A Cuddle from my Oncologist!

Just back from my second trip in two days to the hospital – yesterday for the ultrasound on my neck, and today to discuss the results.

I found yesterday very challenging as the Doctor was very brusque and ‘old school’ in his approach. He bought up chemotherapy and said how it improves survival rates, to which I replied ‘Look it up on google, I think you will find that that is false.’ He wouldn’t let it drop at that, and a heated exchange pursued, something I could honestly do without on these visits, but something I have to enter into, as I cannot just ignore people when what they are saying is questionable at least, or down right wrong in many cases.

He looked at the nodes on my neck and said that, in his opinion, they would have got considerably bigger if they were still cancerous. The measurements showed that one of the nodes had again decreased in size and the other had stayed the same. He also said that they looked ‘normal’. I was so relieved to hear this, but am not so naive to believe that everything is okay now because I know that may or may not be the case.

Today, I discussed it with my oncologist and asked her if the scans could tell whether the cancer was alive or dead. She said that because the nodes are so small there is no way of knowing, but the cancerous cells could well have died. Although I do lots and lots of research, I am not a ‘medical’ person and I realised that I have been looking at things in the wrong way. What I mean by this is that, because they are lymph nodes, they are not going to continue to get smaller and smaller until there is nothing there, because lymph nodes are supposed to be there and can occasionally increase and decrease in size anyway, with or without a cancer diagnosis. What I am trying to say, but finding difficult, is that it’s good news!

My oncologist apologised for the mix up with the CT scan and was very understanding. We both agreed that stopping scans was a good idea, but she said I am welcome to have anymore should I develop any symptoms that I am worried about, and she also said I can have further ultrasound scans on my neck should I wish to. We had a long chat and on the way out she gave me a cuddle! At the end of the day we are never going to agree with each other, but I am fortunate that I have a reasonable and open doctor who, whilst not exactly agreeing with me, respects my opinion and decisions.

So, the future….spend less energy on my diagnosis, continue with all my supplements, diet etc. and really get on with enjoying life…

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