The Waiting Game

I am now playing the waiting game, having had a PET CT scan last week to check for any disease progression. I am keeping everything crossed and hope more than anything that my scan indicates my cancer has remained stable over the past few months.

Due to a Christmas break and Easter holidays It’s been over five months since I had my last scan, so I’ve had an extra long break from the anxiety that usually comes every three months. It’s safe to say if something is wrong I’ll be kicking myself for not having had a PET CT scan sooner.

Luckily I’ve been fairly busy over the past few days, which acts as a good distraction from all things melanoma related, but it doesn’t make the thoughts and feelings go away all together. I’ve had a few nights where I’ve been laying awake panicking about dying, a very real concern, but a very unhealthy thought process.

Waiting for results is the worst past of cancer treatment, my mind races with so many different thoughts it’s hard to keep on the right track and keep a grip on reality. In the past week alone I had three different medical appointments on three separate days, which in itself is exhausting. Having stage 4 cancer is a full time job and it will always be more important than anything else going on in my life.

My last four blood tests have shown I’m suffering from anaemia, which is not at all unusual for me, but is a bit of red flag. I’m normally boarder line when it comes to my haemoglobin levels, so I’m now taking iron tablets prescribed by my GP religiously in the hope they will help me feel less exhausted. I’m off to the Lake District to do the 5 Peak Challenge for Trekstock next week so I need to be on top form. I just hope it doesn’t lead to a blood transfusion!

When I had my PET CT scan last week I had a problem with my portacath. Over the last 12 months It’s been completely reliable, taking away the anxiety and stress of having a cannula fitted or blood taken every few weeks. Despite the nurses best attempts my portacath refused to bleed back, even though it was flushing normally. In the end I had to have the radioactive tracer for the scan injected via a vein in my arm, which was not ideal, as I have the world’s most pathetic small and thin veins! Luckily it was fine in the end, however there was probably about 20 minutes of failed attempts when my anxiety levels were through the roof (I previously had a couple of extremely bad scan related experiences).

Hopefully my portacath was just having an off day and will flush ok when I go for my next chemo appointment, otherwise I may need medicine to help unblock it! It’s the least of my issues but certainly adds to the stress of the whole treatment process.

Keeping everything crossed for my results!

12 thoughts on “The Waiting Game

  1. So sorry to hear you are having such a stressful time. Do hope the scan will show that the cancer has remained stable. Good luck with the 5 Peak Challenge, look forward to hearing about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi joleen, I had my cancer 26years ago (breast) had radiotherapy only I been extreamly lucky, but ever unusual pain or ache your brain plays mind games.
    So what I’m trying to say, this fecking illness is always a threat to us, but we can’t change what’s in front off us.
    As my son says live every day as your last. I’m sure your positive manor and living your life has held your heath together.
    Take care chuck .x nite

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck Jo, yes it certainly is a waiting game. I’ve only had one PET scan when melanoma spread from the nodes under my left armpit and entered my neck. As it was going to be a major operation on my neck it was worth checking to see if the melanoma had spread anywhere else. Fortunately it only showed the one tumour in my neck. So I went ahead with the surgery. Anyway, just to say, that was almost exactly 18 years ago, and I’m still here. I was discharged from hospital in 2013. Cheers, Phil

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jo. So glad to know that your results were stable, hope it’s taken away a little bit of anxiety that you had and that you are ready to take on the challenge of the 5 Peaks . Please keep positive. X. Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

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