I feel like my day started at 2:30am because that is when I woke up. Bad dreams and bad thoughts were haunting me. They made me want to toss and turn but I couldn’t even do that with the present state of my left arm and incision pain and the old pain in the drain.
I think I finally had dozed off – or maybe I passed out – at about 5am. Unfortunately we had to get up at 5:45am so that Dennis could help me shower, re-wrap and do the hair for the day – and still have time to get himself ready – so we could get to CMC Mercy(uptown) before 8am.
This was really D Day, I guess you could say. The day for full body CT and bone scans to determine if there is cancer anywhere else in my body. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Well, the thought of it weighed pretty heavily on me and on Dennis.
So the lack of sleep, fasting for the CT scan and sheer fear of what could be combined inside of me to produce a dizzying headache. I slowed our preparation progress by continuously needing to sit down before I fell down.
I finally drank and half glass of orange juice and that helped me to stay on my feet and make it to the car.
We arrived and the process quickly began. Soon we were escorted to the Registrar’s office. This briefly took me back to Athens and being led into the Arts & Sciences College Registrar to choose my Freshman classes….. well that was the way they did it way back when. …
Anyway – We went to the 2nd floor and Radiology. Not long after I signed in, 2 8 oz cups of orange Gatorade+contrast element were delivered to me. One had 8:00 and one had 8:30 written in sharpie on the side. I began to down the 8:00 one. A nurse technician appeared to skewer my arm for the IV contrast that I would need. This nurse was soon followed by another with a secretive, dangerous looking metal tube and syringe to administer the radioactive contrast for the bone scan. This element needed 3 hours to work its way through my body to get into my bones. After moving back to the waiting area, I finished my 8:30 cup and waited 20 minutes for that contrast to work its magic.
After that waiting period I was gathered by another technician to have the CT scan. It was really quick and less intimidating than the MRI I had – except for the fact that the required injection often made subject feel like they peed on themselves. I didn’t experience that – although I did feel the drug’s warmness move down my body – first in my throat, then my chest and finally to my groin. After about 20 minutes of lying still, and being slowly moved through the machine, the CT scan was complete, my rather painful IV stint removed and I was released back to the waiting area. Since it was only 9:15am, I was allowed to leave – as long as I made it back at 11:45am for the bone scan. I would even be allowed to eat breakfast!
One waffle with bacon (and a trip through World Market) later and I was back at Mercy being ushered into the bone scan room. I have to admit. This was intimidating. After being positioned on the platform, I was moved until my head was underneath what looked like the business end of the machine. I closed my eyes. That was what the technician suggested. But I couldn’t resist peaking. I had to see what I was missing. The flat plate that I will assume made the scan was so close to my nose that I could hardly focus on it. No wonder some folks were intimidated by this….especially those who are claustrophobic. This process took place VERY slowly. The plate moved down my body ….taking about 20 minutes to reach from head to toe. It could have been my imagination but I thought I felt a warm sensation across my body as the plate moved down. Of course, who knows if it wasn’t just the heat stroke I thought I was going to have. I was fully clothed but still was covered with a warmed blanket and then by torso was wrapped is sort of a black support sack that gave my arms support as the edges of the platform would drop down as I moved through the machine. And the blanket wasn’t just warm like a towel from the dryer. This was in a stack of folded blankets in a warming case. This is not something anyone should do to someone prone to hot flashes.
Well. I survived and soon was walking down the hallway to the waiting area to meet up with Dennis and find something cold to drink. I noticed that my back was soaked with sweat underneath my ace bandage wrap and corset.
Believe it or not, it was not 12:30 – and we were actually a little hungry. Off to Mac’s we went. I was craving my favorite spinach salad and a big glass of iced tea.
When we entered our two favorites were there to greet us and treated us to pretty much having two of the world’s best waitresses serve us at once.
What a bright light in the midst of a dismal day (well dismal thus far)
These two ladies are special to us – Kathy and Kelli. They’re about the age of our daughters and they take pretty good care of us.
After as much of a relaxing lunch as I suppose I could have on this D Day, we headed home. I had work to do. After all, my second surgery date was set – only 2 days away – and I have work to get done before I check into the One Day Surgery Center again on Thursday morning.
I was expecting to wait. I didn’t think I would know anything about my results until my appointment with my oncology surgeon on Wednesday. So I was surprised when the phone rang at 2:45pm and it was my doctor. She wanted to share my scan results immediately. It was good news. No – it was great news. All negative. No other indications of cancer. So Thursday’s surgery should rid me of what exists and then my post treatment plan should be insurance for what could be trying to rear its ugly head.
I’m sure I’ll learn more tomorrow about what my after plan will be, but I’m just thrilled with the great news for today, July 21!