Sunday, October 10, 2010


If you are a 60's child, like me, then you remember the song, Anticipation by Carly Simon.  And that's what I am singing these days.

I just finished two scans over the weekend, which had to be done before chemo time.  I figure my body has been seen both inside and out now by a multitude of people and lenses.  

The first scan was called a MUGA scan, and it was to see heart muscle function.  It is kinda scary that this is a necessary test to take before chemo since they tell you that "one of the chemo drugs is a 'little' (how little, I wonder) hard on the heart muscle."  I'm thinking, family has such good history with heart muscle.  I can't wait to see if I will pass this test.  If I do, I will credit my Grandmother, who lived to be over 90.  The rest of my family was just not on the "good heart muscle line" when it was given out.  I'm not sure exactly where they were, but I do know they didn't show up.  For this test, you first get a shot of a radioactive substance and then sit for half an hour.  Then you go into the test room, and lie down, with your clothes still on (no hospital butt-showing gown here) on a narrow slab.  They do cover you with the warmest blanket and give you a pillow, though.  Then, this weird box-like contraption zooms down over you and then kinda clicks its way around you.  It's pretty open, thank God, so you don't feel claustrophobic.  The best part about this test is that the test itself is only 15 minutes!  My blanket barely got cold!

The second scan was the PET scan which will check your body for any other floating cancer.  Again, you first get the wonderful "body-glowing" shot, and then they sit you in a recliner and tell you not to get up, walk, or talk for an hour.  It is a really comfortable chair, though, and you once more have a pillow and a warm blanket.  I sat and read a gossip magazine since all I could manage was reading something inconsequential.  After an hour, they come in (and thank goodness, they let you use the bathroom....there is nothing like someone telling you that you cannot get up which suddenly makes your bladder feel full!) and escort you to the test room.  This narrow slab was very long, and the cylinder for the scan very big.  It reminded me of a hot tub on its side.  But, the big opening didn't completely envelope your whole body at the same time, so again, not claustrophobic.  And your head was out of it for periods of time. This scan took 25 minutes.  You really hate having your arms above your head for that long, let me tell you.

So, now I've had these scans and for now, can check this off (oh yeah, I am sure that in this journey this will not be the only time for these scans).  I felt pretty good that they were done.  I got through it!  And I didn't freak out!  I was soooo glad....then....I remembered that now I would get another batch of results. 

As I told you, during BBC (before breast cancer), I didn't give tests a second thought.  I always breezed through them.  My husband was the one who had the "problems", not me!  But now, ABC (after breast cancer), I am the one with the "problems".  And coming soon... some more tests results...oh goody.  

We went to the movies today.  It was a beautiful day out, but my husband thought I might like a funny movie so we went to see, "Life as We Know It".  It was cute...predictable, but enjoyable.  However, whenever they had one of those touching scenes, I found myself spilling tears like it was no tomorrow.  I forgot that "tear control" is just not one of my assets right now.  Every heart wrenching scene is a reminder of the fragility of "Life as We Know It"...and right now, I know it from an entirely different standpoint.

Suddenly, I'm sitting there during the movie thinking (once again) about my cancer and being afraid of the results of these scans.  What if.....and What if....and OMG, What if.....???

It's hard to live through Anticipation....Carly knew it, and now I know it too!  I keep remembering the oncologist saying, "I don't expect that we will find anything else".  But I can't believe in those words anymore.  My initial surgery and some radiation was supposed to be all I needed also at one time.  But, it wasn' now I can't trust words as much as before.  

On my fridge, I have a magnet that reads, "Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again."  A funny play on words...get it??  (clue:  if you stop breathing, you turn blue).  So, I will just keep breathing in and out until I get the results from these scans.  Sometime this week, my oncologist should be calling to set up the appointment to discuss this, and scheduling that dreaded chemo.  I figure it will be sometime after the port is put in on the 19th.

Since we know we will have this weekend, we are going to see our son, daughter-in-law and beloved granddaughter while I am still feeling pretty good.  I am looking forward to this weekend and being with them again (they live about 3 hours away).  And getting in a lot of hugs which will sustain me for a little while.  Hug Therapy from a child is always a good antidote to any kind of worry and sadness.

As I have told you, friends and family have been so kind and encouraging that I keep going forward because they are holding me up.  And God just keeps sending them on into my world (Go, God!).  I figure it is one of the only benefits of cancer....people give so much and you can just sit back and absorb it all until it fills every corner of your heart.  

So, these two scans done, and this week I have stitches out on Tuesday and wig fitting later in the week.  One thing at a step at a minute at a time.

" making me late,
Is keeping me waiting"
Hey Carly, I don't like waiting either...
or unwelcome surprises,
or things that go bump in the night!     

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