The PET Scan Tick-Tock: Waiting for the News

A slow-motion ride with high-tech images.

Better late than never

Better early than late

Better prompt than early

So I just have to wait

Time changes rhythm

It goes fast and slow

What is the verdict?

Do I want to know?

My PET scans are lengthy

They go on forever

But the long night after

Is slower than never

My mind keeps spinning

The hour gets late

The nerves, the worries

The fears aggregate

The day’s little fragments

Feeling like a flashback

Playing back the same scenes

Can’t escape the sound track

So what did they mean?

Retake that one then

Another tumor

Inside me again?

Oh, I’m sorry 'bout thatThere’s one scan that’s blurrySo we'll try it again

Don’t worry ... don't worry.

Next day I find out

The scans are all clean

Due back in four months

I get past the screen

I’m elated of course

As the tensions subside

Yet the fear lingers on

In the dark, deep inside

There’s no evidence

That shows new disease

But abnormal cells

Could hide there with ease

Better late than never

Better early than late

Better prompt than early

Up ahead, the next gate

Author’s note: I have great respect for other patients, their families and clinicians, who cope with the presence or spread of cancer. I based this poem on a composite of my own personal experience thus far and nothing more. What has your experience been like?