March 3 was my latest set of bladder cancer CT Scan and blood-work results. As usual, the 3-4 weeks leading up to the tests contained doubt, concern, and worry. I felt fine. There were no symptoms of anything that would cause such concern or thought, but they happen anyway. That is the nature of living with cancer. There is always the thought in the back of the mind that it will come back and next time, we might not stop it.
The reality is that since the surgery 2 years ago (March 5, 2015) and the adjuvant chemotherapy that followed I was cancer free, with respect to the bladder cancer. That hasn’t changed. Still, for the weeks leading up to the tests, and more so, from the day of the tests until the day of actually seeing the bladder cancer ct scan results, there is a definable level of concern. This is usually accompanied by the occasional random journey into the dark place.
“Oncologist visit March 9, 2017 for the results of the bladder cancer ct scan”
Of course, without there actually being anything serious happening it was an easy process to pull me out of that place and carry on. Still, it is part of the journey of surviving and living with cancer – waiting for bladder cancer ct scan results. My entire perspective of life and death and living are far different from it was before the beginning of this journey. I saw my Oncologist March 9 in Victoria – essentially 5 hours of driving in total, there and back, for what amounted to a 7-minute appointment. Taking a trip down to Victoria to meet with an Oncologist to check my latest bladder cancer ct scan results, and the take away is only a complaint about the drive – I’ll take that anytime.
As for the actual results – Status Quo for the most part. The lymph nodes are all still the same size, the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm has increased again, but only marginally, still not a crisis. Liver, kidneys, spleen, and gallbladder/stones still not a concern. My ileal conduit is healthy and functioning as it should. My blood work is still my normal. All great news.
“A 4mm ground-glass attenuation in my lung”
They did, however, discover a 4mm ground-glass attenuation in my lung, but it was of “questionable clinical significance”. Essentially, it is there, but whether it is something to worry about is not yet known. I will be a having a follow-up CT Scan in a few months, and not the usual 6 months, and we’ll see if it is growing or if it is even still there. As has been the case all along on this journey, there is nothing to worry about until there is something to worry about, and even then, worry solves nothing, it is more a matter of getting down to fixing, if fixing is even required.
On a bit of a different note, I was at the pub last night with some friends. One commented about me being the best-dressed guy in the bar. Of course, we all laughed, ribbing one another is what friends do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Shirts worn out to allow Urostomy bag to hang loose.”
However, it did make me think a bit about perspective. I have the Urostomy pouch glued to my abdomen to allow for the storage of urine in place of a real bladder. To ensure a clear flow and to cut the risk of leakage, I let the bag just hang loose. As a result, I wear my shirts out. I have a long trunk and need “tall” shirts, but with the pouch hanging down, the shirts are extra long. It is very difficult finding shirts that are long enough. The common “tall” shirts are generally too short, and the typical “big and tall” shirts don’t fit well elsewhere.
I have been fortunate to find a few sources for shirts that are long enough, but there aren’t many choices. The next challenge is finding coats that are long enough as well. Again, tall is generally not long enough, and overcoats are just overkill. I was lucky to find a really nice coat that fit the bill, one I would never consider paying full price for, but it was on the clearance rack priced at 1/4 its regular price – bonus.
Perspective is in the eye of the beholder. I dress in a way specific to accommodating a particular need and not deliberately searching for a particular style. Someone looking from another set of eyes sees something entirely different and judge based on their perception. In the pub, we were joking around with each other and nothing more, but it did spark the thought – What you think you see isn’t necessarily what is really there. This story does tie in nicely with the finding of the spot in the lung 🙂