried." So that was that.
I did have my chest xray right there...after it was done, the tech was calling the place I had my previous xray so i am guessing that that is routine, OR, he saw something, which easily could be that granuloma. That freaked me out a bit but I am just hopeful it was routine and that they just want to double check on the granuloma. It just has to be normal. Oh, by the way, after I told him that part of my problem with worry was not trusting him (as i don't see him very often) he said he would ALWAYS tell me the truth and never hides anything. I assumed that to be true but it was nice he verbalized it.
The other slightly interesting thing was that in March, I WILL have a bilateral mammogram. I didn't think they did that with implants but they do. So I have that a few days after my PET/CT, and then I will see him again somewhere around March 10. Gosh, it will be so nice to go through Christmas without doctor's appointments to worry about.
So as I type this, I feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. It could be worry, or my jalapeno peppers on my sandwich at lunch today...or maybe allergies. Or maybe a heart attack. Hopefully it will pass. I am still coughing but I can contribute it to post nasal crap...it certainly isn't awful...and normally, i wouldn't think anything of it....but,,,,,,,,,,,,
ANYWAY. That is my report. I walked into house today after school and literally tip-toed into the room where the answering machine is...no one had called from his office so I feel good about today at least. I will probably die of a heart attack if they call tomorrow. ARGH. Can"t think about that now>
Josh is at the freshman game...Jim is coaching...Andrew went to dinner with the football team at Pete's Patio (YUM!) and I have made pork chops that are simmering with some red potatoes. Glad the rain is here finally...just hope it clears up for tomorrow night's game.
Pray for a clear chest xray for me...it sure can't hurt can it???
MUCHO LOVE to you all!