The day before I received the last of eight rounds of the ‘dose-dense’ chemo, I was told that I didn’t have to return for a check up for six months. The oncologist stated that the cancer was considered to be “gone” and they only do further testing if there are symptoms – they don’t do the tests as a means of ‘checking’.
When I returned six months later, on April 9th, 2015, I was simply given a blood test and a manual breast exam, to which they said “all is good, we will see you in a year”. My response was somewhat disbelief, as I asked whether there were not more precise tests to confirm this ‘good news’. The oncologist responded by explaining that further tests were dependent upon the feeling of symptoms, that IF and WHEN I felt any abnormal symptoms, they would be happy to investigate further. There are no tests if there are no symptoms. Yippee!! Back to Panama I went to enjoy the sunshine.
When I felt a pinch in my back, and pains down my legs, the last thing I thought it would be was the big C! It was almost an exact month after that check-up appointment- on May 7th, that I had no use of my legs. Dr.Levy, (Coronado’s favourite doctor) as well as the Orthopedic Specialist that he works with, were both convinced it was a pinched sciatica. But since it didn’t appear to be getting better, back to Canada I went – just in case.
An ambulance picked me up from our house (in Peterborough, ON, CAN) in the wee hours of the morning on the 8th of May and from there the next step in my journey began.
I’m usually pretty good at finding the answers to questions. Yet I haven’t received an answer that makes logical to this one yet. Perhaps it is because I don’t have a ‘medical mind’, I’m not sure.
How can it be that you gave me a clean bill of health not just once, but twice – without having ANY tests done (other than a blood test). I was told I have a very aggressive type of cancer yet nothing was followed up with ANY tests.
The other nagging question is that I’ve had is how this C could continue to grow in spite of me undergoing ‘dose-dense’ chemo. Essentially I’ve been told that the current C that is in my lungs, etc. escaped the chemo. How does that happen? Why did the chemotherapy not kill the C?
It seems to me that this 50 year old woman may have had a better chance of at least dancing with the odds, if the scans had done as soon as I finished the chemotherapy and mastectomy surgery. Then another scan at 6 months and again at 1 year.
To me it seems like I won the boobie prize (YES punn intended!).