Today I went for a bone scan. It is the first scan I have had since the initial scans I had upon diagnosis. I have had some back pain for a while now, maybe 8 months. However, this last year of my life has been pretty stressful and I have a mattress from IKEA (I’m just saying, it is no Serta foam top mattress with coils that stop bowling pins from moving…).
My oncologist sent me so that I could stop worrying. I really did not think too much about it. I arrived at the hospital early this morning so I could be injected with some radioactive goodness that would soak into my bones and light up like a Christmas tree if there was anything notable. I mentioned to the technician that I hoped I did not light up. She agreed that would be bad. She also made note that she would not be the person to tell me if I lit up, my doctor would. Now that, that was all clear she strapped me in and began to proceed.
The tears came pretty quickly as the machine started to move. The emotions of grief and being scared flooded back from almost 5 years ago. I thought, I can’t do this again – what if. She noticed I was crying and she stopped the machine. She comforted me, she was kind and I appreciated it. The first pictures were taken and 20 minutes later she came back in. I was to move positions so they could get pictures of my ribs and lower back – the areas causing me pain. The machine stopped working and she explained it had not been working properly off and on so they asked me to move to another machine.
Once set up on the new machine, the pictures began and I had calmed down. Another 30 minutes and I was finished. She inquired if I was alright and I was. Then she said, “well good luck”. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? Good luck, because parts of you were neon?? Good luck because we saw constellations on your bones. Or simply, good luck as in on with your day, you will be fine. I looked at her face trying to see if I could tell in her expression if there was any answer. That little nod that said you’re ok, don’t worry. Nothing. Just good luck.
As you might imagine, I am freaking out. I went back to work and the day went on. I spoke with a client who mentioned she had had breast cancer twice, five years after her first diagnosis, the second cancer. I too, am about 5 years after my first diagnosis. She had some back pain. I have some back pain. She went for a bone scan. I went for a bone scan. She had cancer in her spine and the back of the chest wall. No chemo, just radiation and tamoxifen.
When I was diagnosed, I was lucky and had the Oncotype DX testing. It determines the rate of recurrence with no treatment. Mine was 8%. I had a full mastectomy for a tumour that was 1.2 cm, one lymph node positive. I had 6 rounds of chemo and 25 blasts of radiation. It has got to be stress and the need for a better mattress.
Here’s to good luck.