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First Round of chemo. done - anxiety about CT and PET scan

missbabsonmars's picture
missbabsonmars
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Sisters - just had my 6th chemo. tx for cancer metastasized to lungs. Next week is going to be busy: blood draw on Sunday, Monday night start prep for a colonscopy on Tuesday (preliminary diagnosis is colotis from radiation tx last year), Thursday CT scan of chest and abdomen, Friday PET scan, follow-up visits with oncologist here and oncologist in San Francisco, who I see regarding the complimentary therapies, as well as for second opinion.

I am at the point when I continue to maintain what I've been doing to stay active and healthy in both mind, body, and spirit, but find myself at times filled with anxiety. Every ache and pain makes me think the cancer has spread, which I suppose is normal.

I don't know what the future holds in terms of going back to work. Living one day at a time like i've learned to do in AA is all i have to keep me sane right now.

One question I've been afraid to ask is: does the fact that other than the cancer I am in excellent health any indication of the severity of the progression of the disease? I have been extremely fortunate in that I haven't had some of the major side effects of the chemo. like neuropathy and weight loss. Fatigue and partial hair loss, some joint pain, that's it. I am still extremely active physically, biking, walking, kayaking. I don't look sick or most of the time feel sick. I have to be extremely cautious about infection. I'm having to do neupogen injections to boose WBC production because my body doesn't produce WBC fast enough to replenish between treatments.

Thanks for letting me vent and share.

Babs in Sacramento, CA

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 997
Joined: Nov 2009

Sorry about your anxiety Babs. Just wondering, can't they do the Ct and the PET scan at the same time? I have gotten two PET/CT Scans already. At least you would only have to go once.

Babs. You will go back to work and you will continue what you are doing. Soon people will come up to you and say "Hey, you look good" like you are supposed to look bad? You will just have to laught it off.

You are a real trooper. If you made it through 6 chemos already so don't worry about that. You can vent anytime you wish. Thats why we are here.

My best to you, Bab.

Kathy

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

Wow, the week that you describe would cause anyone stress; but I'll bet that you come through everything with flying colors. Unfortunately, almost everyone with a cancer diagnosis feels the anxiety you describe when they are going through follow-up testing. It's natural to fear that every ache and pain means cancer, but I am here to tell you that I have had such imaginings and that's all they were--imaginings.

I think it's terrific that you have managed to stay so active and healthy, and the fact that you feel fine can be a very good sign that you ARE fine.

Share your feelings with us; we are here to "listen" and to offer comfort.

Jill in NYC

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2259
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Babs-
Was this your last tx? I think it was. You're having blood drawn on a Sunday?

It's amazing you've been so active during chemo. That's so good. Your overall physical condition obviously made a difference in how well you tolerated chemo in spite of low blood counts.

I can't answer your questions about how your overall health effects the outcome of cancer, but I can't believe that it won't help. I can say that your fears of every ache and pain being cancer are perfectly normal. I'd venture to say we've all been there and all probably still go there on occasion.

Hope all your scans and bloodwork come back good and relieve some of your anxieties. As Jill says, we're all here to "listen" - and we understand.

I also hope we'll meet some day. We're so close!

Suzanne

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

How are you doing so far? I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you. By now, you should have had your blood draw and colonoscopy. Keep in touch with us.

Jill

missbabsonmars's picture
missbabsonmars
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2010

I know you understand what I'm feeling! It has been a rough week physically and emotionally. I am relying a lot on my support network; I have so many wonderful friends, as well as husband and sister, who have spent time just hanging out with me this week. I am so grateful for that.

Colonoscopy was good new/bad news: no evidence of any cancer there but confirmed that I do have chronic colitis caused by radiation. But at least now I know the source of the bleeding!

After I meet with my oncologist next week to review CT and PET scan results and plan "next steps," I will be able to make some decisions about when I will return to work. I may go back part-time and do part-time disability.

One of the hardest things about having cancer, I've found, is the inability to MAKE PLANS. I've learned to add a caveat to every plan I make, which is that I may have to cancel depending on how I feel. I'm also doing a lot better at not overscheduling myself.

One more thing: the universe has seen fit to send us a little stray dog, a miniature pinscher we named Edie. She is the sweetest, most loving little doggy, just what I needed. It has taken all our friends by surprise because we have been cat people for so many years (we have 3 Bengals)! But we are learning about dogs!

Babs

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