I go for a CT scan tomorrow morning.
I'll confess, I'm feeling a little bit of scanxiety. Not too much, but a little.
And the scanxiety kind of snuck up on me, too. I realized yesterday, after reading someone's lymphoma story on a Facebook post, that I was feeling just a little twinge of anxiety about the scan. I kind of thought back a little bit over the last few weeks, when I looked at other Facebook posts, or at things that people posted in the support group, and I realized that I've been having some slightly negative thoughts lately. Slightly.
And then last night, as I was getting undressed, I felt a little pull in my lower abdomen, near the hot spot that made my leg swell up four years ago, that led to Rituxan treatments. I quickly felt around for swollen nodes. Nothing. The pull was more likely because I walked up a big hill with my son yesterday for the first time in almost 6 months.
But it's funny how all of that comes rushing back to you.
It's been more than 3 years since I've had a scan, and that scan was a good one. My blood work has been great in all that time. Other than my shoulder surgery, I haven't had any real health problems since then.
I think we take comfort in things that are familiar to us. I'm not saying there's anything comforting about a bad scan, or about anticipating one. But sometimes we fall back into what we know. The routine that we're used to. And maybe getting a little worried about the scan is the thing I know? It's what I'm used to? And just going through the motions of the thing I know is easier than thinking about the things I don't know, like how this scan is going to turn out. Worrying a little bit is better than panicking a lot.
For now, I'm just putting it out of my head. I do my best to let the rational fight off the irrational -- my blood work has been good, I don't have any weird lumps popping out anywhere, my overall health is fine. So what is there to worry about?
What I will not accept is someone telling me not to worry. It's my right as a cancer patient to have some anxiety, especially about a scan. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
And what I'm not worried about, but what I am not looking forward to, is the whole scan process. I'm going to a different place this time, so maybe I won't have that horrible Barium Pina Colada Milkshake forced on me. But I'm guessing I will.
I'm going to look on the bright side of all this -- I have a physical therapy appointment tomorrow afternoon, and the PT has been pushing me harder lately. When I see one of the nice young ladies who takes me in and warms up my shoulder before I see the therapist, I'm going to tell her that I had a scan, and that the Barium Milkshake wipes me out. She'll ask why I had a scan. I'll tell her I have cancer. She will run to tell the therapist -- I've never mentioned my lymphoma to them -- and I will have an easy day of therapy. No one wants to be mean to a cancer patient.
Will I shamelessly play the cancer card? You bet I will.
I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow afternoon -- the scan, and the (hopefully light day of) physical therapy.