What am I, cancer’s little party girl? In 2006 he picked me up, took me for a ride, and dumped me on the side of the road. During the course of that ride, I was poked, prodded, poisoned, radiated, cut open, gutted, cut open and gutted again, more radiation and poison and finally proclaimed “remissioned”. I prefer the term NERD myself. Almost as a fallout of that wonderful ride, I’ve lost most of my friends, family and casual acquaintances. It’s not like I had a boatload of friends, but I had a few I thought were close. I was really surprised to lose my sister and brother. While we were never raised close, I’ve always been there for them. Neither one of them even bothered to call or visit till my husband went off on my mom and she MADE them visit me.
Anyway, since I’m starting the party again, I thought I’d try to document as much as possible.
So, I went to my Oncologyst last week and he looked at my glands in my neck and throat, listened to my chest, looked at my bloodwork and immediately scheduled me for a CT scan, a PET scan and a Biopsy of a gland in my neck. I looked around and thought “fuck, I’m back on the ride”.
My CT scan was scheduled for 2:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday. Anyone who has ever had one knows that the earlier is better. You are not allowed anything to eat from 11:00 the night before. You can have water. 1.5 hours prior to your test, you are required to drink this thick, chalky substance mixed with 32 oz of water. I can’t suck down that much water in an afternoon and they want you do do it in 30 minutes. For the next two hours you sit and listen to the symphony created by your empty intestines slowly accepting the thick glop you are trying to force into it. I pity the fool who sits next to me on the bus, I may not be making “those” noises, but he don’t know that. Anyway, Get to the hospital and they ask when you last ate, what you had, did you drink your goop? She smiles oh so sweetly and reaches outside the door for another styrofoam cup, a big 28oz’r full of the wonderful thick chalk. “Here”, she smiles, handing me the glass, “Drink it all down now”. And she stands there watching you drink and periodically checking her watch to see how far you are putting her behind.
Next we go into the freezing CT scanner room. Why don’t they just hand everyone robes or tell patients to bring them from home. Luckily for me, this wasn’t my first turn at the prom so I came prepared. Flannel shirt and sweats with a heavy pair of socks on. Tech makes you as comfortable as he can and he installs an IV into your arm. Now keep in mind that I was in the Oncologyst office on Mon. and they drew vials and vials of blood. My regular doctor was Tues. and more vials and vials of blood. Now this poor guy thinks he’s gonna start a simple drip in my elbow. I know my veins, I’ve been with them through alot in the past many years. And I do know what veins are viable. I suggest to the CT guy, hey, can you use the back of my hand, the elbow is sore. No, no, no, he replied. I’ve been doing this for years and I know what I’m doing. Ok, I thought to my self, you got one shot, cause no-one get’s two anymore. So, the first stab into the inside elbow, he lines the needle up, I suggest supporting the back of the vein with his thumb to steady it. He snorts, plunges the needle in and I watch it roll off the side of the vein and slide into my arm. After asking him to swiftly remove the spear from my arm before I rip his tongue out, he runs from the room, presumably for help. Next nursie comes in. I quickly explain again, sore veins, etc… She just smiles and put’s the blue band of death around my upper arm. Into the vein her needle slips, it looks good, and the vein blows. Guess what, they end up using the back of the hand.
Other than the IV drama, it’s a pretty simple test, you ride in and out of a tube while a little voice tells you to “hold your breath” and to “breath”. Getting the IV out is the next worst part, just cause it hurts.
More on the PET scan later.