Rainy days and Mondays always get me down too. ESPECIALLY when it involves an all day trip to my favorite place in the world, Sloan NYC! I was dreading going to this scan all weekend. Some things came up in the last few weeks that immediately throw me in to panic mode that there’s something wrong. I was having pain when swallowing food of any kind, my chest felt sore right at the bottom of my rib cage. It seems like when I get closer and closer to the scan dates any little irritation is magnified and bad thoughts pop up the second I feel anything out of the ordinary….welcome to scanxiety. It was to the point of feeling maybe I should check myself in to the Emergency room at Sloan in the city to try and convince them I needed my CAT scans IMMEDIATELY!
Sanity prevailed and I convinced myself to wait for the regulary scheduled scan…So it’s off to the Big Apple.. The 10:11 AM train from Ronkonkoma is the plan. Somehow, I slightly miscalculated the time it takes to get there and still have time to park, get a ticket and get to the right platform . The next one is not until 11:11 and I certainly didnt want to hang around the train station in Ronkonkoma on a Monday morning for an hour so about halfway there I switched to Ludicrous Speed! I channeled my inner Mario Andretti, in as much as an old pick up truck will do, and raced to the parking lot…Now if you have never been to Ronkonkoma train station parking lot after prime hours to find a spot, which is about 5AM to about 8AM, you need to plan an extra 15-20 minutes to drive around to find a spot then hike to the platforms. I managed to get there with about 5 minutes to find a spot, get a ticket at the vending machine and get to the train. Of course, there was no where to park. Even all the perimeter spots in the woods are taken. People are parked in all the borderline legal spots and the security guy is ticketing someone that didnt quite make in to a legal spot. Those spots seem to be legal one day, and illegal the next so it sucked for that person to pick the wrong day. End of the month quotas dont exist?? Yeah, right…So as I am circling around looking for anything at this point I took ONE shot down the main row figuring I will end up parking about 10 miles away anyway. My luck was about to change becuase all of the sudden THERE IT WAS!!! THE BEST SPOT IN HE LOT!!! YES! I got it…Right in front of the ticket booth! I pulled in, raced to the machine, got the ticket, ran to the train and as soon as I sit down the doors close…Soon after sitting I put on the headphones, zone out to the talk shows about how the country is in ruins and Trump will either save the day or make it 10 times worse than Obama ever did but that’s a topic for another blog all together. https://youtu.be/0wxp-NxJny8?t=77
It’s a long train ride in…..Just as I reach the tunnel to go under ground for the final stretch to Penn Station it starts raining! Great!
As I emerged from underground to make my way to the office for the scans that feeling of dread gets heavier…besides having to drink a quart of horrible fluid for contrast during the scan the thoughts keep lurking in the back of my head that there could be something wrong this time. Those pains I had, feelings of something wrong and just that ‘ol angst again. I attend monthly, online meetings for Sarcoma patients through Sloan. It’s heart breaking hearing from people who joined the group because they had a recurrence and the people that are newly diagnosed. Some need to have another surgery, they need to get chemo AGAIN or try another treatment because the current one isn’t working. I can’t imagine having to deal with that again. So far I have been so lucky to have things turn out the way they have. I also don’t think I have ever said that here, or anywhere, in fear of jinxing myself and having it recur. There is nothing worse than sitting in a waiting room drinking a disgusting cocktail of contrast stairing at people in far worse condition than I am then having to wait for the results of the scans. This time it’s 2 1/2 hours between the scans and getting the results.
So after the scan I had time to kill. I finally get to eat something. Wander around Barnes & Noble then finally head up to the 11th floor on 53rd St. Sloan to get the results……I check in at the front desk, prepare for the usual hour long wait. I got the false sense of them getting to me quickly because the receptionist called my name but its just to take me in for vitals. After the nurse finshes with all my info and I head back out to the waiting room to plug in my phone charger. Just then I looked up to see Dr. Gounder, my oncologist, walking over towards me. I instantly think oh no, he’s coming out to get me personally. This never happens. What’s going on? Why would he come out to get me instead of the nurse? However, his first words, right in the waiting area are “The scans are fine”!! Holy cow, what a relief….he just wanted to bring me back to his office because all the rooms were full and it will only take a minute to deliver the good news! So not only am I relived to hear everything is ok he suggests no more scans for another year… NO SCANS FOR YOU! COME BACK, ONE YEAR!! I think I have mentioned before that not having to get these scans done is a double edged sword. Yes, I hate getting them. However, I hate not knowing if there is something growing inside of me that should’nt be. At this point I feel I will accept the one year schedule. I can always go in earlier if I feel the need. The first time the doctors mentioned taking more time between scans I was terrified to go that long bewteen them. Now I feel like it makes more sense to take their advice and not be exposed to the radiation and contrast dye so often. So, no more scans, of the upper body anyway, for a year! It’s been a long road to reach this point. All I can say is WHEW!!!!!!!