Yesterday was a fairly mellow and relaxed day in preparation for an intense week ahead with a CT/PET scan Wednesday morning, pre-operational appointment on Thursday, and surgery on Friday. We watched the movie Fair Game; an eye opening film based on the true story of CIA Agent Valerie Plame. Just as we started talking about what to do for dinner, we got a call from our good friends John and Tracey who were at our door with enough food to last days. We had a great visit followed by an amazing meal.
The tension started early this morning when I had the CT/PET scan that I have been fearing. First, I was concerned about my ability to lie still and comfortably on the table throughout a long scan given the pain I’m experiencing in my right leg. Second, with the sickness and stomach problems that I have been feeling, I was concerned that this would be the scan that would show that the cancer had spread to the rest of my body and my countdown on life would begin. As always, the techs at the University of Rochester Medical Imaging at Science Park were extremely considerate of the discomfort in my leg and were able to set me up so that I could tolerate the 20 minute scan. It always amazes me when I think about how concerned and careful we are in the nuclear power industry about receiving radiation on the order of hundreds mRem a year. Then, in the medical industry I am injected with radioactive contamination and exposed to 1 Rem or more of radiation in a single day with little concern; two very different worlds, but I appreciate the standards for both.
As soon as I finished the scan the anxiety of the anticipated results sets in. What is my fate going to be? In some ways it takes me back to the casino at the roulette table waiting to see where the ball is going to land, Red or Black? So, the only way to deal with this kind of stress is an Amiel’s sub. Mom treated Shannon and I to the best sub I that I have found yet, and it’s right here in Rochester.
It wasn’t until about 6 PM when Dr O’Keefe finished discussing the scans with the radiologists and called with results. It looks like I still appear to be cancer free except for my right leg which is being amputated on Friday. I did have a spot in my abdomen that lit up on the PET scan, but they are fairly sure this is from strain on my muscles from the way I am carrying my leg with the crutches. Great news that makes me think we will make it to Alaska this summer!
With this news I was able to put everything behind me for the night and enjoy some time with Ryan, Makiko, Evan, Owen, and Audrey, who all came out to Pultneyville to visit with Shannon and I. It was awesome to finally see and meet Audrey 0.0, and play with Evan 4.0 and Owen 2.2.