Well this morning I saw there was a message on my phone from the Radiology department inquiring about setting up an appointment for a CAT scan, so I returned the call to find out if I could get my CAT scan rescheduled. I was supposed to have one a few weeks ago but it had actually not been scheduled and we kind of wanted to wait before putting more nuclear stuff in my body. If you do CAT scans more often, it kind of makes the cancer go a little crazy and makes it grow some more. That's why we decided to wait and my tummy got a little better for a little while as I took a small break from the Etoposide. (only 9 pills left) I am still getting abdominal blocks so hopefully we can find out what is causing those.
I talked with a receptionist on the phone and she warned me that I would need to fast for about 4 hours (which I was already nauseated from the chemo of yesterday and last night) and would certainly not be eating anything for at least a couple of hours, "so no problem for me if you have an appointment for today". She happened to have an appointment at 1:30pm and it was 10:30am so I needed to burn rubber, jump in the shower and put on my CAT scan outfit (no wires or metal) which consisted of a T-shirt and sweatpants. Once at the hospital, I would then need to go to the pharmacy and pick up the Barium solution.
Since we had some beautiful rain today, I decided not to bring Miss Blue Belle with me to the hospital. It was raining pretty hard when I got to the hospital but I loved every minute of it. I just kept my mind on how pretty snow must be in Tahoe.
I finally got to the pharmacy and waited for about half an hour for my prescription of Barium Solution (berry flavored- 250ml) and just in time to start drinking it at 12 noon, the second bottle to start at 12:45pm. I read through my magazines and even talked to my mom on the phone for most of the hour and then signed in at 1pm. I had another half hour to kill before I needed to go in for my CAT scan.
Once 1:30pm rolled around I was brought to back area where the CAT scans, restrooms, dressing rooms, and waiting areas were and sat for a few minutes and waited. I was sitting there for a few moments and then a very friendly nurse called my name and since I was already ready brought me in for my IV. Once I got my IV I was led to the area where the CAT scan machine was. I asked the really nice technician if she would mind snapping a few shots of me getting my CAT scan for this very blog. She very kindly obliged and took these wonderful shots.
We talked some as I was getting ready for the actual CAT scan and she told me of a friend of hers who is surviving quite strongly from the very deadly Pancreatic Cancer for 5 years which I have never heard of anyone surviving that long with that type of cancer. This woman was incredible and gave me a tremendous amount of hope and inspiration to beat this disease that I have. How I love people like this. It really was very inspirational to talk with this technician. I am sure she has seen quite a bit in her line of work but her being so positive with me and treating me as a human made all the difference with me.
Getting a CAT scan is a trip. You first have to get the IV inserted which is quite a challenge with my overworked veins. The needle used is slightly larger than the one used for my chemo treatments. I will eventually have to get a port installed but for now, I'm OK. Unbelievably after all this time, my veins are still working, just a little harder to find.
Once inside the CAT scan machine, you have to lay on a thin table with comfy pillows in which to place your legs (legs facing the machine) and of course pillows for your head. Its not a completely hard table; its all padded. Your arms have to be above your head and while you are being scanned, a computer voice tells you "Breath", then "hold your breath", the table that you are lying on moves forward into the machine as you close your eyes and listen for the instruction to Breath again and you can even feel the IV wires pulling (not hard, just gently). As it moves and gets to a certain point, you hear "Breath" and with a sigh of relief. I think it scanned my body twice and then the trippy IV stuff goes in and makes you feel warm down there and as if you are about to pee your pants, but you don't. Kind of hard to describe but that's exactly it.
I hope the results are great and a miracle happens and I am cured of cancer. It certainly won't hurt to image that right? Lots of prayers are needed and now I can focus on my Dad visiting this weekend. He will be here tomorrow and I will try to update as we have more and more fun!
So now the planning and cleaning continues! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
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