Right. So I like that word. It's a great word. It's probably the best word I've ever had someone speak to me. Remission=alive. We like being alive, right? General human agreement there.
So anyways. This CT scan was a bitch. I'm just laying it out there. Because it sure was.
There's a few reasons. The first reasons is due to our lovely friend: scanxiety.
I throw that word out a lot on here but here's a nice little info graphic that helps break it down even better.
I like this so much I want to print it up on index cards and pass it out to people. It's a great and condensed way to explain to people what the hell it is we're experiencing during scan time.
It's a PTSD issue- it truly is. I know we only think of PTSD in terms of veterans but let's do a little scenario building here.
If you sent a solider with PTSD back to the place where they almost lost their life, played the exact same nosies, smells, and other sensory devices at that place- do you think it would trigger them?
We know that answer to that right?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Of course it would.
Now let's swap out solider with cancer survivor.
Let's put the cancer survivor back in the machine that found the cancer. That makes all the same noises (woosh woosh woosh goes the scanner.) All the same smells are there (alcohol, sterile blanket smell, there's more than you might imagine.)
Do we understand now? I hope so. It is the same concept, it really is. I know my first scan saved my life, I get that. We caught it early and thus prevented the tumor (which was already the size of a friggen fist) from eating my flesh like the greedy zombie it was. (Technical terms, right?)
BUT my brain goes "HEY THESE SOUNDS REMIND ME OF CANCER AND OH MY GAWD IT SMELLS LIKE TUMOR IN HERE! HEY REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAD CANCER? THAT SUCKED DIDN'T IT? WHAT IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN? LET'S THINK OF ALL THE IMPLICATIONS A RE-DIAGNOSIS WOULD BRING TO YOUR LIFE! WOOHOO!"
Catch my drift?
So that's how that works.
The scan itself didn't start off too great. The first order of business is I had to guzzle down these disgusting things in the morning.
Delicious. I'm going to let you in on a little insider info: they don't taste like vanilla smoothies.
And one happy little side effect I wasn't warned about: they will make you feel sick. So that was great. Some warning is usually nice when we have shitty side effects but I missed the memo on that one. So at this point I'm super sick, stressed, hungry, and anxious and it's not even scan time yet!
That's the pre-imaging department face. You can tell I'm thinking 'hmmmm, do we really need to go here today?' I'd much rather be at Target!
But I went because I'm good like that.
Next order of difficulties was getting the IV in my arm. Either I had a nurse that has never seen a vein before or my veins like to squirt blood. Either way I am heartbroken that I did not get a picture of this moment. To be honest, I was more concerned about my white sweater and Ugg boot than I was the blog. Sorry guys.
When she put the IV in and took the needle out, my arm decided to go WOOOOSHHHHH. Yeah, blood everywhere. I mean literally, gushing out of my arm. On the floor, on her, all over the table. I mean tons and tons of blood. So that was great.
This is the best I can do for blood pics but still not as great as the actual moment would have been.
Oh well, there's always next time!
So yeah, for the CT scan they had me drink contrast and injected my veins with it. The point of that being because they were doing a scan of ALL my lymphnodes. My doctor wants to keep an eye of all of them so there's a lot to check so that equals a bunch of contrast.
And you may remember from my previous posts, the IV contrast gives you the hot flash that feels like it's going to end your life along with a nice pissing your pants sensation.
Contrast is nasty.
So they FINALLY got me in the tube and we did that usual deal for awhile. Tried to stare at the weird balloons on the ceiling (why pictures of balloons? who decides these things?) and stay calm.
Shocking insider info: the balloons did not comfort me and I freaked out anyways.
So my brain went into panic mode and that's fine. I expected it to so I just rode the wave of 'what if' scenarios in my head.
When the scan was over I booked it and ate some pizza. Feeling better now.
On a side note: I have to do this every 3-6 months for 5 years? BOO.