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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Look Ma- No Scanxiety

Yesterday was CT scan day. The scan was scheduled for 8:30 AM but since I have to drink the contrast material before the scan I was supposed to be at the Diagnostic Center  at 7:45. Of course, it was another cold, cold day.  The temperature was around 25 degrees when we left home and the sun  was in the process of getting up.  In fact, the moon hadn't yet gone to bed and was hanging like a big silver  balloon in the western sky as we crested the hill  on our way to the back road. We had decided to go the back way  because bridge construction/road widening on our usual route had slowed traffic to a crawl last time we took that route. So off we drove, heading east into the rising sun.  It's lucky we made it safely, since the sun was blindingly bright and   the bare trees on the side of the road did little to block its glare.

But we arrived safely, with a few minutes to spare. While Mr. G went to park the car I headed to the  lab in the oncology clinic so they could access my port. I discovered last time I had a scan in the diagnostic center that they were not able to access the port,  so I had to have the contrast dye injected via an IV in my arm. With my rolling veins and the multiple jabs it takes to  get an IV needle placed I end up with some nasty looking bruises. Once  I had the port accessed I headed  across the hall  to  sign in for the scan. The barium contract material that  they give you to drink at home doesn't agree with me so I  get an  iodinated radiopaque contrast medium once I arrive at the clinic. They brought me   a big bottle of the stuff to drink and told me they would call me back in about thirty minutes. One of the unfortunate possibilities with the contrast medium is that it can have a laxative effect, so I had to make several  quick trips to the  restroom. They finally called me back,  took a blood test to check my kidney function, told me to wait, and brought me yet another  cup of the contrast medium to drink.  I couldn't get all of it down, but  the tech told me I had gotten enough down. Then I was called in to the  lovely machine, positioned on the table,  hooked up to  an IV for the final contrast and slid in and out of the  doughnut hole while a stern male voice  bellowed,  "BREATHE IN" "HOLD YOUR BREATH" and finally, "BREATHE." Then they   began the IV and my mouth was filled with a metallic taste,  I felt  warm all over and  had the sensation of wetting myself as the contrast   solution  made its way through my veins. A  couple more  times of sliding in and out of the  hole and we were finished. I  went back to the lab to have them flush my port and remove the needle and we headed home.
 Once at home, thanks to the previously mentioned laxative effect, which may have been enhanced by my having eaten  lobster and shrimp  on the two previous  days, I spent a  large part of the afternoon in the bathroom, which was a shame since it was one of those lovely, sunshiny days that are so rare lately.

 Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the scan results were posted on my doctor's patient portal site late yesterday evening and I was able to see that everything was stable and there was "No evidence of new or worsening metastatic disease." It is indeed very nice to be spared  the scanxiety that  creeps in while you're waiting to learn the results of scans and tests.

Today was another cold, gray day. I thought such a day called for a nice warming meal, so prepared roasted chicken with  root vegetables. I tried a new method of roasting the chicken, which was a big disappointment and has convinced me to  stick with my old tried and true method in the future. I also must confess that until tonight I had never cooked and eaten a rutabaga. And I probably won't  cook and eat another. All in all, it was a disappointing  meal, but you win some and lose some.

The temperatures are supposed to be warmer tonight- in the 40s instead of the 20s, and  the  daytime temps tomorrow will be  warmer.  I am definitely ready for some spring weather so I can get out and dig in the dirt, move the plants out of the greenhouse and get the garden planted. But not yet. I just don't trust Mother Nature anymore and  wouldn't be  at all surprised if she pulled another of her  sneaky tricks with an April snow or some such  thing. 

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