That's what I told my oncologist at my appointment on Wednesday when he told me I should have a bone scan.
He also told me that in his 17 years of being an oncologist, he couldn't remember one time somebody had a relapse while still on adjuvent therapy.
Knowing I'm not special enough to be 1 out of 20,000 (my first clue is that I've never won the lottery), I was consoled by that remark.
Of course, the next logical thought is: why do I have to have the bone scan at all if it's that rare?
I know the answer. If you ever had cancer, doctors always have to assume your cancer has returned for the following reasons:
a) to prevent lawsuits, and
b) to keep their malpractice insurance.
You know what having a bone scan means though, right? It means I have to waste my time for what will probably end up being back sprain due to a bad work chair. Won't that be embarrassing? I'm such a whiner!
It also means I have to take a day off work. My oncologist seemed a little skeptical at the idea that I might have the kind of job that you can't easily skip, but it's the truth. No, I'm not a big important doctor in the business of saving lives, but teachers need paper, and I have the key.
I began thinking I shouldn't have said anything about my back pain at all, but then I remember - that's the way I felt when I found the lump. I kept it on the DL for months.
So, this time, I did the grown-up thing and complained. Better safe than sorry. Being a grown-up has some really dumb consequences, although I never imagined radioactive dye to be one of them.
He told me to schedule an appointment to see him at my next herceptin for the results.
"Wait, that's three weeks from now. Can't you just call me?"
"I don't like to call patients on the phone in case I have to give them bad news."
"Don't worry, I can handle bad news a lot better than I can waiting."
We imaginative ADD types are not good at kicking back and hanging out while test results sit for weeks in a file somewhere waiting to be plucked. We want our chicken feathers immediately. I know now this back pain is nothing, but two weeks after my bone scan, my funeral will be planned, my belongings given away, and I'll have picked out a new wife for my husband.
He said, "Okay, call me the day after the results."
So, I will.
It's a big time suck, but the game must be played.