My first post-surgery scan is this week, June 4. I had thought I could be all sorts of blasé about it, but as we get closer to the date, I’m finding that I’m increasingly uptight and nervous about it.
This scan will give us the first indication of how things are progressing inside my body. It won’t give a full idea of how the pazopanib is working, since I’ve had a few snafus with that – first the mistake of taking 1 pill instead of 4 each day, and then having to reduce the number I’m taking because it takes a week to get a prescription filled, not 3 days. If there’s no growth or if there’s a reduction in size of the lesions in my lungs, that can count as a win.
But I’m worried that the lesions will have grown in size or have multiplied. Even that won’t mean that the pazopanib isn’t working (because of those snafus), and would still mean another 6 weeks of waiting. 6 more weeks that were expected. They were always in the plan for evaluating this first drug.
Most of all, the looming scan makes me have to break my state of denial, ignore my feelings of good health, and acknowledge – once again – that I have cancer. Frankly, the denial is comforting, and at this point it is easy to be there – reasonably good health, few side effects from the medications, an excellent quality of life. I often ask myself, “Am I really sick?” because it just doesn’t seem possible from the outside.
And that brings us back to what is happening on the inside. And the fear that the inside won’t match how I’m feeling on the outside.