PET/CT scan completed this Monday. When the imaging center called to schedule the week before, they offered that Thursday or Friday. I said that I hated waiting over a weekend for scan results, so I scheduled for Monday.
Today is Friday. I have no results.
I wasn't falling apart about it until last night. I was fine Wednesday, thinking surely they would call that day. Then I remembered that my doctor only has hours at the office where I have been seeing him on Thursdays, so surely I would have a call the next day. No call by bedtime Thursday (last night). I left a message on the answering machine category under "test results" this morning. It is now creeping toward 4 pm.
Falling apart isn't the best description. I am tight. So tight I might burst. A balloon resting in uncomfortable proximity to a needle, waiting for the slightest breeze to blow it to doom. Every stupid scan I tell myself I will not get anxious over it. Every stupid scan I swear I can wait a few days for results. And every stupid scan I end up convincing myself that something has progressed while waiting for the call that says something incredibly underwhelming in comparison to the stress in which I have been wallowing, something completely non-informational, like the famous, "The doctor said your scan looks fine."
I swear that if I have waited this entire week for a nurse to call and tell me that the scan looked "fine", someone is going to be wounded.
By Wednesday I was thinking that something isn't "fine", and I haven't gotten that annoying call because the doctor wants to call me himself. Doctor only calls personally when it is bad news. My phone visits every room in the house that I visit. It rests in anticipation on the vanity during each potty break. Doctor has been known to call very late at night, so I don't give up until bedtime.
I answer calls from numbers I do not recognize early in the morning. So far I have had a wrong number (who at least apologized for waking me), a mis-dial from Life Alert (I hope the person who had fallen and couldn't get up didn't suffer needlessly for that dialing-finger faux-pas), and a "financial institution" to whom I lied that Shelli was not available. (Just leaving a number is NOT leaving a message, and if you can't tell a person what your call is regarding, then why would that person call you back? And seriously, if you can't pronounce my last name correctly, or even close, why shouldn't I deny being that person?) I never answer the phone when I don't recognize the number, but I don't dare not answer when I'm waiting for "SCAN RESULTS".
Friday afternoon, and I am torn between worse case scenario and having fallen through the cracks. Yes, I have the disc of the scan. No, I don't know how to read them. I look at them and bemoan the fact that fat shows on a PET and CT. I found a bright colored spot on what I assumed to be the liver area of my body, and discovered that the SUV is at the side of the screen. This bright spot had a much higher SUV number than the other areas. I whipped out the last CD from October's "fine" scan, and found it there, too; dashing my CT sleuthing moment of smugness. Mostly looking at scans I can't read of bones that all look fine to me just further frustrates, and I shouldn't do it. I didn't do it until yesterday. Had my scan results phone call come in a timely manner, I wouldn't have looked at all.
For the non-medical and non-cancerous among you, the SUV to which I refer is not a Tahoe or an Escalade. The "U" stands for "uptake" and it is the level at which the various parts of your body suck up the radioactive glucose now coursing through your veins, bones and tissue when partaking in nuclear medicine.
I did learn one thing while once again trying to glean anything useful from the Internet, however. There are four areas that suck that stuff right up, and therefore appear dark on scans. Brain, thyroid, heart and bladder. The spot in question is none of those four things. I know enough about anatomy, and not much more, to know that.
Do I call again before 5:00pm? I can't possibly make it through the weekend without popping. On the side opposite the balloon-threatening needle are a wire dog brush and a broken bottle. My COBRA coverage expires May 1st. A year and a half ago I really did not think I would still be around today to face this insurance crap. I'm staring at applications that should have been completed and faxed this week, but scanxiety is crippling my already crippled ability to cope with such things; with the six month void between COBRA and Medicare. Wouldn't it have been easier, certainly more economical, to have gotten sicker during that first year and a half?
Also, there are more than 4 weeks between the third Wednesday of last month to the third Wednesday of this month. Food is almost gone. Bank account nearly on empty, medicine probably not at a level to make it to that magic Wednesday. I'm not going to count it today, that's for dang sure. On a day like today, I need chocolate milk and carbs. Not being able to run out and get some only adds to the helpless, hopeless, catastrophic feeling of balloon vs needle.
Yes, I am catastrophizing. How can I not? I've cried more this week than I like to cry in six months. I'm really starting to wonder if enduring to the end simply means not offing yourself to get out of it all.
Oh yes, they are in for some babbling at 4:30.