Yesterday evening my left side started hurting. Pain in the same area of my ribs that preceded my diagnosis last spring. When the ache hadn't dissipated by midnight, I called Dr. Sharma, who told me to get it checked out at the E.R. for peace of mind.
The CAT SCAN and blood counts came back normal, and there were no irregular cells when Dr. Sharma looked at a blood sample under the microscope this morning. However, she thinks it's worrisome that I'm having this same rib pain, so she'd like me to come into her office Monday to have blood drawn for a PCR test. The PCR test, which assesses the blood on a molecular level, is much more precise than a CBC (count of blood cells) or examining a slide under the microscope.
In the past, Dr. Goldberg has reassured me that the chances of a relapse, especially so soon after chemotherapy, are extremely slim. I'm repeating that to myself, but I can't help feeling scared. We don't know for sure if or how my episodes of side pain 1.5 months and two weeks before my diagnosis were connected to the disease. I'm scared it was the beginning of the problem, before it could be detected in a lab test at the E.R.
The result of the PCR test will take about five days post submitting the sample on Monday. It's almost worth having a bone marrow biopsy to shorten the period of anxious waiting. Almost, but not quiet.
Hopefully (and we are praying) that this turns out to be nothing, and that the need to be hyper-vigilent like this is simply part of being a survivor.