So. Here we are. That much closer to the other side.
High scanxiety has been replaced with "Meh." Not quite nervous. Yet not quite not.
If you've been paying attention, you know that:
- Mr. J had his first post-chemo scan
- Mr. J had his first post-chemo victory
- Miss Me had a few scans of her own scheduled
Halfglassistan did not have any major celebrations for any but the big bad J-man's scan. In the category of holidays, I'd say All-Clear Chemo Day would be like the Fourth of July. Fireworks. Nationwide business closings (you did get the day off, didn't you?). Parades. Hot dogs and ice cream. Good times. Kind of like my birthday.
More like Arbor Day. You've heard of it, but you don't get the day off. There are no special decorations, no greeting cards, no special treats. There are a few curious facts, though, that could come in handy if you ever find yourself playing Early-Detection Trivia (What? It could happen. Pay attention.). Did you know:
- Even if you no longer have a cervix thanks to Hurricane Hysterectomy that hit TWHQ in '06, you still need to be screened every year to make sure cervical cancer doesn't return?
- Even if the suspicious boobie bump you had examined seven months ago by a gyno, mammogram tech, ultrasound tech, radiologist, and surgeon (The last two, simultaneously. I had quite the popular ta-ta that day.) hasn't changed—and you know it hasn't changed, because you religiously check your girls every month—you still need another ticket for two to mammogramapalooza this year?
- Even if you know that those (not little) cramps you're feeling are funky little functional cysts on the funky functioning little ovaries that rode out Hyster '06, and that going back on birth control pills (Ironic, no?) will shrink them, you still need to let them poke around with an ultrasound, get dressed, and hear "Well, you know your body, don't you?" while you pocket a prescription for BCPs.
Except tomorrow's test. Everything stops for this one.
Not that the rest of them were glamorous, but this one is the most decidedly unsexy of all. There's no way to cute it up, no way to make it fun, no way to make you laugh about this one. I only have to give you part of its name and I guarantee you'll have a physical reaction. And please don't share whether it was your face or another group of muscles that cinched up.
It begins with col- and ends with -onoscopy.
It begins with hell and ends with drugs.
And, hopefully this time, it will begin with nada and end with nada.
Because I have a few more interesting pieces of Early Detection Trivia.
- Did you know that even though 50 is the age for a baseline colonoscopy, your family history may warrant an early look?
- Did you know that different cancers follow different patterns?
- Did you know that the fact that the grandfather you never knew died an old man, but an old man with colon cancer; that his son, your uncle, was diagnosed with the same disease before 50; and, that your dad has had several benign growths removed flashes a big neon "Really?" in your doctor's eyes, even if you're all "really?"
As you've probably guessed, I have a very conscientious general practitioner, as well. And I am beyond grateful for a "just-in-case" approach to testing.
Because it was that GP who recommended that I go tell a gastroenterologist about my family history, just in case. And it was that gastro-guy who said, even though you're only 35, let's get a baseline, just in case.
And, as uncomfortable as it was, I am glad that I did it, just in case. Because it was that same gastro-guy who said, "We have good margins" after the biopsies on the two rather large, given my only 35-year-old body, stage 0 adenocarcinomas removed during my just-in-case colonoscopy.
I've had one clean test since then. And if tomorrow's is clear, it will be much longer than two years until I have to have another.
Today is not fun. At all. And tomorrow won't be either—my body doesn't respond well to anesthesia "lite"—so, I'm going all the way under. Unfortunately, my body doesn't like that either, so I'll likely be ill when I wake up. And, the last two times, I haven't had much fun the day after la scopa de colon.
So, for this test, Halfglassistan is declaring a three-day holiday. Starting ... NOW.
You spend it however you like. I, however, will be making like I'm Katie Couric.
And I will do it gladly. Just in case ...