Regardless of the situation, no matter how hopeless the outcome may be, I will never quit, and I will never back down. I have become the wolf.

Posts tagged ‘MRI’

The hamster is back on his wheel.


A couple of weeks ago I had an MRI on my upper back to see if my arthritis has gotten worse.  My anesthesiologist wanted me to have one done prior to giving me my next epidural.  Since it wasn’t my oncologist ordering the test I had to have it done at the regular hospital instead of the Cancer Center where I’m used to going.  So different techs, different radiologists reading the scans.  The anesthesiologist seemed satisfied and gave me my last epidural without any problems.

Last week, however, I went to my oncologist for my annual blood work and checkup.  He looked at the results of the MRI and told me they reported a spot on my right lung.  He’s not sure if this is a spot that has been there, as a result of my prior surgery and it’s just being seen by new eyes, or it’s something new and we need to be concerned again.

So, the hamster is back on the wheel.  The “what ifs” are flying around my tiny cranial cavity.

OK.  we have a CT scan scheduled for when I return from vacation and the oncologist a week later for the results.  So for two weeks this is going to prey on my mind.

Light a candle for me.

So much going on that sharing is scary.


Went to a rehabilitation therapist today for the arthritis in my back.  He is now ordering an MRI to be done of my spine due to the increasing neuropathy in my right arm.  It’s to the point now where I feel nothing in my thumb and only some in my index and middle fingers.  My arm falls asleep at a moments notice.   My right hand will start to shake uncontrollably and I’m starting to drop things.  I have to admit this to everyone otherwise I will keep pretending that everything is fine.  I can’t anymore.

I’m glad I spin my mandrels with my left hand and apply glass with my right.  I can set a glass rod down till feeling comes back, can’t set a hot bead down “for a minute”.

OK so I got a very painful steroid/lidocaine shot in my back to hold me over till he can determine if an epidural is necessary or if there is anything else he can do.  So I’m scheduled for an M.R.I and a C.T. scan next Monday (gonna need a pill for this one).  Then I see a neurologist on the 25th, then back to this RT that I saw today to see what’s going on.  So till the middle of next month it’s one test after another and the hurry up and wait game.  I hate that game.

Meanwhile I’m keeping myself busy.  Tonight Oscar and I go for his first testing as a therapy dog.  There is an entire checklist that he has to go through.  I hope he does well.  Then Saturday it’s out to Brighton for torch time for the BOC, Sunday is a guild meeting in the afternoon.  Then I need to get busy making beads for the bead bonanza in October.  Phew, when I jump back into life, I don’t fool around.

I’m off for an afternoon nap to let this shot take effect.  Hugs to everyone.

I feel like I’ve just awoken from a deep Cryogenic sleep deprivation chamber


In other words, I’m back from the Hospital again. Last Sunday my face and neck started going numb on the left side. Don’t know what caused the numbness, but it’s here and not going anywhere.  In the emergency room last night another doctor was asking the patient next to me to describe her dizziness without using the word dizzy.  So I started to apply it to my own feelings.  I’m not really numb.  I can feel touch.  What is feels like is that my skin is getting thicker.  Like the nerve endings are receding into my skin.  Anyway, two chest x-rays, two CT scans one MRI later and they still don’t know.  So I go for a Lumbar Puncture on Monday morning. Just to make sure those sneaky CA cells havent moved into the lining of my brain.  Can’t wait for this result.   What fun we are having this week. Off to more interesting subjects.

Have you ever spent any time at all in a hospital?  Time means nothing.  It’s like they run on their own time schedule.  All the clocks could be running backwards and the patients wouldn’t notice a thing.  They keep you sleep deprived by waking you up all night to ask you questions.  Every hour on the hour.  Windows are tinted so you really have no concept of outside time.  In those few glimpses of windows you get heading to your tests you get a distorted view of the outside world.  You can order whatever you want from the menu whenever you want it.  TV stations are confusing and their schedule is not any that I’ve seen before.  Got home at 4:00 pm and could have sworn it was 11.

Had to go straight from the hospital to radiology for my treatment today.  The good news is that my treatments are down from 45 minutes to 20 +/- minutes.  Apparently I’m shrinking at an acceptable rate for them to be comfortable with the reduction in treatment time.  Did have the girls take a picture of me locked into the beast. 

