Tuesday, May 6, 2014

thumbs down

today was a long and tough day.

lots of tears.

i checked in at 12:45, filled out my usual paperwork, got my wrist band, and then got called back for the prep work and iv.

on a good note, we got the iv in on the first try, so i was super thankful for that. that was pretty much the highlight of the entire appointment.

maybe it is my fault for forgetting, or maybe i intentionally blocked it out to take it a little easier on myself mentally going in to the scans. but i thought that since i had the radioactive injection for the pet scan, and i got the contrast through the iv for my ct scan, that i was not going to have to drink the contrast too.

i was wrong. the moment when they told me that i had to drink the contrast was a really tough one. it was one of those moments when the entire last four years creep on me and i feel like i just can't do this anymore. i am so tired of being poked, of drinking contrast, of being in machines, of having iv's, of needles, of seeing my blood in tubes, all of it. i am sick of all of it. i get frustrated and i get angry. after i stare at the wall for a few minutes  reminding myself that i promised to always be brave, i shake it off and i get back in the fight. i have a life to live and i am not going to let cancer and all of the shitty things it brings with it stop for me from doing what i have to do to keep going.

this picture sums up how i felt when they told me i would have to drink the contrast.
what immediately followed this moment was the nurse telling me that because i was having a pet scan followed by the ct scan, i would have to drink the contrast down in 15 minutes after the radioactive solution had been injected for 30 minutes. i usually need the full hour to drink contrast but now i had to chug it in 15 minutes. now i was super bummed.
as you all know, i hate contrast (and that is putting it lightly).
since i am injected with radioactive material, no one can be in the room with me and i have to be in isolation. so as soon as i am injected, they leave me in my room by myself for an hour. it is just me and the timer. the timer telling me that when it goes off in 28 minutes, i have 15 minutes to drink the contrast.

this is what it looks like when you are in isolation. they even have to shut the door. at least i had some warm blankets and music in my ears to keep me company.

after all of that, i got to spend the next three hours of my life in this machine. they raise the bed up so that you are closer to the top of the tube, my face was about 5 inches from the top of the tube while i was getting the scans. for the pet scan, you have to have your arms above your head the entire time, that gets pretty uncomfortable when you hit the 45 minute mark. trust me. did i mention that you can't move at all the entire time? you are supposed to lay completely still to not mess up the imaging, so once you go in, you are in that position the entire time.  they wrap you up like you are a burrito and even put towels on both sides of your head and on top of your head to ensure that your head does not move. not fun.
you all know that looking up at these are my most favorite part of the entire day. the "oh-look-you-really-aren't-getting-cancer-scans-and-feeling-like-hell-you-are-really-outside-where-it-is-sunny-and-nice" fake ceiling tiles. enough said. there are not enough words for how much i hate those. oops, i just said "enough said" so i guess i should have stopped my rant at that last sentence;)
so after 3.5 hours of being in the tube, i finally emerged back out in the waiting room so that i could go home and go to bed. i was so tired and nauseas i didn't even have the energy to smile but i was glad to be done.
i was in bed for the rest of the day, emerged after malena went down. i got to give her a quick kiss before she went to bed, and we made plans for a starbucks date in the morning. i can't tell you how heartbreaking it is to be upstairs in the dark and to hear her voice and laughter below. it is the hardest and the worst part of the day, and in those moments, there are no words for how much i resent cancer and all of the hard things that it brings to my life. the moments that it takes from me. the days i spent like i did today. it isn't fair, and i don't deserve this. no one does. but cancer doesn't seem to care about that now does it?

so tomorrow is another day. i am looking forward to some time in the morning with my girl. getting out and about a bit, i can't ever sit still the day before scans, i need to be in constant motion. i am going to follow the same routine that i do every time before results. my routines around scans and results bring me a lot of comfort. i am going to have lunch with my friend rob, i have had lunch with him the day before almost every scan result (i think that we have only missed it once) in all four years of scans, it is a tradition that helps to keep me calm. then i am treating myself to a massage to relax for a bit. my parental team comes into town tomorrow and my mom is making me one of my favorites for dinner. tomorrow should be a good day.

thanks for all of the love and support you are sending our way, barrett and i so appreciate it and we feel so very lucky to have so many people rooting for us. i can't imagine how much harder it would be to go through all of this without so many by our side. i am grateful every day for all of you that go on this journey with us.

i hope that you all have a great tuesday, go out and do something fun -- trust me, you should always make time for fun.

lastly, to my big brother, i know that i am up way past my bedtime, but i am guessing that today you will give me a pass. xoxo


  1. Thank you for sharing Alli, standing right here beside you.

  2. After you sent that txt to the parental team today, I may need to take some pointers from you.