Moving to Six Months

July 27, 2020 • #

The last time I wrote an update here on my health situation was over a year ago now. Time for a quick one.

Since I was officially declared “NED” (no evidence of disease) back in the beginning of 2018, I’ve been on a regular surveillance schedule with the Mayo Clinic’s oncology group. Every 3 months I have to trek up to Jacksonville — about a 3½ hour drive — for a set of scans, a consult with the doctor, and occasionally other tests. Like recently I had an RNA genetic test done looking for clarity on whether I have Lynch syndrome, a complex disorder that increases cancer risks (spoiler: I don’t have it, or at least only my tumor did… it’s complicated).

The scanning protocol is a full abdomen & pelvis MRI, plus a CT scan of the chest to check lungs. Since the disease was in my gut, they want the hi-res MRI images there, and the lower-res CT is enough to briefly survey any respiratory spread.

This trip was different than previous ones because I went up alone. With the pandemic and lockdowns still on, it didn’t seem sensible for all of us to go. So I holed up in a hotel for one night and got my scans all done. The stress of the waiting game is definitely more challenging when alone. Meditation helps.

The rest of the story is that my scans were all clear. And not only clear, but also a lung nodule they’d seen on previous scans and were monitoring was completely gone.

So with that I get to graduate to an every-6-months schedule for my follow-ups.

Good news like that certainly makes the long drive back more enjoyable.