Me and the Beast

C called tonite and gave me a really good pep talk.  I needed to be reminded that I was stronger than I think and tougher than I know and that I have a lot to fight for.  I need to remember that when  sometimes things get down for me.  I just signed you up for my pep squad C.  I plan to be around for quite awhile and need your talks.  Don’t let me slide.
 
Anyway, I’m tired, finally.  Think I’ll go finish watching Blue Bloods and maybe sleep.  Felt so good to take a shower.  Hospitals have funk that clings to you.  Oh and for those that caught the cryogenic in my title.  It’s freezing in that place, and no blankets.  You have to fight to keep the ones you have.

So glad to be home


Got home from the hospital on Saturday night, about 5:00.  I was so exhausted that I slept till Sunday morning.  I don’t give a rats ass how much you seem to sleep in the hospital.  It’s not sleeping. 

Eased into waking up on Sunday to get ready for 12:00 mass at St. Anne’s in Detroit.  I love that church, the priest is easy to understand and he writes good sermons.  He even does a white-lighter ceremony at the end to the Mass for those who need or desire blessings.  I was impressed.  Got home, worked around the house till after 1:00, then took a nap.  Slept a bit longer than I thought I would, till 6:00.  J and Ma had to make do with a Caesars pizza for dinner.

I hate being a weakling.  I’ve always been the strong one, ready to kick ass and take names, now I don’t even care to know their names.  Tried to open a jar that had already been opened before.  Had to ask J to do it for me.  Have managed to make dinner one day in a row though.  I’m working on tonite’s dinner.   Probably chicken and asparagus.

My arms really hurt from all the IV’s  and blood draws I got the last week.  Nine in one arm, five n the other.  I feel like I’ve had really bad acupuncture. 

Tons of appointments between now and the ninth, and for once they are not all mine.  OK, We are going to the dentist cause I lost a filling again, the Vets cause the dogs need their shots, the OB/GYN (self explanatory), the oncologist, the Radiation oncologist, the dog groomers for nails and tails then back to my regular doctor for a followup.  Wow, I think that’s it.  Quite a ride huh?

I should go, I’m tired and hungry.  Don’t know why I’m so tired, they gave me two pints of blood while I was in the hospital, not to mention the potassium and magnesium.  If I start chemo and radiation next week, I’m screwed.

Love to you all.  I’m taking it easy today, writing letters and returning phone calls.

First of three done for today.


Did have to chuckle. I warned Joe that this was a long test to have to wait for, cause we can’t wait together. What they tell you is an hour and a half is in reality two to three hours depending on the persons ahead of you. We walked out and he was like “damn, that took forever.” I so tried to warn him.

Here’s the rundown on a PET Scan.  You check in with this lady that talks more than any woman on the View ever could.  Every thing under the sun she talks about.  You finally get checked in and you get sent to the “benches” to wait your turn.  These benches are as hard as rocks and just about as comfortable.  So you wait, and you wait, and you squirrel magazines cause you’ve been here before and you know what’s in store.  Joe looks at me funny every time I score a “car guy” magazine.  He has no idea how rare those are in waiting rooms, or how long the wait. 

The tech come out and welcomes me into the trailer hereby called the “Freezer”.  First I get to sit in a leather chair in a 60 degree room.  And the ride is just beginning.  Knowing in advance about the freezer I was prepared.  Leggings, sweats, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweat shirt, heavy socks and warm slippers.  So what if people look at me funny.  I’m warm dammit.  The lovely tech takes my hand and gently shoves a pick into my finger to draw blood, she then squeezes it and takes a sample.  Good news,  I’m a 72, but then anything under 200 is good for them.  We then proceed to the fun part of the ride, the IV insertion.  Keep in mind that I just had chemo a week ago and my veins still haven’t recovered.  So after three tries and an arm change, we finally get it in.  For all of two minutes.  She flushes the IV with saline (or whatever they use) then injects the radioactive sugar into the IV.  Two minutes and she’s done.  Zip, the IV is out and I’m on my way….. to the next quiet room.

I’m now required to relax in a hospital room with the lights out and the curtains drawn for an hour.  Door closed, no visitors.  I’m now considered “hot” and would set off counters in three states. 

After a long and chilly nap, it’s time for the actual test.  Back up the lift to the Freezer.  This time I go into the scanner room.  A long ugly tube, makes a claustrophobic person kinda twitch, ya know?  Then they make it worse.  They strap my feet together and my legs down so I can’t move.  They start to draw the strap crossed my chest and I stopped her cold.  “It’s in case you move”, she says.  “I won’t”, I reply.  “You can’t know that,” she states.  “I’ve had eighteen of these,” I explain gently.  “I don’t move, and I don’t get strapped down.  You can leave the band on the feet but release the legs.”  I think she could tell I was serious cause the straps went away.  I requested a towel for my eyes and told her to begin.

