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This is one of several essays from my private cancer journal. It is not intended as anything than a record of my states of mind as I struggled with the disease and the effects of the treatment.

I Get My CAT Scan Results

Friday, 12/29/01

montage of cat scan images I saw the urologist and got the results of the CAT scan yesterday.

Caren wanted to go with me. We were each expecting the worse and talked about it. My view was to try to take it in stride. I've already been through hell with this disease. What's one more trip? And no frequent flyer miles.

We got to the VA hospital early and sat about trying to pretend we weren't nervous, surrounded by men in various stages of battered wear and health. My name was finally called and we went back to Mod 2, as it is called, the nurse station on the other side of Mod 1. (I think "mod" is short for "modular" although I've never asked. After all, this is the VA and so we're all veterans and used to slangs and acronyms.)

The nurse pointed us to a room and we went in and sat down in chairs next to each other. Caren held my hand and I took a deep breath.

Within a few minutes, the urologist came in. I don't recall what he did first. All I remember is him saying that the results of the CAT scan was negative. He said something about it might have been a mild infection. It didn't matter. I didn't care. It was negative.

He shoved the papers at me that I had to take back to the Mod 2 desk to sign out before getting my next appointment. We walked out and I suppose I got one. The next thing I remember is being out in the middle of the parking lot, in the cold winter air, walking towards the van. When we reached it, I turned and embraced Caren and started to cry. Tensions I didn't even know I had began to spill out and she pulled me close without a word.

She drove us back and the exhausted relief began to hit me.

It was negative.

There were no mets. No decisions about radiation.

It was as if the cancer had decided to merely play with me, taunt me, to show me what it could really do if it wanted.

As we slid along Madison Avenue towards home, I leaned back and closed my eyes and thought, okay, you're on.

Now it's my turn.


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