I have a love/hate relationships with this place.
Community Health Cancer Center North.
It will soon be 3 years since I was blind-sided by the shocking diagnosis of Stage 3 rectal cancer, 2 years since my final treatments and surgeries.
But even though my health appears to be fine, once you've had cancer doctors never really use the word "cured."
In fact my oncologist, Dr. Sumeet Bhatia (who, by the way, is absolutely fantastic and I feel very grateful to have had him heading up my cancer care team) likens it to being in the Mafia.
Once you're in the "system," it's purt-near impossible to get out.
So periodically I go back for follow-up scans, blood draws, and appointments, which I generally don't mind doing as it gives me peace of mind.
Until something unusual pops up.
Last May, a routine CT scan showed a new, unidentifiable lesion on my liver. Being prudent (Dr. Bhatia says all oncologists are a bit paranoid...), he has been keeping a close eye on it. I had an MRI last fall, which showed no change. And last week, I had yet another MRI.
While I'm feeling fabulous and mostly put it out of my mind, every time one of those tests rolls around I am nagged by worrisome thoughts that perhaps the cancer may have returned. I know the Bible says not to worry, to trust God, and I truly do. But my human nature sometimes overcomes my faith and no matter how hard I pray that dark cloud of doubt creeps around me.
So I had the MRI last Monday and I had to wait three more days until I got the results on Thursday.
Still there, but it's not a tumor. Actually, the radiologist's official conclusion: "localized area of altered perfusion."
Which basically means, if I understood the doctor correctly, it is a small area where the blood flow is different from normal. Who knows what caused it, but it's not a reason for concern.
I don't have to have any more scans until next year.
And Dr. Bhatia smiled as he gave me his famous two words of instruction that were music to my ears and heart.
It's exactly what I plan to do with everything I've got, living each day to the fullest...really what we all should do every day God gives us on this planet.