Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's A New Day

I had my follow up appointment with my oncologist today.

I've talked about him before, his beside manner, his way of doing things. It's not for everyone, I know but for the most part I think he's awesome. He's been at this for a long time and I have to trust he knows what he's doing.

Everyone else I know who's dealing with cancer has had a CT scan when they're done their treatments to get the all clear. I, however, will not be.

His reasoning for this is that a CT scan is like 50 chest xrays. Why expose myself needlessly. He said for breast cancer patients his #1 test is the mammogram (of which I'll be having yearly - next one in June)
He doesn't see the need for any other follow up tests.

Part of me is happy but I'll admit part of me worries. I said to him that my concern with that is how do I know they got it all. He said, well, if there's any there it would be so microscopic a CT scan wouldn't pick it up. And if the primary cancer had spread it would be treatable, not curable and so a scan wouldn't change that. He apologized for sounding so negative but the facts are the facts. My doctor deals in facts, no false hopes and that's why I like him.

But - he told me that he's happy I've had radiation. He said that the 5 year and 10 year cure rate is not improved by radiation but the 15 year rate is. If my doctor is talking to me about my 15 year prognosis I'm feeling pretty good. Remember, no false hope. I've done surgery, chemo, radiation and herceptin. He said we've done all we've needed to do.

So, in the meantime I'm to see him every 6 months unless something concerns me before and of course every 3 weeks when I have my herceptin.

I guess the small part of me really wanted to have the CT scan to give me an all clear but if there wasn't anything that showed up in the scans before I started my treatments - if there was anything microscopic there the chemo and radiation would have zapped that shit.

So, today is a new day - the day in which I celebrate remission and pray I stay that way for the rest of my very, very long and healthy life.