Scans are scheduled every few months in the beginning, and eventually, annually. The doctors don’t abandon you just because the treatments are over. You’re followed for years, so that if cancer reoccurs, they may catch it early enough.
My surgeon, my chemo-oncologist, and my radio-oncologist continued to follow me for a few years after the treatments were over. Suffice it to say, I was still at the hospital often. But visiting with the doctors and having stuff actually done to protect you from cancer, are very different.
They would poke and prod at my belly, check my glands around my neck and underarms, and my surgeon always has me take a lung X-Ray on the day of his visit. The extent of our exchanges was limited, so there was really no reassurance that cancer hadn’t reoccurred. Only the scans and occasional gastroscopy were comforting enough.
In my third year of remission, my chemo-oncologist told me, “I want you out of the hospital.” He said that if the surgeon was continuing to review my case regularly, I would not have to return to oncology. “Usually, with this type of cancer, it will return within the first two years.”
“Really!” Was I safe now?