A week ago I had a routine PET scan that indicated everything continued to look good. I feel very fortunate to continue to get results like these two years after my initial metastatic diagnosis. Following the scan I wrote the quick update below. In the craziness that has happened due to spreading COVID-19 in the past seven days, my cancer scan results seem pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. My kids’ school is closed through the beginning of April. We have been isolating ourselves and while Travis and I are still working on-site, it’s touch and go. Being in healthcare, my job will never really close. I am lucky in that for the next two weeks I am working the night shift and I have family able to help with childcare, but the stress of managing my family and my job in these uncertain times is weighing on me heavily. My thoughts are also with several of the at risk people in our community, many who help deliver the medications I prepare to local hospitals, and are very much more susceptible. So, while I will happily share the passage I wrote, my heart is heavy with the sadness and uncertainty that is affecting all of us.
Scan results and thoughts: I am happy to report results of another good scan. The specific verbiage in the report is “No findings to suggest recurrent or progressive malignancy. Stable sclerosis and mild residual FDG accumulation associated with treated manubrial metastases”. For me, I think a good way to describe my perspective of living with this disease is a heavy fog. I recently saw a picture of a hiker in extreme fog, so it appeared that he or she was at a standstill and didn’t know what lie ahead. When I got diagnosed with metastatic disease two years ago, a heavy fog came over my “life trail” so to speak. What would normally be on the horizon…mountains, rivers, trees, etc. all abstractly representing normal milestones I might be looking forward to or thinking about…. graduations, future birthdays, vacations, work and life achievements…ceased to exist…instead those visions are now just fog. I have no idea what lies ahead. Given the relatively good prognosis of my initial diagnosis (yes, it had metastasized, but only to one organ, my bones, and only in one limited area), I am not surprised that I am still up and running, working, writing, parenting…two years later. I expected there was a good chance that would be the case. That being said, it’s cancer. My body has let me down too many times for me to take anything for granted. I am well aware my health status could change on a dime at any moment. What a good scan gives me in this pictorial representation of a foggy trail, is a clearer path for the near future. With every good scan, I feel I can see for a little longer. A good scan gives me clarity for an extra 100 meters…6-12 months, where I can make plans, look forward to things, and just remove cancer thoughts from my mind for a while.