I’m sitting in the waiting room at Labcorp listening for my name to be called.  Another “post-cancer follow-up” tour has begun.  I’ve been doing this tour twice a year now for three years.  The first stop on the tour is at Labcorp where I get my blood work done.  This is the stop where I begin to notice the worry and thoughts about “what if” come into my mind.   The second stop on the tour is at the radiologist’s office where I get a thyroid ultrasound.  The tour ends at my endocrinologist’s office where we go over the results and go from there. (They just called my name.  I need to go back to the next waiting room now!)

Ok, I’m back.  I must say, that was an uplifting experience.  The lab tech who drew my blood greeted me with a smile.  She was upbeat and has a positive attitude.  This is usually not the case.  I noticed a box on her workstation of Crayon Bandages.  I asked her what they were.  She walked over, took out a red one, stuck it over the gauze on my arm and said, “Here you go.  Let’s make this fun!” 

As I left Labcorp, I thought about how attitude goes a long way in life.  It is so easy to get caught back up in the cancer attitude and feel down when going back for medical treatment of follow-up procedures.  I tend to forget that there is a choice.  It doesn’t have to be a negative experience.  It all starts with my attitude. 

I kept the red crayon bandage and put it in a place where I would see if everyday.  It will now serve as a reminder for me to check my attitude.  It’s the little things like a red bandage that can deliver a big message and lesson in life.

Awesome News!!! My blood test results show my Tg level was undetectable after the thyrogen shots! This means I am still cancer -free!! Oh yeah!! That’s right!! Thanks for the prayers and much appreciated support!! (Happy Dance)

What a difference a week makes. Last week was shots, blood work, fear and praying.  Fast forward it a week after I got the results and I’m at ease.  I can go on and live my life with all of this behind me.  Sure there will be another follow-up test in 6 months, but that is a long ways away.  There is no point in thinking about it.  I am focusing on the here and now.  That is where life happens!!

To all cancer survivors (including people newly diagnosed, battling cancer and going through treatment), continue to reach out for help, put one foot in front of the other and fight the fight!! You never know what tomorrow will bring, so be grateful for the blessings you have today!!

This experience was another reminder that my health is my responsibility.  I am in the process of scheduling my Thyrogen shots with my Endo.  I got a call back from one of the assistants.  She asked me if I made my appointment for the PET scan.  PET scan?  What PET scan? The last time I met with my Endo, we discussed Thyrogen shots and blood work, but a PET scan was not discussed.  I asked her if she was sure.  She said that I needed to get a PET scan the same day that I get the blood work.  I asked her to have the doctor call me.

It didn’t seem right, but I made an appointment for a PET scan.  Then I felt really overwhelmed when the latest appointment they had was 2:00PM on Thursdays.  I need to fast 4 hours before the scan and the actual scan is 75 minutes long.  I had flashbacks to when I was in that dark tunnel for my RAI scan.  I could even here the click, click, click noise and the nurse telling me to hold still each time a picture was taken.  Nooooo…I don’t want to go through that again.  Something just didn’t seem right.  So I called back and cancelled the PET scan appointment.

A couple of hours later, my Endo called me back and said, “So why do you need a PET scan?”  I said, “I was wondering the same thing.  Why did you add a PET scan?  We never discussed it.”  He said that he never added it.  I told him that his assistant called and told me that I needed one.  He apologized and said that she must have gotten carried away.  It was not in my paperwork.  (At that point, I could have gotten really angry about this confusion.  This is my body, my health, my time, my fear, my stress and NOT my mistake!!!) I felt a wave of relief come over me.  I really did not want to have a PET scan.  He told me that we were going to do the Thyrogen and blood work and see what the results were.  Then we can go from there.  That sounded good to me.  He apologized again for causing me any worry and inconvenience.

After I hung up, I remembered one of the many lessons that this cancer experience has taught me.  Life is precious.  Cancer feeds on fear, anger, worry and negative emotions.  There was no need to hold onto what “could haves” and  “what ifs.”  Here is an example of what I mean. “What if” I didn’t find out that the PET scan was not needed? I “could have” wasted a day of work going to get that PET scan.  “What if” my insurance didn’t cover it?  I “could have” been stuck with the medical bill. (And on and on and on…)  These thoughts do not serve me.  They feed cancer.  It is not worth getting upset.  The reality is that people are human.  They misread files and tell patients that wrong things at time.  But no damage was done.  So I am letting it go!