Do I Have Cancer or Not?

That is the question that has been on my mind all day…all weekend. I have to admit that time has flown by since the transplant. 100 days passed like the blink of an eye. I admit that during the bad weeks of my respiratory problems, I often thought time was moving slowly, but overall it really has passed quickly. I am getting more and more anxious about this appointment tomorrow and that is unlike me. I rarely stew over something and turn it over and over in my head, but this time I am. I am afraid of the options. I am more nervous about a ten second conversation I will have with Dr. Langston tomorrow morning, than I was the day before checking into the hospital for the multi-week transplant process.

I think I have had 8 PET scans since all this began two years ago. The very first one was done as part of the diagnosis to determine what type of Lymphoma I had (Hodgkins or Non-Hodgkins) and how far it had progressed (Staging – I was Stage 3, type B Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkins Lymphoma). The rest of them have all been to check on progress. The doctors used every one of those to find out how much my tumor had grown or shrunk since the last measurement. They were all given with the knowledge that I was not finished with treatment and that I still had more work to do. The other scans were mile markers measuring the progress of my cancer treatment. I reacted emotionally to each one, but in retrospect, those other scans were not expected to give a good or a bad result. They were simply used as indicators by the doctors the way a compass heading is used by a pilot or hiker. The results guided and directed the future of my treatment.

Tomorrow though, a whole different kind of outcome is waiting for me. I am thinking of this one as a pass or fail grade. Because the stem cell transplant was supposed to be the end. If it worked, then I pass, and should not need any more chemotherapy, any more radiation, any more medication or any more surgery. I will officially be in remission and will move on with my life and cancer will simply be something that happened to me when I was 31 (and 32, and 33). But if it shows any cancer at all, then the transplant must have failed. And I know that I can’t just leave some shitty old cancer in me, so it will be back to the drawing board to see what else the doctors have up their sleeves. If that is the case, I seriously hope they have a plan C.

I guess I don’t have to explain what I REALLY want for Christmas this year. Fortunately, my wait is almost over and I will find out my fate in the morning. I will find it hard to sleep, tonight!

4 thoughts on “Do I Have Cancer or Not?

  1. Dan, I read your last post on Friday while I was trying to make the time pass before I had to go to the hospital for the results of my scan. Your story has inspired throughout my illness and it inspired me on Friday. I knew that no matter what the answer was I would be strong enough to deal with it. It was good news for me – my scan was clear and I am in complete remission. I hoping with all my might that you get the same answer later today…….

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