I had my appointment with my oncologist, and Deni came with me. All in all, it turned out pretty good. Well, very good considering. First the scan results came back clean and I think Deni was more nervous to hear the results than I was. She was almost jumping up and down in her chair. I've been through this twice before, but she had never been there with me, sensing the tension, realizing our lives could change in an instant. The only thing my scan showed was a small hernia in my stomach and some small kidney stones, nothing to worry about. Then I tackled the scan schedule subject with my oncologist, telling him that I thought it was way too risky to have the PET scan only once a year right now. He cleared up my stress by explaining his nurse on the phone had read his notes wrong. He wasn't cutting down on the PET scans, but he was cutting the brain MRIs to once a year. WHEW!! I could see the logic in that, and I was cool with it. For the first time I felt like he was actually on my team, in my corner, and it felt so good. I felt good in his care, and that's an important thing.
I did also talk to him about getting some kind of therapy for the stress of recurrence, and as it happened, they had a therapist/counselor right there in the office, so she came in and talked to me for 30 mins or so. I gave her a history and told her about how upset I get when I see friends die from Melanoma on Facebook, and how my family either tells me to think positive or tells me I'll be fine. She was really cool, and she'd heard it all before from cancer patients. She gave me some hints on how to deal with the stress, from using my Xanax, to being able to email or call her any time I wanted, to pulling back a bit from the whole Melanoma community when it gets to be too much. She said I don't have to just stay away from others with Mel, just find a balance and know when I need to take a break and go to my happy place. I think that going to your happy place is important to all cancer patients when it all gets to be too much. For me it's watching a silly movie or listening to uplifting music, maybe splurging on steaks or chinese for dinner if I have the money. I've been trying it more since my talk with her and it has been working.
So all in all it was a good appointment. My next scans will be in October, including the brain MRI. I was supposed to have had my 3 mos skin check with my dermatologist by now, but I got sick and ended up staying overnight in the hospital so I had to reschedule it for next week. The whole surprise overnight hospital visit? According to my primary, he suspects food poisoning, and I tell you, it was not fun. I was at my primary for a normal check up and while there, I suddenly got violently ill. I guess it was a good thing I was already there because it's right across the street from a hospital and my doctor had me admitted on an emergency basis. I can't remember the last time I was so sick, and I spent the night alone there, sleeping, with an IV pushing fluids because they said I was critically dehydrated. I didn't even care to have family there, I just wanted to sleep. The next day I went home and the next day I got a bad cold that I'm still fighting off the remains of. I would rather have my cancer surgeries than have food poisoning again, honestly. God help me if I ever have to have chemo. I'm not fond of explosively evacuating all my bodily fluids from any and all orifices in front of total strangers.
I'm sensing a trend here in the health department and I'm not liking it. Deni says my immune system must be really down at the moment which is why I keep getting one thing after another. I don't know. I'm also plagued with migraines, and now I have a cough.
Logic tells me I just had my PET scan a few weeks ago, but my "melanoma mind" whispers "Headache? Brain mets!! Cough? Lung mets!!". I just keep having to beat back that little whispering melanoma mind until it shuts the hell up.
I'd like to be healthy now, at least for a few months. Please?