This post would be better if I had properly set it up with a post a few days ago to let you know that I had a PET scan this week. Unfortunately blog time has not been in the cards lately, so you won't get to ride the PET train with me. That's a good thing for you. You'll get nervous and relieved all in one sitting. I, on the other hand, have been a basket case for at least 3 three days now. That ends now. Or maybe tomorrow. I'm still reeling a bit myself.
My PET scan was scheduled for 8:00 Monday morning, with a results appointment scheduled for the same day at 11:15. My awesome mother-in-law took the girls to school and was going to take me out to breakfast between the appointments. However, there was no time to kill, because there was no PET scan. They bumped my appointment to Tuesday, but they forgot to leave or send me a message to that effect. Ooo I was so frustrated, and I told them that. You can't mess with someone's head like that! There's a lot of mental preparation you go through to get your game face on for a PET scan, and now I had to pause the game. Ack! But I'll forgive them because in the scheme of things it was no big deal.
Needless to say, my MIL and I went out to breakfast anyway. I had a short stack of comfort carbs, and I let almost the entire globe of butter melt into the stack. PET scan scheduling people can suck it.
Tuesday, 8:00, new game face. My favorite PET scan technician was working, so we caught up on things: did Kathy have her baby? How was your Christmas? Oh, and when did you last eat something? She injected me with the radioactive glucose, then I laid in the cosy dark room for an hour. I brought back my yellow paintbrushes from my last PET scan and meditated on how healthy I feel. I tried to bring that down to the cellular level, to align my cells with my healthy mo-jo. Unfortunately I was terribly distracted with other Life thoughts and did a terrible job of meditating, but at least I tried. It's always good to try. After my hour-long incubation I was slid in and out of the tube a few times, then I went on my radioactive way.
Today I walked the kids to school. The temperature was supposed to get up into the 60's, so we thought that it would be a good day to walk. It was on the chilly side of brisk for our walk, but the kids didn't seem to mind. It was a great way for me to start the day.
My MIL, uncle, sister, and baby Calvin (the Cure; he's 10 months old now! mobile, but as chill as ever) joined me for my PET-scan-results appointment. Yes, they all crammed into the exam room with me. When Dr. Oncologist came in I introduced her to my entourage while she pulled up pictures of my scan. She had quite the poker face on and it was hard to tell which way the appointment was going to go.
I wish I could remember the first words she used to tell me the results. I don't remember them, because I couldn't comprehend them, because they didn't make sense, because they weren't what I was expecting. Her first words, therefore, must have been something like, "There's nothing," or "It's gone."
Because there is nothing in my lungs. The cancer is all gone. From everywhere.
She scrolled through the images of my ridiculously amazing cancer-fighting body, and it was the cleanest PET scan of myself that I've ever seen. My lungs were completely black, as were my bones, brain, and other important parts. Black is the best color on a PET scan. I watched her scroll up and down, up and down, with my in-person mouth gaping and tears streaming, gawking at my image-person. I just couldn't believe it was all gone. My optimism had led me to the conclusion that the innumerable pulmonary nodules would be the same or smaller, but "gone" never once crossed my mind. Not once. I didn't even know that was an option.
Apparently I need to create a new option.
All day I have been trying to wrap my head around this news, because clearly this is a game-changer. Where I hesitated to make plans, I can make plans. Wow. I can't decide if I want to laugh or cry, jump or crumple, run or crawl, sing or weep. I think I'll do a little of all of it. I have that same full-in-the-chest feeling that I had when I was diagnosed just under a year ago. It's the type of feeling that makes you want to make a really loud noise for a really long time. I guess I've come full-circle, then, by ending the the same feelings that I started with.
Cancer, this is my year, not yours. You can't catch me; I'm the hbomb.