So, hooray, Diego’s last scan came out clear (No Evidence of Disease)! I should feel elated, and I am happy but I tend to feel really tired after the scans and checkups. We are happy, of course but it’s such a roller coaster. I want nothing more than to put this whole cancer behind us, but every quarter we have that reminder that he’s not quite like all the other kids. Generally, I’m able to shelve my worry and forget quite well, that is until we walk into the clinic.
The scan was on Friday and I again requested that they wait to give us the results at the appointment. It gave me more peace of mind on Friday, but of course, in the waiting room I scanned every face for hints. It’s pretty horrible, actually, and usually by the time I get the news I am too exhausted to feel much of anything. I guess my new strategy is to never feel 100% safe, always on alert that relapse could still happen. Because the last time I felt safe it didn’t work out so well. I wish my superstition were less emotional, like wearing lucky socks- but this is what I’ve got.
Anyway, I just want to put another word out that the Kaiser Pediatric Oncology staff is so wonderful. They are always so cheerful… really remarkable. I was feeling tired and stressed, but no matter what the team there seems to be giving 100%. They are really awesome, caring people. We’ve always felt fortunate with them.
After the appointment, we celebrated with vegan doughnuts at Whole Foods. They are actually are amazingly delicious, and don’t put my kids into intestinal distress– so that’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned!
Scanning will continue every three months, until Diego hits two years off treatment, when it will be every four. At 3 years off treatment, it might go down to every 6 months. So, yeah- a lot more scans. He has developed a reaction to the contrast dye they use, and now vomits during the scans, so it’s not exactly a party when we go any more. It takes a lot of bribing to get him to be brave for the IV, and I know now the vomiting is going to create more anxiety for him. Next time either he will get an MRI, or he will drink the gastrografin 5 hours ahead of time so he will have an empty stomach. Poor kid. I do know kids who are already down to 6 month scans, but they’re not Diego so I guess it doesn’t matter. I was hoping though…
And now we get to go back to being a normal family for the next 3 months. Really, we have so much to be thankful for. Despite the obstacles, Diego continues to be very healthy, and we are so lucky. While some days I lament we can’t just put it all behind us, I know it’s so important to never lose sight of what we have here and now.