today was scan day, which makes today a really long day. i figured that you some of you may have interest in what a scan day looks like for me, come along with me for a four hour scan extravaganza.
here is the first sign that i am going to have a scan, my patient bracelet that gets checked about 10 times before all is said and done. they are very good about verifying that i am the one who should get the scan, never been able to fake them out yet;)
next i get warm blankets (which i always need because i am always freezing for my scans regardless of how many layers i have on - might have a little something to do with the word anxiety) and super warm socks with grips on them so that i don't fall in the hallway walking from my room to the restroom and the scan room. as you can also see, i have my ipod. i will choose my music over a room of silence and my thoughts every time.
here is me wrapped in blankets, with my music on, after my blood was taken and before the radiation was injected. this is what waiting looks like. i took this pic by myself and i have to say it wasn't easy. i could only use my left arm because my right arm (my dominant arm) had my iv in it. pretty sure that adele's "someone like you" was playing at this exact moment on my ipod. i could have waited for the nurse and asked for help, but that would have been the easy route. i needed a good challenge to keep me distracted.
oh saline, i dislike you so. this is the saline prep for the radiation injection into my iv (beneath the white cloth around my elbow). i had already had the pleasure of tasting saline twice before this when they took my blood and put the iv in. you would think that my taste buds would only make me taste it once in a day regardless of how many times i have to be injected with it. but, no, they are mean and spiteful little guys and clearly get pleasure out of watching me wince and squish my face up every time i taste it. i think that i could almost hear them laughing today. after the radiation gets into my system, i have to sit totally still for one hour, in a room by myself with the door shut, and the only thing i can do is listen to music. i could sleep, but that would mean that i could actually fall asleep - i always have way too many thoughts going through my head to sleep before scans.
this is what i spent an hour in today. they slide me into that tube and then slowly move my body through the machine to do the scan. i think that i move a few inches every 7 minutes or so. i have to lay flat on my back and not move. my lower back really starts to hurt as i am rounding out that hour, it starts to get pretty uncomfortable. lucky for me, i am not claustrophobic. as you can see, when i am in the machine, my face is probably about 6 to 7 inches from the top of that tube. when my head is outside of the machine, they have those ceiling tiles with the pictures on them that look like you are looking up through trees at the sky. i hate those tiles. they don't make me think i am outside, they actually just frustrate the hell out of me because i know damn well where i am and it isn't outside. i always want to, but never do and know they would never tell me anyways, ask the techs what they see on my scans. that must be a tough job because you know they likely know when things don't look good but they never let on. it is always weird for me to think that they might know something about what is going on with me before i do.
i could not eat any food past midnight last night, and since my scan did not get over until 4 today, you can imagine that i was hungry. i got some juice and cheese to tide me over, but i was on a mission to get a burger.
i left seattle cancer care and headed to blue moon burgers whose website says it all "making the world better one burger at a time". that is so true. they have awesome burgers and they can make them gluten free, so they are my number one burger love in my life right now. since they have a spot close to seattle cancer care, i like to go there after late appointments when i can for a little treat. today when i parked my car, i had to make a quick sprint due to the rain and forgot my phone so i had to use my camera. the pic above is blurry because my camera is being a pain in my you-know-what right now, so i had to take a pic of the pic. but, you get the idea, it looks so good even when it is blurry. as i was walking to blue moon, it started to absolutely dump. i mean the sky-opens-up-and-dumps-ten-inches-in-five-minutes-typical-october-in-seattle kind of rain storm. good times. but i just took my merry time and got soaked, and i mean, seriously soaked. it felt so good to be outside and to feel the rain. it kind of felt like sweet justice after having to look at those stupid ceiling tiles.
for dessert, i had some cinnamon bears. as you can tell from the price, it doesn't take much to make me happy. i get these bears at the scaa gift shop when i have scans, they are my little sugar reward when i am done. i am not sure what i would ever do if they didn't have my bears when i went in. that might cause a melt down in the gift shop and no one wants to see that.
on my way home, i saw this rainbow as i was on 520. don't worry, i was not taking pictures while i was driving. i was in my car but i was on 520, so as you can guess, my speedometer was at 0 and i was not moving. figured that this rainbow might be a good sign, couldn't tell for sure but thought it looked like it could be landing right on my house.
i wish that the last picture of my day was of me and malena doing something fun. but i can't see her today because i am still too radioactive. so, we have to do what i hate. i have to hide upstairs in my room when barrett's parents bring her home (i have no clue what we would do with our awesome families) and give no indication i am here so that they can get her to bed without her knowing i am home. i will get to see her again tomorrow when i am radiation free. i know it is one day, but after a scan day, i really want to just play with her and read books and do our nighttime routine. in the long run, if the days that cancer has made it so that i can't see her are far less than the days that i do, it is a trade that i will take a million times over.
i hope that i can get some sleep tonight. nightmares are really taking a toll on me. i have them every single night. they start very quickly after i go to sleep, and i usually wake up from them about every 45 minutes or so. makes for long nights. if the results are good tomorrow, and i start feeling better, i hope that they get tired of me and go away. i am already more than tired of them.
my appt with my oncologist to get the results is tomorrow at 3:30, so i will give an update but it won't be until tomorrow night sometime.
thanks for all of the good mojo, i take it with me everywhere i go. it is good company for me to have along for the ride.