For most women my age, they hear annual they think pap smear occasionally some thing mammogram damn how I wish it were those. Unfortunately for me my annual is accompanied by a PET scan, that's a full body scan to check for loose cancer cells. The scan fucking sucks, I get stuck with two needles, have to drink 1/2 a liter of barium and sit in a dark room for 90 minutes--this is all before the test, then I lay on a cold hard table for another 60 minutes. Doesn't sound like your idea of a party?!? No, not mine either.
Last year my PET scan was uneventful, I had the scan then the next day had it read, hugged my oncologist and said I'll see you in 3 months--this year wasn't as easy. I had my scan, left like it was nothing, proceeded to play with my sweet boy, hang out with my hubby and friend all as if I was the day before. Well the next morning I had first appt of the day with my oncologist (I usually do), he walked in the room and it felt different, the air felt heavier. Instead of really saying hello to me, he focused on tiny and made him a balloon out of a glove...he said, "we see something on your PET it's an inguinal node on your left side." 'Fuck' I thought to myself, I know we were all thinking the same thing. He went on to explaining that we'd need to biopsy it and they will try to get me in as soon as possible.
They worked their magic like they always do there and got me in 4 hours later. In the mean time I went out to the pet store with Phillip and Colin to meet my Mom's new dog, picked up some snacks for little man at Trader Joe's and then headed back for preop. I thankful ran into an amazing patient of mine from 2+ years ago at the elevator to distract me. She hugged me and we exchanged small talk, phew, a distraction just what I needed. It wasn't until I got back to the preop area that I felt this overwhelming feeling, looking back now I think it was straight up anxiety (after this visit Phillip told me how much PTSD he gets from stepping back into the hospital itself).
I had ever plan of doing these biopsies without medication, I feel like crap after conscious sedation and did not want to have to drive 5 hours back home with that shit on board. My nurse thank heavens was delightful. They wheeled me into the cold CT room and I just remember the warmth of my tears as they rolled down my cheeks, I could not believe we were here again (I just want to watch my baby boy grow). My sweet nurse held my hand as the fellow injected a crap load of lidocaine (which burns like fire) into my groin. They took 9 samples from my lymph node that day, the preliminary path that they got while I was on the table came back as reactive, I remember thinking please let that be right.
I got a call the next day saying the 24 hour path also indicates it is just reactive tissue, I thought I was done and could breathe now; except instead of just recommending I come back in 3 months for my standard chest CT, they recommended I come back in 3 months for a chest, abdominal and pelvic CT...FML, I hate cancer, I hate unpredictability, I hate constantly living in fear.