The test takes a half an hour.  You can’t move or they start over.  I worked as a mannequin for 2 years.  I can stand still for hours.  When it was over, she told me that no-one had ever done it unstrapped for her where she didn’t have to do it over.  I think I impressed her.

Now I get to wait till Thurs. for my next two tests.  I hope I can convince them to use the same IV for both tests.  Doesn’t make sense to do one then insert a second..

Oh, the good news is that Joe was able to move my oncology appointment from the 25th to the 17th.  So I get my results one week sooner. 

Don’t know if I’m sad or glad about that.  Been waking up and wanting to make plans and being unable to even decide to plant a flower.  What if I’m not here to see it bloom.  I’m having a tough time holding it together right now. Perhaps I can get the doc’s to up my meds somewhere. Frick it, might as well be stoned and scared rather than just scared. 

Seems like only four months ago I felt robust and healthy.  I could wrestle with H and swing I around.  Now I can barely make it up the stairs.  I can feel the meat melting off my bones.  I don’t like this “survivor” feeling.  My bones poke into my butt when I sit for too long, so Joe took me out and bought me a new recliner.  It’s my perfect chair.  I took my Gramma’s advice and circled the chairs three times.  I sat in all of them and I kept coming back to this one chair.  The price was reasonable, It fits me like a glove and it’s so soft and wonderful.  Not to mention the knitting and crochet storage in the arms and the drink holders and the heat and the massage.  I can’t wait to get my new chair.  Tomorrow.

Off to bed.  I think I figured out a way to torch tomorrow without having Mom worry.  I’ll move the video camera down stairs and she can watch what I’m doing.  It’s a baby video monitor, but if it saves her from worrying about me…  It might work.

Night all.  And remember:

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Third dose done. I’m already not happy.


Once again we got there early (1:15 for a 1:45 apt), in our excitement to get it over with.  Got in, had blood work, had our usual 20 second chat with the oncologist.  You know the one that goes “Well, the glands seem to be shrinking (*from whose end buddy?)  I think we’ll schedule you for another CT, MRI, PET and a series of blood work and see where we go from there.   Oh, and BTW our machine has your bilirubin count at over 4 again, so I’m gonna put you on an IV and send your blood up to the main hospital and we should get the results back soon.”

It’s 2:15.

I get put back in the freezing cold chemo room and cuddle under a couple of blankets and pillows, take out a book and prepare to be punctured again.  They get my IV started and I get as comfortable as I can in these chairs they have and I proceed to fall asleep.  I’ve been so out of it for days dreading being here, that once I’m here, I sleep.  I woke up at about 4:30 and looked over at Joe, he told me that they had started my chemo and to just relax, so I went right back to sleep.  By 6:00 we were done.  I get my IV taken out and get taped up.  I help fold up my blankets and put them away, and I head for the bathroom.  As I finish I feel something cold and wet on the inside of my sweatshirt arm.  I look down and there is blood running off my hand and onto the floor.  I think the nurses were a little freaked when I walked out looking like I’d slashed myself.  And BTW, kinda a bad time to ask if I’m on blood thinners, dont’cha think?

I go to the front desk to schedule my next tests and my next appointment and the girl behind the desk hands me a card with an appointment for three weeks away.  “But what about my tests?” I asked.  “He didn’t order any.” she replied and walks away.  Another worker must have sensed my confusion and asked what was wrong.  I explained about the tests and she said the doctor was in a conference and couldn’t be disturbed, but she would check in the morning and call me back.  It’s 10 of 7 the next evening and still haven’t heard back.  I”ll have to call tomorrow.

Been so tired and chilly since yesterday.  I think I’ve slept most of the day away today.  I did spend some time downstairs with mom this morning.  Spent a couple of hours making lanyard for cell phones or key rings.  They are quick and easy.  I’m so grateful to my friend Catie for agreeing to come over to play, she really lit a fire under my ass to get things moved downstairs and organized.  It’s so much easier to get things done when everything is in the same place.

I’m off to haul this bag of rocks off to bed.  contact points are painful right now so sitting isn’t much of an option.  Have a great night all.

Tag Cloud