"Well, my mother said to me as I broke to her the latest news, It doesn't look like this situation is as black and white as we had hoped." Ain't that the truth, it's definitely more of a murky grey. For the last few weeks I have lived in fear as September 20th slowly crept up on the calendar. Sept 20th was the date of my 3-month PET scan, the first scan I would have following my stem cell transplant, the scan that would tell me that the transplant worked. As the weeks became days, I spent many nights awake and crying, thinking "what if?" What if it's not gone? What if it came back? The negative thoughts kept coming and even as I tried to push them away with positivity, it was hard.
I felt like I was due some good news after everything I've been through in the last year and I was looking for this scan to give me that. Unfortunately it wasn't that easy. Back in July when I was hospitalized, a CT scan showed my lungs were full of something they called "infiltrates", my doctors said it was inflammation and a reaction to chemo. So when I was told that my latest PET scan showed that there were some bright spots in my lungs, I wasn't completely surprised but I was still scared. My doctor told me that they felt like there was a good chance that the spots were remaining areas of inflammation from my reaction. However he doesn't want to wait another 3 months to scan again and he wants to be sure. Therefore I'm scheduled for a broncosopy and biopsy this week. He told me not to worry and that if I hadn't had previous lung issues, he would be a lot more concerned, but it's easier said than done. In some ways this situation mimics the recurrence in Feb and that's scary; a bad PET scan, bright spots in chest, biopsy, BAM! recurrence of Hodgkins. Yet that time I had no lung issues and my chances of it just being inflammation were a lot more slim. Having gone through that awful experience and the subsequent additional chemo and stem cell transplant, makes me extremely fearful. I am trying to remain calm, as I know the PET scans are extremely sensitive and can pick up any sign of infection, inflammation, scar tissue, etc. It doesn't mean it's automatically cancer.
So it wasn't the good news I had hoped for and I'm pretty hopefully that it is simply inflammation in my lungs and nothing worse. Yet, the stress of waiting for the results is unreal. Scarier than scary, I wouldn't wish this kind of fear on anyone. I have so much to do, so much to live for that I want and need to be able to put this behind me. And my doctors have assured me that I will, so I am doing my best to believe them.