Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Year-after PET scan ... Back up to Nashville

This doctors appointment and scan sort of snuck up on me. I wasn't sure when it was happening until about 2 days before it. My parents were super awesome again and let us use some Marriott Points so we could stay in a hotel the night before. With a 5 hour drive to get there, and Chris needing to be at the hospital at 6:30AM for his scan, a hotel the night before really is the only way to go. We drove straight from church and got to the hotel around dinner time. We had packed some microwave dinners but found out there was not a microwave in the hotel room, so Chris was forced to get take out at the yummy Mexican restaurant across the street. Darn. :)  

Everyone slept well in the hotel room and by 6:00am we were all up and checked out of the hotel before dropping Chris off at Vanderbilt's hospital. I didn't arrange for childcare this time, so I just had to kill time with the kids while Chris had his scan, blood work and doctors appointment. We ate breakfast at our nearby favorite: the Pancake Pantry. This place seriously has the best pancakes I've ever had.

We still had about 4 hours to kill so I took the kids to explore the two places in Nashville I hadn't been to yet, but always wanted to see - the Parthenon park and the downtown riverbank area.  We swung on the swings for a while, played on the playground, did the monkey bars, walked a few miles around the park looking for port-a-potties with toilet paper. (We left the hotel so quickly, no one got a chance to do some real business in the bathroom!) 

Walking around this older-style building gave me a pre-deja-vu moment of maybe someday walking around ACTUALLY old style buildings with my young kids in Europe somewhere when Chris does a sabbatical there. We've always dreamed of doing that someday.

On our quest for a port-a-potty we found this awesome old train. 

It was huge! Just check out these wheels...

The kids were great sports as I tried to draw out the hours we could spend at the park since Frederick finally fell asleep sometime around 11:00.

I didn't get any pictures of the downtown river boardwalk area because I was driving the whole time. But we enjoyed seeing all the flashy lights of the musical/blues history area with electric guitars lit up and places like Johnny Cash museum and store, Swingin Doors Saloon, Country Music Hall of Fame and HardRock Cafe: Nashville showing up on every corner. 

Meanwhile.....Chris was like this:

Now that I'm at the end of my post, I can write the serious, emotional bit. We were super worried about this scan. The previous scan in September showed some abnormal inflammation/uptake and while the doctors said it was probably just a result of a recent cold/sore throat Chris had had, it didn't really make us feel better. "Probably" didn't really work for us 4 years ago, or 2 years ago. Chris said he felt like his mild sore throat never really went away and he was bracing himself for the worst. Which totally explained his tendency to zone out our everyday world a couple of times during the Thanksgiving break. Like I said, I had (maybe subconsciously?) forgotten about this scan and it wasn't until Chris shared with me his feelings that I too started bracing myself for possible bad news. We fasted the day before together and prayed hard. I so wanted to be in the room with the doctor when he explained the results of the scan, but the kids aren't allowed in that area. So I just sat the kids down in the outside hallway with my phone so they could watch a movie while I sat next to them, feeding Frederick a bottle and waited.  I kept staring off int he distance waiting to see him pop out of the next hallway down. I actually saw the doctor before Chris did. Dr. Kassim was making the rounds and saw me and the kids in the hallway and stopped by for a quick chat, but didn't say anything about the results. 

It ended up being mostly good news! The inflammation in his neck lymph nodes is less than the previous scan...and if the cancer had been back, things would be growing.  Yay for no growth! There still is some inflammation and there was some 'uptake' in Chris' prostate that makes the doctors want to be cautious still and so they've scheduled another scan for 3 months. Two and a half years ago, Chris had shown some uptake in his prostate area after his first round of chemotherapy that ended up being some kind of urinary infection. Chris told me he has felt a little bit of similar symptoms and so it could just be another urinary infection. Anyway. Bottom line is that we didn't have bad news! and we have another 3 months of enjoying normal ahead of us. Chris feels much lighter and is so happy to NOT be dealing with his worst cast scenario.  I'm trying to not focus on the grey-ness of the results and just be content like Chris. I really prefer to deal with black or white results...just finish the thing and let me move on completely! But I guess that's being a bit unrealistic. Life is full of grey-ness and its WAY WAY better than black. 

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