Monday, November 1, 2010

Scan Day

     Today I had 2 more scans, my VA team is 'double checking' for any more cancer in my body. First was a CT scan of my head and lungs. Pretty uneventful, except for the drill sgt technician. Walked in. "take off your glasses and your coat." "Lay down." "put your feet here." "slide down." "arms over your head" "hold still."   .....scan.....  "you're done." "there's the exit..."  and I was done!! Had to have been a drill sgt!!
     The next one was actually not a CT scan but a "Barium Swallow". A technician and two helpers. The machine was quite different. This is the one I had to fast for from midnight. Ever notice how you Really Get Thirsty when you are not allowed to drink water? By 10AM I was Really Thirsty.      And Barium does not Quench One's Thirst.      He told me I would swallow one mouthful on the count of three, then turn to the side and swallow another mouthful when he counted to three. But I was a little nervous and on the second one swallowed when he said swallow. So I got a third swallow, which I swallowed when he said three. On each  count of three he took an Xray of my swallows.

     Then they gave me a small amount of what turned out to be similar to a chopped up fizzy tablet, which I had to swallow without burping. As it went down he was snapping away... the fizz of whatever this was was supposed to open my esophagus for better xray pictures. Then a small cup of water to wash it down.

     Then another cup of barium, more swallowing, as he took more xrays from the the front, sides and back.

     Then I went for a ride, from standing horizontally to laying horizontal. Laying on my stomach, she handed me a water bottle with.... not water but more barium... "drink this and swallow as fast as you can and as many times as you can"    ...then I changed sides and she said "drink more and swallow as many times as you can and as fast as you can...but the bottle was already empty and I need another refill. So I got a refill...more swallowing...

     This was for more xrays... I could see their monitor, the barium looked black, but they could follow it all the way down into my stomach. I may try to get a copy of the pictures, they looked real interesting. I was done in about 30 minutes. I will get the doctor's report tomorrow afternoon.

     So I went out, told Mary about the the test, then she asked if I was hungry for lunch, I had to admit that I was not, I was already full... of barium!  So we sat for awhile, I drank plenty of water. Then we went to lunch at the VA canteen. We had an appointment after lunch at 2..... in the speech therapy clinic.... the radiation treatments may tighten up my neck muscles.... so I had to learn some.....swallowing exercises!!!

     Seriously, if we get a good report from these two tests, there is no more cancer other than the tumor at the base of my tongue and the two swollen lymph nodes. I really am thankful for and appreciate all your prayers. God is good, all the time. And even though I am making light of some of my experiences in my blog, I am listening.


Dee Dee said...

Glad that is OVER! Sounds like not a lot of fun. Praying for great news tomorrow!

Elisabeth said...

God bless. Many prayers for good results.

Mary said...

Funny ... You were definitely full after all that barium. ewww!
AND I have to tell you .. you looked pretty funny doing your tongue exercises!!!
I haven't seen you exercise yet today, what's the hold up?

Patti said...

Nice to see you haven't lost your sense of humor. We are praying for you here in AZ. Love you, Pad

Trish said...

Gulp, gulp ... gag! What a trooper, Don! I've seen a swallowing x-ray - really cool to watch but must have been no fun to do! Now, go do your swallowing exercises with a LARGE glass of water! You are in our prayers!

Cathi said...

Ugh! I've had to have one of those tests and they are Nas-teeee! As I was reading, I shuddered with the memory. We are praying daily for you, Don!