My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue that laughter and optimism on my journey...

Scan on this...

Episode LXXVI - Back on the chain gang...


Timed to get scanned again. Normally I get a chest exam, but today I get a more thorough view into my body since they are viewing the chest, abdominal, and pelvic regions. I get the full body works - well - mid-body works!

My breakfast was the breakfast of scanners... barium drink. One container I got to drink hours before the exam... thanks for the early wake-up time?!?! And the other has to be drunk during the hour before the procedure... thanks for requiring me to drink and drive?!?!?!


 

CT berry flavor prep was tasty compared to the Colonoscopy prep!


After arriving at the cancer center I made my way back for scanning. They put in my IV and injected some additional contrast for the bone scan later. Compared to anywhere I have ever gotten IVs the center was amazing. I think they may get too much practice on us patients. Has it become sad that I am grateful for places that give good IVs? A girl has to have priorities when she's getting stuck with needles all the time.

I made my way back to the CT room. Just like normal I got onto the table and talked to the tech. He asked me if I had ever had one of these... I almost laughed out loud. Of course I responded with a polite yes. Then I did the normal lay still and held my breath for small periods of time.


Why is it that when you are asked to hold your breath it seems a near impossible task? I can hold my breath, by choice, for long periods of time, but when asked to do it for procedures seconds feel like minutes!!

Afterwards I expected to hang around and have my bone scan. I was told to leave and come back... bonus! I headed home and had a little food and drank a lot of water. I needed to flush out all that barium and the tracer they injected earlier. The tracer was a tiny amount of a radioactive substance that will collect within the bone tissue at spots of abnormal physical and chemical change.


Again... I am radioactive... cool!


After a few hours I was back at the cancer center and brought back into the same room I had the MUGA scan in. Seems the same table that used gamma rays to look at my heart was going to look at my bones today. I climbed onto the table - the very hard table - and got as comfortable as possible, if that was possible. Then the table adjusted to my body. The top of the machine got as close to my body as possible. My nose was only inches away.


Similar to what I did except it felt like it was closer to me.


Then I did what I always seemed to do in scans - I remained perfectly still. The scan lasted somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour. The machine would scan a portion of my body and adjust until it went from my head to my toes. The most difficult part was lying on a hard surface. For some reason, that just never gets more comfortable.


In my head...


I was given barium, contrast, and tracer all before 10 am. I really hope that I gain some super cool superpowers from all of these procedures. I have not decided which would be my first choice, but they all sound awesome...


Seems they are trying to make me Hulk...


The one good thing about scans was that they are relatively painless. For many they are nerve-racking... I find them just another thing to do. I am not nervous or anxious about the results as I cannot change them. Worrying about something that I have no control over seems pointless. I just know that I will do what I need to do. If I am fine - great. If I am not - time for some more treatment. I am grateful that I am being monitored.


“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” 
- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale



Episode Reference: Back on the Chain Gang, The Pretenders song

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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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