You know how you can tell that Ian's away? I eat an entire 500mL carton of Haagen-Dazs ice cream straight from the carton in one sitting.... which is what I did this afternoon. You see, when Ian's home we usually buy frozen yogourt, which has about half the calories as the Haagen-Dazs, and we share it. We also serve the ice cream into bowls and don't eat it directly from the carton. I tell you, I'm a wild woman!
It isn't just that Ian's not home which has prompted me to eat this ice cream. I had my regular CT scan this morning which examines my chest, abdomen, and pelvis for any signs that the cancer has spread to new places. I've been having some new pains in my sternum that feel like they're on the other side as the mets that had given me pain before. I've also got something weird pains in my right abdomen.
Now, I don't really think that the cancer has gone anywhere or that my pains mean much. I've had pains at various points in my colon for a long time and I expect that the pain I'm feeling is coming from there. The pain in my sternum is probably related to the existing mets there somehow. One explanation is that I've been on this level of pain medication for quite a long time and so it isn't as effective as it used to be because I've developed a tolerance to it.
The fact that I have perfectly reasonable explanations for these new pains doesn't mean that I'm not worried about them... only that I'm not freaking out. If I hadn't had the CT scan this morning I'd have called my oncologist in about a week. I did mention them to the technician so they'll take a closer look at those areas when they read my scans. This way, when I get the clear report I'll be confident that they didn't miss anything.
My oncologist doesn't typically call me with good results. If I were to get bad results she'd want me to come in and discuss them with her. If she'd been calling me to tell me results, then I'd freak out if she called me and didn't give me the results or if she didn't call me - I'd be sure that they were bad and I'd worry more. I've seen that happen with other people, where they get really upset when the oncologist doesn't call them with results and then it turns out later that the oncologist was out or sick or something. That's a whole lot of worrying for no good reason.
If I really want the results I can call for them in about a week. I'm not that anxious to get them so if I don't hear from my oncologist by mid-next week I'll assume that they're good and I'll get the full report when I see her next in a month or so. Until the "deadline" for her calling me has passed, however, I'll be a little anxious and may need to eat more ice cream. It's a good thing that I bought more today because that first carton is gone. :)