Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lengthening The Leash - Sort of...

On October 6th, I had my one and a half years post-chemotherapy CT scans. Six scans later I left the hospital feeling quesy (the combination of barium sulfate and injectable dye gets harder to stomach every time).

My follow-up appointment with my new oncologist, Dr. B was not until the end of the month, so I emailed Andrea, my nurse, a couple of days after the scans. No Evidence of Disease, see you at the end of the month!

On October 27th, I headed back into Farmington and met with Dr. B. First I met with the resident. I truly believe that the job of a resident oncologist is to scare cancer survivors. Did you know there was swelling in my bronchials that showed up on my CT scans? Neither did I. But she sure listened to me breathe for a long time before checking my prior scans and deciding it was always like that - residual scar tissue from the cancer. The joys of being a human science project :)

Dr. B came in and he did a shortened version of the results talk and exam that the resident had done.

Then he said they would switch me to scans every six months, if I was okay with it. Okay with that, yes, I am great with that. Moving my scans to every six months (versus every three) was my big goal for this appointment.

He did say that they still need to be very vigilant and I will still need to be checked every four months, but that it can be done with bloodwork, rather than scans (with scans every six months so there will be a period twice a year when I am in the cancer center every two months).

Although I was not overly thrilled with this decision (I was hoping they would lengthen my leash to only showing up at the cancer center once every six months) I accepted his decision without argument or comment. Both Dr. B and Dr. A have talked about being vigilant about my follow-up care and since I did have cancer and they are oncologists, I am not going to argue that one.

I will take my victories where I can though and am very happy that I do not have to drink barium sulfate for another six months!

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