So I think this has to be the worst part about all of this.
The waiting game, in between the scans and getting the results.
I don't care who you are, or how positive a mindset you have, this part fuckin' blows!
Two days can feel like two years.
And in that time, you can conjure up aches and pains that weren't there a week ago. Aches and pains that you're 90% sure are just in your head, but there's still that 10% chance that they're not. That they're real. And even then, even if if they are real, they could be absolutely nothing of concern. But, then again, they could be something serious.
It's a vicious fucking circle. And it's a ride that's hard to get off of, once you step on.
This current waiting game that I'm in right now, is the furthest in my head that I've gotten since finding out that I had cancer. And holy shit, is it ever a neurosis filled rabbit hole!
I think I've held it together pretty well thus far. Keeping the anxiety to an impressive bare minimum. But I'm waiting, right now, for the results from my first post-chemo CT scan, AND I've also been dealing with a feeling of fullness or pressure on my bladder - for the last month or so.
I drink A LOT of water, so I didn't really think much of it at first. And I recalled reading an article a while back, about how people (without even realizing it) don't always empty themselves fully when they're on the toilet. So I made a point of being conscious about that when I was going to the bathroom. And when that didn't remedy the situation, and I was still able to go without any problem or pain, I assumed that ruled out a bladder infection and convinced myself that I was making something out of nothing because I'm so hyper-sensitive and aware of everything going on in my body.
With that said, and after more than three weeks of this, I decided to call in and talk with a chemo nurse.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (aka PMH) offers their patients an incredible service, where we can call in anytime of the day or night and talk with a nurse about any symptoms or side effects that we may be experiencing. Isn't that amazing!?!
I broke everything down for the nurse, and even told her that I couldn't be 100% sure that it wasn't just in my head. And she was awesome!
She told me that if I had been feeling this for a few weeks now, that it likely wasn't psychological. She also saw in my file that I would be in the following day for my Hormone Blocker infusions, and suggested that I arrive a bit early to provide a urinalysis, so that we could see if perhaps it was a bladder infection - as, come to find out, there are different kinds of bladder infections that don't always have to make it burn when you pee (who knew?!)!
From there, she said that if that came back negative, the CT scan that my Oncologist had scheduled for May 2nd, would get a closer look to rule anything else out.
Flash forward to the next day (April 30) - just a couple of hours after providing a urine sample - and the results come back negative. So, it's not a bladder infection.
Of course it's not, because that would have been far too easy. #sigh
Two days later, I'm back at PMH again for my CT scan. Drinking a litre of that chalky goodness (ugh), only to be told that I have to drink even more fluids right before the scan. This is one time when I know for sure that the feeling of a full bladder is the real deal.
And from there, I head home and wait.
Wait for the results that will confirm whether or not the lesions (metastasis) on my liver are being maintained by the hormone blockers, now that I've completed chemo. And wait to find out if there really is something going on in and/or around my bladder, or if my head is just playing a really mean (and seemingly real) trick on me.
Another really handy service that PMH offers its patients is the “MyUHN online portal”, which sends email notification anytime a result or doctors (dictated) note is posted. So I can login to my portal and see exactly what my doctors see, when they see it.
And, being the type A (and, for the last couple of weeks, increasingly neurotic) person that I am, I can't tell you how many times I refreshed my inbox, waiting and hoping to see "myUHN: New Result" appear.
But we all know the old adage - "a watched pot never boils". Well, the same can be said for an anticipated email.
Until, at last, at 3:53pm yesterday (May 6), the email appeared!!
But here's the kicker - my follow up appointment to go over the results, isn't for another two days! Which, as I mentioned earlier in this post, can seem more like two years!
And, even though I have access to the reports (via the online portal), I've been warned by my Oncologist and even a few chemo nurses that it is best to refrain from reading CT scan results because I don't know the lingo, and much of it can read (in layman's terms) as false positives - and who the hell needs that, on top of all of this!!
Calling in, and asking Dr W (my Onco) to go over the results on the phone is certainly an option. However, if he doesn't have the time, that 10% of my brain is going to go straight to "it's bad news that he doesn't want to deliver over the phone". And then off I go again, down another rabbit hole.
This whole anxiety thing is new to me, but I'm catching on fast!
So I wait. For another one day, twenty-two hours and forty-seven minutes!
"Like sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our lives" - Days of Our Lives
p.s. To my family and friends; I'm all good! I'm obviously a little anxious leading up to my appointment on Thursday (to put it mildly), but I've got my trusty Ativan script if need be. So please don't worry! 😉