The Waiting Is Over
Anyone who has ever undergone a PET CT Scan will understand how nerve-racking they can be. But when the instructions given before and during the scan are not in your first language, the stress is heightened.
I read as much as I could in advance about the procedure, but it was still difficult to understand what was going on as the nurses at the Panama National Hospital spoke limited English, and there’s no way my Spanish was up to hospital questions.
I soon discovered that ‘No!’, Ferg couldn’t sit with me while I was in the ‘resting’ area on an IV drip with radioactive goodness going into my body; I wasn’t allowed to read my kindle and, oh yes, I had put my hospital gown on back to front as I didn’t understand the instructions! That, at the very least, made us all smile.
I won’t go into the intricacies of being in a PET CT Scan tube, but suffice to say I felt a little stiff after having to hold a position in absolute stillness for 15 minutes with my hands way above my head. I will never complain about yoga poses again.
Feeling shaky afterwards, but glad it was over, I was then stunned to find out it would take six-days to get my results. A slight issue, as I had an appointment with the pneumology specialist the following evening. Not only that, but if I got the all-clear we wanted to leave Panama without further delay and begin our big sail to French Polynesia.
When I explained my predicament to the radiologist, he kindly fast-tracked the images, scanning them into my online hospital account so my specialist could access and review. He also promised his report by the next day.
Back on the boat after some five-hours at the hospital and, I then went through the side-effects of feeling immensely tired; I also found my brain struggling to work. I had to think hard to answer any questions, let alone typing back to people on Messenger.
Then there’s the inevitable wait for the results, while trying to keep it together handling normal life. Yet my life is far from normal. All around are questions about the weather, provisioning and when we’re leaving Panama?
It feels as if I’m leading a double life. I’ve been trying to stay positive and keep up with the planning, but my head is all over the place, and my emotions too. It has been the toughest of weeks for both Ferg and I, and our stress levels are in the red-alert zone.
That was yesterday. I’ve just met with my specialist and I’m over the moon to say, I am totally free of anything cancerous in my body. The nodules in my lungs will need to be monitored with a scan in six-months to make sure they’ve not grown, but I can cope with that.
Since my last blog, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the genuine concern, love, thoughts, comments and calls, that I just wanted to share this with you straight away. There’s no time to proof read. I just have to let you know now that I’m ok and that a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. And also to thank you so much for the support, which has meant so very much to Ferg, and I.
Tomorrow morning, we plan to leave Panama City and sail down to Las Perlas islands for a couple of days of R&R – and much needed sleep – before we start our Pacific sailing adventure. An adventure that I can now really look forward to.
Written, from the heart, by Jenevora Swann
© Two Drifters Travel