I had a great day today. I established a new collaboration that I hope will yield very interesting results. I taught a student a new protocol. I reviewed a manuscript that was actually quite good. I attended a cartwheel recital right here in my own living room. I had a good laugh while winning (and losing) at Twister with some young people who might not always know their left and right, but yes they can stretch all the way from red to green.
What made today truly remarkable was the absence of something. Based on the schedule I have maintained for the past two years, today should have been PET scan day. I should have fasted for 4 hours, rested for 1 hour while radioactive glucose did some reconnaissance in my body, and held my arms above my head in the cylindrical scanner. However, since my past two scans have yielded no signs of cancer, my oncologist has released me from prophylactic PET scans. ! ! !
The best part of PET scan freedom is PET scan RESULTS freedom. Ordinarily I would be too nervous to sleep on the night before PET scan results. But tonight I feel calm, relaxed, healthy, and normal.
This reminds me to say that I am continuing to gain control of the anxiety that has been plaguing my heart since my last PET scan in August. I don't think I've experienced a heart flutter since before my birthday three weeks ago. A few things to attribute this success to: huzzah for breathing, yoga, and knitting! And no, I don't have to live every day like it is my last! (Whoever came up with that saying clearly didn't have a life-threatening illness. Seriously. Talk about piling on the anxiety in a situation that truly doesn't need it!)
I do indeed have an appointment with Dr. Oncologist tomorrow to check on my blood (white blood cell counts, magnesium, etc.). I will continue to see her every three months, but I'll report back if tomorrow my leash gets loosened. My understanding is that as a person who had IBC I will remain on high alert until 2 years after my last treatment, and my last treatment was a year ago (November 8th or so). FYI I have a mammogram and surgical follow-up with Dr. Surgical Oncologist on Tuesday. I love my visits to Dr. Surgical Oncologist because I get a day to myself in the car and I take myself out to lunch. Fun times!
Speaking of my last treatment, the clock to calculate cancer survivorship starts 1 year after the patient's last treatment. I just passed the one year mark cancer-free! Happy one year survivorversary to me!!!
I'm grateful for the good times. So good.