Thursday, October 4, 2018


May/2018 I attend my regularly scheduled biyearly wellness appointment to monitor my colon-rectal cancer.Although I feel well, a blood test to detect cancer is elevated.The test known to have many false positives,is of concern. The decision, is to repeat the test in 4 weeks.
Emotionally I am convinced I have cancer and a limited life span. On the outside I remain calm, continue to practice my craft,while living  my daily life as best as I can.
I take stock.Facing these circumstances,one's priorities become readily apparent.. Life is all about one's relationships.
I travel to B.C. to partake in an important family tradition , namely my grandchidrens' Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Afterwards I take my entire family to the Okanogan,where my spirit is re-newed, spending time with my 6 grandchildren.
I arrive home filled with intense  fear and anxiety.The test is repeated, with the same results. My health providers decide to take a proactive approach by ordering a series of intense scans.
 Unfortunately, I am  an informed patient and realize they are looking to see if the cancer has spread. Suddenly, this crisis is all to real.
My anxiety soars.My body hurts everywhere.I try my best to maintain my dignity and live a normal life knowing it could end at any time.
What is it like to have a PET(Positive Emission Tomography)scan?You enter the hospital attached to the Ottawa Cancer Centre like a man condemned to the gallows.Outwardly I appear calm and in control, inwardly I am fighting negative thoughts,fears and anxiety.
 People react differently to stress. Some panic,others internalize their stress.Over the years, my stress tends to follow a pattern.Approximately 2 days before the event my anxiety reaches a crescendo. Racing thoughts,inability to concentrate,irritability and emotional liability are experienced
To combat the stress,I follow a routine that has been very helpful to me over the years.,Firstly,I talk about it to trusted friends and family, I exercise intensely, and I pray to a higher power .
 I arrive at the hospital,ask for directions, and quickly find my way to the waiting room.At precisely the scheduled time a male technician accompanies me to the preparation room.
The technician,a warm,kind and considerate man in his 40's,explains the procedure,verifies my identification and proceeds with the length preparation for the PET scan.The preparations involves drinking a radio-active cocktail, monitoring blood sugar levels and introducing a dye into the bloodstream.Despite my outward calmness  I feel jittery,and I accidentally knock over the cocktail. The technician reassures me all is well and helps to calm my nerves.
Exactly at the promised time,the technician places me on a table and repeats to me  the instructions of the PET scan. Essentially my task is to keep still while the machine moves over my entire body at times coming within inches of my head.
Having been the recipient of many scans I have learned how to cope with this procedure.I close my eyes and go to a happier place. For me that is on a beach with my grandchildren or a golf course where I shot my finest round.
 Finally the test is over. The technician indicates the picture are clear and after removing my Pick line I am free to go.As is my way, I engage the technician in polite conversation hoping to get a hint of the results.
I leave the hospital not knowing what will become of my life. The wait begins.
Unfortunately,unbeknownst to me the nurse and oncologist responsible for my care are both away on holidays.For over a month I do not hear the results of my test.Fortunately my personal physician received a copy of the test and to my great relief I remain cancer free.
However, there is a secondary problem with my prostate that needs further investigation..Today I learned that everything is OK., I feel blessed and grateful to begin my life anew.I intend to take full advantage of my good fortune and plan to make  the world a better place.

No comments:

Post a Comment