Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Friday, May 19, 2006

You Can Scan Me Anytime

Yesterday I had another CT scan to track the progress of my chemotherapy treatments. It was another adventure which I’ll get to shortly, but the bigger news is that I already got my results. I’d post the report here, but it uses words like ileotransverse and anastomosis so I’ll just summarize. The tumor shrinkage has continued. My lungs/chest remain clean and there are no new liver lesions. This is all great news. As for what this means, I will discuss that with Dr. W at my next appointment on May 30th. For now, I’m just celebrating that the chemo is still working.

In the continuing saga of medical adventures, I spent the early portion of yesterday morning in the radiology department. After checking in and dealing with the continuing saga of financial misadventures by paying more than I can afford for the required test, I settled in to enjoy my barium sulfate banana smoothie. For those keeping track, the first time I was tortured with the barium sulfate apple smoothie. At the next scan I was introduced to the banana smoothie – at room temperature due to my cold sensitivity. I hesitate to use the term “better” BUT it was definitely not as bad as the apple. This time I requested the banana and got to have it chilled since I’m not taking the oxaliplatin anymore! Again, it wasn’t better, but not nearly as disgusting as the apple.

My roommates both came with me and kept me entertained with the LA Times crossword puzzle while I choked down the two bottles of smoothie. Forty-five minutes later, I had it all down and the crossword puzzle was done (or almost done if you go strictly by the rules and don’t allow made-up words). Moments later, the radiology tech came out to get me. We headed to the back and on the way he ran into the garbage can. It was not out in the middle of the room, but pushed up against the wall – well out of the way. I was instantly concern. If he can’t walk to the door without stumbling over trash, how good will he be at starting an IV?

As we headed to the clothes-changing cubby (I don’t know what else to call it), he asked if it was my first scan. I said no and J told him that I’m an old pro at this. I added that I was a really difficult stick though. He replied that I was lucky because he’s really good. Uh-oh, another red flag. . . I immediately imagined him sticking me with the needle over and over again insisting that he could get it. I would become his own personal human pincushion. But, like a good girl, I swallowed my concern and changed into the hospital gown and my socks. Why did I bring a special pair of socks to change into? From my first experience, I learned not to wear black socks with dress shoes so I had to have athletic socks, but I wore sandals to the appointment. I knew that it would be freezing cold in the scan room so I stuffed a pair of socks into my purse taking up so much room that when J asked if I could hold his book so he wouldn’t forget it, I had to decline. . . because of the socks.

Onto the scan room. I laid down on the table anticipating the drama that I knew was coming. The tech put a tourniquet on my right arm and then on my left, checking all of the usual places for a successful IV stick. He went back to my right where I told him they usually draw blood. He had located a vein and commented that it was just a little deep, but it would be usable. Then he grabbed the needle and just like that it was done! I lay astonished at how easy it was. I commented on this and J told the tech that it had been huge drama the last time. The tech replied that it was just like shooting the ball. If you take the time to set up the shot, you’ll get it in every time. A basketball analogy? For starting an IV? I told my friend K about this with some surprise and she said I should be more surprised that I knew it was a basketball reference.

After that, it was just scan, scan, scan, change back into my clothes and out the door. Barring dealing with the continuing saga of financial misadventures, this was one of the easiest and most on-time appointments that I have had in a long time. I was due for that.


  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Kristen said…

    Hooray!!! I hope the news is just as good at your appointment on the 30th!

  • At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i keep trying to comment but it won't take ... Great news!!! Keep up the good work?!? jess


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