It’s been almost a month since my last post and the reality of it is Round 5 and 6 of Chemo really kicked my ass. I wish Chemo was one of those things that got better with time, or you eventually get used to it so it’s not that bad. Unfortunately that’s not how it is at all. Yes, the nausea is ALWAYS front and center and the star of the show, but then other side effects start to make their debut just when you get the nausea under control. You never really know just how much you take your immune system for granted until you’re barely hanging on to it by a thread. Not only did I have side effects I haven’t experienced before but I also had an extreme amount of “scanxiety” for my upcoming PET scan. For those of you who don’t know what “scanxiety” is it’s anxiety cancer patients have when they are about to go through a cancer detecting scan. This would be my first PET scan because I was unable to leave the hospital for the initial scan due to me being on oxygen, so I didn’t know what to expect but at this point in my journey I had about seen it all. The night before my PET scan I tried to relax as much as possible and could only drink water, so I attempted to make it an early night. The day of the scan we had to drive to a different cancer center because the location where I receive my treatments doesn’t have the equipment. It’s very disturbing to me just how busy these cancer center’s are I never really think about it when I go for treatment because I am so overwhelmed with anxiety about getting through the next 4 hours that I never really realized just how sad it is. There are always SO many people in the waiting room. So many people there for answers, there for treatments, or there supporting loved ones there for treatments. Everyone with a different story, or multiple stories. It definitely puts things into a different perspective about how you just truly don’t know what someone is going through. Okay, sorry to go off on a tangent. Anyways the scan. I’m sitting in the waiting room and they call my name (it’s entertaining listening to people pronounce my last xname) They take me back to this room and inject me with this radioactive substance and I basically am quarantined for the next 45 minutes until it fully goes into my body and then I can get my scan. 45 minutes later they tell me to empty my bladder and then lay flat. They cover me with blankets and tell me to be as still as possible. For the next 45 minutes I lay there thinking of all the different ways this scan could go, but all I want is reassurance that I’m not living in this Chemotherapy nightmare hell for no reason. I want to hear the words straight from my Oncologist’s mouth that this treatment is working, and come January I can get my life back.
The most important words I’ve heard in the last 3 months are “complete metabolic response” meaning the chemotherapy is working and the cancer is responding to the treatment. Aside from that my very large tumor started at 14.5×11.7 cm and has decreased to 9x9cm, and there is no more fluid in my lungs. I’ve officially lost every symptom I had before this all started, and I traded it in for every side effect imaginable from my chemo treatments. To end on a positive note my doctor informed me that I won’t need another scan until the last treatment, and I only have 5 left!
XOXO Bechtold Badass