Yesterday was Gregg's bi-annual oncologist appointment. A week or so ago he had to have his yearly CT scan so the results would be ready in time for the doctor to look over and discuss at the visit. All standard stuff in the 6 years since he had lung cancer. Every visit in those 6 years (after surgery and chemotherapy were over, of course) has been great, but yesterday was different. There have been some changes.
As some of you may know, Gregg lost his entire left lung at the beginning of 2012. When they did this latest CT scan, they found a "thickening" in the tissues of his chest cavity where that lung used to be. Dr. Smith, the oncologist, said it's probably nothing, maybe scar tissue, but because of his history we can't be too careful. They've scheduled him for a PET scan on January 2 to check for any possible recurrence of cancer.
My blood ran cold when I heard the words "PET scan". Almost no one was reading my blog back in 2011-2012 when Gregg had cancer, but it was the most horrible time of my life. I never said it out loud, and I'm sure I never wrote it down on the blog, but I was afraid he wouldn't survive. The odds were grim. Those were terrible, terrible days, in all sorts of ways and for a multitude of reasons. Lucky for Gregg, he barely remembers any of it (he was on lots and lots of opioid pain medications after surgery and during chemo) but I can't think of that time in our lives without a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. So you can imagine how I felt yesterday when he came home from what should have been a routine checkup and gave me this latest news. And today, December 19th, is the sixth anniversary of the day when Gregg walked in the door and said, "Baby.....I have cancer" and my world fell apart.
So yeah, I'm scared.
Dr. Smith did say it was probably nothing, probably scar tissue, but with a history of serious cancer they can't just ignore what may be the first signs of something. They ran a complete blood panel (that's a standard part of every check up) and everything with that was perfect. Gregg's weight has stayed almost exactly the same, and he feels good. The doctor also said it would be "highly unusual" for this to be some sort of cancer after the amount of time that has passed. And thank goodness the changes they noted were in the empty space where his left lung used to be and not in his remaining good lung. All good signs, but still...
The earliest appointment he could get for the PET scan was January 2, and Dr. Smith will have him back in his office the following week to discuss whatever they find (hopefully nothing). We'll just have to live with the uncertainty through Christmas. My poor husband--first his mom dies at the beginning of the month, and now this. I've said it before, and I'll say it again--I despise the month of December. If anything bad or tragic or scary is going to happen to us, chances are it will be around Christmastime. I guess it's just as well that it will be January before this can be sorted out, but waiting and not knowing is so hard.