Sometimes More is Less

ImageI think we live and breathe by the scans.  We hold our breath anticipating each one.  We let out a big sigh of relief when it is “not bad” news, or we let out half an exhalation when it is “okay” news.  Truthfully, I am not sure there has been one scan when I have rejoiced over the results.  There have been many times when I wish I could share others optimism that the scan wasn’t too bad or was pretty good news.  I guess realistically I want it all.  I want the scan result to say the cancer has been stopped dead in its tracks.  Or a tumor that was there last month has disappeared completely.  


You would think reviewing scan results would be fairly straightforward.  The doctor gives us the Spark Notes version of the report.  At the end of the appointment, we get a copy to take home.  It is at this point that the confusion sets in.  I sat down and looked at Dave’s last five scans.  Dave had expressed concern to me about tumors being referenced in his latest scan that he didn’t remember.  It seems that not all reports are created equal.  Some give no measurements but are more like summaries.  Some give lots of measurements and usually say “which previously measured” or “as previously noted”.  So it becomes unclear which tumors are where and what has increased and by how much.  It is more uncertainty in a land of confusion.  I feel like I need to draw a picture and mark all the information we have on it.  Maybe I will.