“Take a deep breath, and hold it,” the man with the vaguely Australian accent is saying. I’ve been in this CT scan machine often enough to recognize that he’s a recording. (Heck, I’ve been here often enough I should probably start worrying about all this radiation exposure — oh, never mind, I already have cancer.)
I like to imagine I am passing through some sort of magic portal as the machine slides me through the noisy, whirling ring that directs the computer’s gaze. Maybe I’ll emerge in a parallel universe where they’ve just cured cancer. Or at least a universe where I have a pony, perfect skin, and a summer home in France.
This scan will be the test of whether my current course of combined chemo and immunotherapy is doing anything. If my tumors have grown, well, damn. Time for plan Z (we’ve been through all the others). If they’re stable or shrinking, I’ll do a happy dance and return to the routine of daily pills and infusions every two weeks, until the next scan. It could be a few days before my doctor is able to take a look at the report and issue a verdict.
In the meantime, I’ll follow the instructions of the voice in the machine:
“Carry on breathing.”