Scans … how do you pass the time?

I always take a book with me whenever I go anywhere near a hospital. In fact I now carry a book almost all the time so that if I stop for a drink or something to eat I can read a chapter or two. The book has even come in handy when I have been stuck in a traffic jam which wasn’t moving, but on scan days it is essential.

Today I had a bone scan. For those of you who are not familiar with this type of scan the patient has an injection of some radio active isotopes and then has to wait two hours before the scan. This allow the isotopes to settle in the areas where there is some damage to the bone. The scan itself takes about half an hour of a camera slowly going over your whole body to get a picture of what is going on. During the scan itself, which goes from the head to the feet, I usually like to do some meditation and a body scan starting at the feet and going up the body.

A lot of people seem to want to know the results as soon as possible, but I am content to wait until my next appointment with an oncologist, which is my case will be in about a month’s time. I take the point of view that if there was something really urgent they will contact me. If there is some progression which is not deemed to need to be dealt with urgently then it can wait and they should have a treatment programme ready for my consideration when I get the not-so-good news. My oncologist did phone once with the results a few days later and I almost had heart failure until he said that everything was stable. It was like the time when I was called in to see the consultant when I was expecting to see one of the Registrars … OMG, why does he want to speak to me? Heart pounding, sense of panic, cold sweat.

I also take the point of view that there is nothing I can do to change the results, so why worry about them too much. That is not to say that I don’t find myself getting increasingly touchy as the day of the appointment arrives, but I don’t want to waste the days. I won’t get those days back, and even if there is something wrong and there is some progression they are not likely to have a treatment plan to put into place instantly; or should I say that I would prefer that they take a bit of time to think of a plan which is best suited to the new problem.

To deal with what is called, in the trade, Scanxiety I will be trying to focus my mind on things that I want to do and which give me joy. I have recently got a machine to convert my LPs to MP3s, or to put onto CD. I will get a chance to go through albums that I haven’t listed to for … years. I actually can’t remember when I last had a turntable to be able to play them. Then they will become a part of my house clearance ‘stuff for the dump’. There may be some that I don’t even want to bother to listen to again, and which I will wonder why I ever bothered to keep them in the first place. I feel a ‘to-do’ list coming on …

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