Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yes! No...Maybe

Sorry it's taken me a month to actually fill you in on the results of the scans.  Apparently I'm easily distracted.  But you already knew that.  So, the day Mom and Dad went up to Huntsman to meet with Dr. H about Dad's scan, Mom sent us this text, which didn't exactly decrease anyone's level of anxiety...

When I first read it, I launched into a few celebratory high kicks and toe-touches (knee-touches...potato - potahto), and then I was all, mostly good?  MOSTLY?  How can a cancer scan be mostly good?  Oh friends.  Cancer is such a crafty beast.  There is nothing it loves more than being the center of attention, and let me tell you, it doesn't give up that role easily.

You see, PET scans are designed to do one thing.  Detect areas of the body that are experiencing high metabolic activity.  Tumors are highly metabolic, so that makes sense.  But there are a slew of other things that can cause an increase in metabolic activity, such as sarcoidosis (so sayith wikipedia), autoimmune disease, slight muscle contractions, or ANY type of inflammation just to name a few.  And you'll never guess what causes inflammation.  Say it with me...CHEMO.  There were a few tiny "hot spots" on Dad's scan that may or may not be cancerous.  They could totally end up being scar tissue that's still just a bit inflamed from the chemotherapy.  In fact, it's the most likely scenario.  But, you know, with cancer, you can't be too careful.  SO.  In the spirit of being thorough Dad sought out a second opinion.  And wouldn't you know it, the second opinion was very much the same as the first.  "Hot spots on the scan, but likely not cancerous."  And so?  We wait.  Again.  For six more weeks until the next scan.  We've gotten pretty freaking good at the whole waiting thing.  That's for dang sure.  How awesome would it be if cancer could be as black and white as say, pregnancy?  Positive or negative.  Yes or no.  You either are or you aren't.  None of this maybe, sort of, possibly crap.  Seriously, a PET scan is only kind of helpful in determining whether or not someone is cancer free directly following treatment.  If a pregnancy test you buy at the grocery store can tell you whether or not you'll be giving birth to slimy, wailing human in 9 months, certainly someone can come up with an equally simple test that tells you wheather or not you have cancer.  How hard can it be?  People, I'm telling you, pee sticks that confirm or refute cancer remission.  It would be revolutionary.  And cheap.  You heard it here first.  Just sayin.

My parents are going to be so proud of my
blogging about pee sticks.  Just keepin it real you guys.

In Sam's case, all is well.  Nothing on the scan whatsoever.  Port has been removed and life is moving on.  That globby thing though, that's a different story entirely.  It's a stubborn little sucker for sure.  It's that last person at the party who just won't take the hint, GET LOST YO!  We're watching.  And waiting.  Of course.

But you know what?  Things are good.  SO good.  They are both looking very healthy.  So healthy, in fact, that sometimes when I'm around them I actually think and talk about things other than cancer.  It's getting weird.