Saturday, October 26, 2013

Don't come near me - I am radioactive!

Yup - I am radioactive. I was hoping that I would glow in the dark, but I checked last night and no such luck. Too bad - it would have been totally cool.

After they sprung me from Lakes Region General Hospital (LRGH)on Thursday, Barbara and I had to turn around and head to a full day of appointments at Dana Farber. They pulled a bunch of additional blood samples (I don't know what was wrong with the ones they got last week - or the many they gathered at LRGH earlier in the week.) They also did another complete "Whole Body Scan" - a set of about 18 X-Rays. They already had this; I think the x-ray lady gets a kick out of looking at pictures of my bones.

The main thing was that we signed up for the Clinical Trial. After waiting an hour and a half for our esteemed head oncologist (Dr Richardson) - and missing our lunch, we did have a good meeting with him. He also dashed off another whole set of prescriptions for me - none of them being for the treatment of the cancer itself. I am now taking so many pills with my meals that I don't have room in my stomach for any actual food.

The most interesting thing was that they pulled some blood and then mixed it with some radio-active isotope (Technetium-99) and then injected it back and put me onto some sort of scanner. I got to watch the display screen which looked to me like a whole bunch of totally random dots that kept changing. Apparently, the doctors can tell something from this.They gave me a card that explained why I was radioactive that I am supposed to carry around for the next three days in case I set off some sort of alarm, apparently so that I can convince the Homeland Security people that I am not in fact some sort of walking nuclear device.

The worst thing was this test where I had to breathe into some tube. Sounds easy, right? Guess again. There was this little old German woman telling me exactly when and how and when to breathe in a very strong German accent. She would say inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale exhale exhale exhale exhale. Then, as my skin began to go from white to pale to blue to green to some sort of pallid gray, she would say, "Now INHALE INHALE INHALE". And then she would say, "No - you did it wrong." And we would start over. Occasionally, at the end of a cycle, she would say, "Goot - That vas goot. Now do it again." And I would do the same exact thing again and she would say, "No No No - you did not do it right. You vill try again." I know the woman was just doing her job, but she came very close to ending up stuffed into the breathing chamber herself.

Anyway, it was a very long and very difficult day at the end of a very long and difficult week. But we are back in Meredith now and with any luck we won't have to go back to Dana Farber until next Wednesday. 

1 comment:

  1. Warren - Jim and I say "hi" - we're hoping all the tests and pharmaceuticals work their magic for you - our love to nurse Barbara - we know you are handling this with the utmost "warreness", definitely a powerful weapon in your fight - love, Jim and Elaine