The waiting is the hardest part

Chuck had a PET scan this past Monday, his first since the one that declared him in remission from his follicular lymphoma last April. The test itself was uneventful: he had to eat a weird diet the night before to get his blood sugars low, then got a dose of Ativan and went sleepy-tie-tie for the duration. He was zonked for the rest of the day but other than that no side effects.

Now we wait until Monday for the results. And let me tell you, waiting really IS the hardest part. It’s always in the back of my mind no matter what I do – only five days until we know, only four days, only three… The really hard part is knowing that this testing and waiting will be a part of our lives for many years. If all goes well, it won’t be quite as frequent as it is now (quarterly) after the first year. But I am still learning to live with the waiting. Chuck seems fine, but he always does. I notice it with him by his inattention. Most of the time, he’s a pretty focused guy, but when he gets preoccupied and inattentive like he’s been this week, I know he’s thinking about next Monday, too. It turns out there’s more to cancer than surviving – there’s living with the uncertainty that follows survival. Don’t get me wrong, it beats chemotherapy for sure! But it’s still an aspect of the disease that not only the patient but also the family has to learn to live with.

Thanks for listening, Internets.

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