Scary PET Scan Results: Is This the Start of the End?
Last updated: February 2021
I am in disbelief! Let me explain why.
I was diagnosed at 46 with small cell bladder cancer. The diagnosis was grim. I just turned 50 and had started to feel that the threat of a recurrence was less likely. I was that walking miracle. I AM that walking miracle!
Activity on my most recent PET scan
But my recent PET scan has shown some activity within the pelvis. We were not expecting that at all! I have breezed through 3 years with NED (no evidence of disease). My oncologist, Dr S., has been amazed that there hasn’t been any activity for that long. We even went back to the beginning to make sure that we remembered the diagnosis correctly.
For someone who had such a grim prognosis at the start, I have done exceedingly well at staying alive. My "thank yous" go to all the specialists, radiologists, and nurses who have been with me since day one. They have kept me alive, and sane, at times.
We knew that one day the cancer would return
My whole body turned cold upon receiving the not-so-great news. I had always imagined it differently. And yet, I found myself calmly saying, “Well, we knew we would have to have this conversation one day.” I just wanted to get off the call! If I couldn’t hear what he was saying then it couldn’t be true, could it?
The elephant in the room
My husband and I sat in silence, occasionally looking up and telling each other we love them. I think we both sat there with the same thought. Am I going to make it through this time? Or is it the beginning of the downhill bit? This is the bit where we all need to keep talking about the elephant in the room. The 'death' bit.
Being realistic with our expectations
We always knew it would come back. We are realistic with our expectations of my time left. Many small cell bladder cancer patients don't last this long. As you can imagine, we have shed a few tears with family and friends, but no more crying until we find out what we are dealing with. Is the small cell bladder cancer back?
A different reaction this time
It feels different this time. I mean, we already have a better understanding of small cell bladder cancer. We have knowledge now. There were no ‘breaking down’ moments this time. No screaming at the top of my lungs. A quiet acceptance of what’s to come, whatever it may be.
Am I scared? It would be a lie to say that I am not scared.
The next stage: waiting and distracting myself
Waiting. Now, we are back on the eternal cancer rollercoaster and just waiting to hear when the pelvic MRI will be done. Then, we shall be waiting for the results.
I am filling my time with crocheting a blanket for my sister's baby who is due pretty much now. I am also upcycling a coffee table with crocheted flowers and plexiglass. Basically, if you stand still long enough in our house, you will be upcycled, glittered, and glued.
We will get through whatever is thrown at us because I don’t want to die. I want to live!
Does your bladder cancer treatment have an impact on your mental health?
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