One of the least pleasant parts of the diagnosis/treatment/follow-up/surveillance of lymphoma is the CT scan. I’ve done several MRIs for research and I have no problem with them at all, but I just don’t like CTs.
By: Robin Harry
I’ve had three CT scans done so far, and the last one, I’ve gotta say, is my favourite! But I’ll do a quick recap so it’s clear why it’s my favourite…
CT #1: Diagnostic CT Chest, June 2nd
This was the CT where the tumour was found, an anterior mediastinal mass. It measured 75mm x 45mm at the level of my main pulmonary artery, was of mixed density and necrotic. That was the only cancerous lymph node. One tumour. I’ve since named this one Papa Tumour…
CT#2: Staging, CT Chest and Abdomen, July 15th
I had this CT scan after taking a course of prednisone, and after my first chemotherapy session. It was done to finish staging the cancer, to see if it had spread to the abdomen. Well, it didn’t reach below the diaphragm, thank God, but it had spread. There were three cancerous lymph nodes:
– Papa Tumour, the anterior mediastinal mass, had already started shrinking by this scan. It now measured 63mm x 37mm.
– Mama Tumour was in a superior mediastinal lymph node, and measured 9mm (it was 11mm in the previous scan but they didn’t report it), so it was also shrinking.
– Baby Tumour (or as my coworker has renamed it, Fabiooooooo) was also a superior mediastinal lymph node, and was larger than the previous scan, at 8mm (was 4mm before).
Well, last Thursday was yet another CT. It was the you’re-halfway-through-chemo-let’s-see-if-it’s-working scan. I gotta say, I wanted to do a Hallelujah-praise-Jehovah dance at the results….
CT#3: Follow-up: CT Chest and Abdomen, September 8th
– Papa Tumour is now less than half its original size! It’s now 34mm x 18mm.
– Mama Tumour and Baby Tumour are no longer visible…they’re gone!!
That, by far, is the best news I’ve gotten since I’ve been diagnosed. I’m so grateful to God Almighty, grateful for my doctors, grateful for the chemo, grateful for the CT scans (though I still don’t like them), just grateful! It’s very reassuring to know that all the side-effects – the crappy tasting food, insomnia, fatigue, bald head and black fingernails – none of them are in vain.
So there it is. Dear cancer, “You’re not the boss of me now and you’re not so big…”