I’m Not Ready for This

My routine blood tests and PET/CT scans were scheduled and they were completed just like I have done so many times before. I always enjoy seeing the people that run the tests on me.

It’s a special treat when I visit the nuclear medicine department to have the PET/CT scans done. I have seen these wonderful people so many times over the years that it’s like visiting family. The technician prepares me for the tests then I am required to wait a specified period of time before I am loaded into the machine for the new scans.

With the scans finished I’m off to the world again and the countdown begins until I see my doctor to get the results.

Doctor Appointment

When the most recent scans were compared to the last set of scans they showed a change in my medical status. Yes, the cancer is rearing up its ugly head again and taking over territory inside my body.

I listened to my doctor’s advice then determined I didn’t want to have surgery to obtain a biopsy at this time. After hearing the doctor’s recommendation I decided I was going to wait 90 days and have the tests rerun to see where things were at. That’s what we did.

My Thoughts

First, I was very concerned about having the major surgery required to obtain a biopsy; I simply didn’t want to go through that again!

Second, I debated in my mind the possibility I faced yet another scenario where I would be involved in a long battle with on-going treatments. I wasn’t prepared to face the possibility that the cancer was chemo-sensitive and we wouldn’t be able to get it back into remission. This had happened in the past. All I could think about was the time between 2006 and 2010; all of the treatments that I had endured and the results I had lived with.

Third, and perhaps this sounds pretty stupid to people, but I was very concerned about the impact the Epilepsy would cause on my case. I have been dealing with it since late 2007 while having a chemo regimen administered. At the front of my mind all I could think about was how bad the seizures were for me to deal with and how they have already taken a toll on my lifestyle. With it controlled I didn’t want to mess things up with complications from surgery or another treatment regimen. Maybe even make the situation worse!

Finally, I was uncertain about where I stood in the whole scenario of being a long-term cancer survivor that was now facing a fourth relapse of this cancer. Or, another concern: Had it transformed into yet another cancer? I had already faced that possibility in the past and didn’t think I could deal with that again.

When is Enough—Enough?

In my mind I was fairly sure I was going to stay with my gut feeling. “When is Enough— Enough?” I even reached out to one of the medical professionals I had worked with for several years and made that statement to see what the answer would be. I wasn’t surprised to hear the words that “Your thinking about quality of life aren’t you?”

During that conversation we also discussed the potential problems I faced with infection. No matter what I do, with my immune system in the state its in, I am very susceptible to illness. Do I really want to compound that by doing more treatments? I wasn’t ready for that now even though they say early detection can save your life.

I was taught three lessons:

  1. Don’t hurry into something you’re not sure about.
  2. Don’t worry about things because a big percentage of them never happens.
  3. Don’t worry just take things as they come.

With all of that in the forefront of my mind I decided it was time for me to work through the issues, totally alright with my decision that day. Ultimately all I wanted to do at that time was to just enjoy my life until I learned the next part about my situation. Then, and only then, would I revisit the options in front of me.