“There’s another spot”

I had just dropped my mom off and was driving to Armata’s Market in Longmeadow. My coworker told me beef tenderloin was $6.77 a pound, which was a lot less than Arnold’s. I figured there wouldn’t be a line there, and I could get in and out quickly. I had planned to make the tenderloin on Christmas Day and I was running out of time to get everything done.

My cell rang as it sat on the passenger seat. “Dr. Armen Asik” appeared on the Caller ID screen. I pressed the green call button and heard Dr. Asik’s voice. “This is Dr. Asik. You left a message asking for the results of the PET scan.” Uh, yeah. He paused before continuing. “The scan showed a spot in the area of your lower back.” Shit.

I turned into the next side street and pulled over. I saw a guy walk down his driveway and remove the mail from the box. He stopped to look at me, then turned and went back into his house.

“So what does that mean?” I asked as I got out of the car and opened the back hatch of my car. I quickly pulled my steno pad and a pen from my briefcase and got back into the front seat. “Well, we don’t know. I would recommend a bone marrow biopsy. It will show whether the cancer has spread.” Oh. My. God.

“Dr. Asik, I’m trying to process this. So the PET scan doesn’t show whether it’s cancerous?” He said the scan does not distinguish between inflammation and cancer. How does a gazillion dollar machine not show that?

Dr. Asik told me he could do the biopsy in his office and he had either tomorrow or the following Friday available. We agreed on the next day at 1:00 pm. I hung up.

FUCK, FUCK, FUCK. I tried to catch my breath as I started the car and drove home. Bone marrow?! Cancer in another area?! I felt waves of panic as I tried to focus on the road in front of me. Linda, breathe. Tears ran down my face. Are you kidding me?! I felt defeated.

This changes everything.

3 thoughts on ““There’s another spot”

  1. “He said the scan does not distinguish between inflammation and cancer. How does a gazillion dollar machine not show that?”

    That’s a perfect example of showing not telling. I can feel your fury. Great writing. Amazing experience to relate.


  2. Oh no Linda. I hadn’t heard that part. Since you didn’t mention it the other day, I am assuming you had good results.


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