Wednesday, October 11, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0323 - Discharged!

I have just come from my appointment with the medical oncologist at the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre. Effective immediately, I am discharged from active assessment and treatment at the GRRCC. My family physician will manage the followup recommended by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA), and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Every 4 months for the next 2 years, I will have a full physical examination by my general practitioner (GP), including a digital rectal exam (DRE) and blood tests for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). The latter will be done for 5 years. After the first 2 years, I will meet for the same tests with my GP every 6 onths for the next 3 years. In addition, for the next 3 years, I will have a CT of the abdomen, pelvis, and chest. A colonoscopy should be performed at the 1 and 3 year mark from diagnosis and then every 5 years after that.

So, unless recurrence happens, I will no longer have to visit the GRRCC.

It feels odd. There was no ceremony to mark the discharge, no graduation, no celebration, just a handshake and goodbye. I guess that's the way it should be. But it still feels like something is missing. I just hope that something is cancer!

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