Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Another fun filled day in RollerCancer theme park.

Today was the much anticipated PET scan at the Nylen Cancer center in SC, I had a list of instructions of do's and don'ts for the 24 hours prior, mostly in the diet. No carbs, I love my potatoes!, no sugars, I love my fruits!, no caffeine or alcohol, I love my iced coffee with York Peppermint Patty creamer to get my day going, AAUUGGHHH!! I could eat lots of protein as in meat, etc., veggies as in broccoli, but no carrots, I love my baby carrots! Dairy as in hard cheese and cottage cheese, no milk or yogurt, I love my....well, you get the picture. I was instructed to drink all the water I wanted and if I got up before 7 this morning of the test, I could eat some bacon and eggs. It was a struggle but the thought of no food till 2 or later won out over extra zzzzzz's in bed. What really concerned me was that I had to drink 30 oz of water 2 hours before the test, that would be on my way to SC, no mention of being able to go to the bathroom. When Bruce and I travel, we measure our trip in bathroom breaks, I get about an hour per bladder full, this could be a long trip. The only good thing about the instructions was that I also had to avoid strenuous exercise the day before, I passed that test with flying colors.

We picked up Janet at 10:15 and headed out, I was trying to drain my jug of water, half way to SC I wasn't feeling so good, nerves, bacon and eggs and a lot of water wasn't sitting so well. I felt every bump in the road and going over railroad tracks was a trial, I had to concentrate as I did not have any clean clothes along. I had the same aversion to the Nylen Cancer center as I did to BV and this time Bruce and Janet couldn't stay with me after I was taken away. They are also very stingy with their warm blankets, you get one and you better take care of it, I wanted to call St. Lukes and ask them to bring me a load. I have no doubt they would have. The only good thing was I could use the bathroom anytime I needed, that was a big relief. 

For this test I was injected with a radioactive tracer in an IV line, followed by a glucose chaser, neither one was uncomfortable. But it was kind of creepy to see the technician carry in a metal box and take out a large metal syringe, I was surprised she wasn't dressed in a spacesuit but she seemed very comfortable with it. She also brought me a dosage of Adavan, a small pill to help relax and relieve any claustrophobic tendencies I might have during the test. Then I was left in a quiet, dim room for an hour WITHOUT TALKING, to relax and let the glucose disperse in my body and the radioactive tracer to zip around and point out any errant cancer cells.

This is not my original thought but one from our friend Alex, who nursed her husband, Dale though his bout of cancer and lost him 6 years ago. If they can do all this, why can't they come up with something to inject behind the tracer to then gobble up the cancer cells, kind of like Pac Man? Like a hunting dog, pointing out the prey and the hunter waiting with the gun. Blast those little suckers to smithereens!

I couldn't read or watch TV, even listen to a book on tape, they want your brain relaxed and not stimulated, I was seated in a recliner type chair but I'm here to tell you it wasn't a Lazyboy! There were three settings and I ended up in a 'V' which started out okay but as the hour drug by, became more and more uncomfortable. I couldn't change the position by myself, I was at their mercy.

Finally I was led into the room with a long table inside a huge donut like machine. The table had no padding and my hip is still sore from the bone marrow biopsy so that was a little uncomfortable. The room was cold and I had to make do with my no longer warm blanket. They stuck a foam wedge under my knees and a foam wedge under my head and shoulders, pulled my arms above my head and said to relax and enjoy the ride - well, they didn't actually say that, I sure they thought it with a little evil snicker in their mind.

I kept my eyes closed most of the time to ward off claustrophobia and felt the table moving back and forth while a stiff breeze from a fan blowing on me, I so wanted an warm blanket. After I was sure I'd been there at least an hour, my shoulders were starting to cramp, I'd been told I could wiggle my fingers to help the circulation, it didn't help. When I thought I could stand it no more, I asked how much longer. "30 seconds," came the welcome answer, and she was true to her word. She told me I did very well, I thought maybe I'd get a sucker or something, instead I was shown the door and made my way to the waiting room where Bruce and Janet were watching for me. It was so good to get out in the sunshine, I felt like stretching out my feathers like the chickens do to soak up every ray but then remembered I don't have feathers.

Bruce and Janet, with my blessing, went to eat while I was gone, I'd packed a small lunch to tide me over because on the way home we were going to go to a Kruger field day. They always serve a great meal and then show how the different numbers are faring to give the farmers some information as to what to plant next year. We didn't get home till about 7, it's a relief to change into working clothes and go do evening chores, to make the rounds of all the animals, feeding those who need it, shutting up those who could be in danger from things that go bump in the night and receiving some big hugs from Clyde's evil sister, Bonnie.

Bonnie has her faults but she comes through when I really need her.

I still can't talk about all this without breaking down so my blog lets me write out my thoughts and wind down after another emotional day, Thursday I have another appointment with Dr. Rao and all the test results will be in. I want everyone to know how much I appreciate your thoughts, prayers and encouragements.

This too will pass.


  1. Aw see Bonnie means well she just has a hard shell exterior until you see the real teddy bear underneath....she was after all, named after a tough gal. She's a beauty, tho, I remember her and Clyde as baby kittens, both orphans, bottle-fed by you! So glad Janet can be there to help with support and medical mind to you and Bruce. I don't think I could drink that much liquid, ever without getting nauseated (water poisoning?!) but see you are tougher than you ever knew, you made it through today and you will make it through whatever lies ahead. Thought of you all day today, not sure when your test was scheduled for. Isn't it nice to come home and do some normal routine?! It lets you know all is well. Hugs to you, and to Brucie too. Thinking of you!

  2. Thanks for the update, Julie. My thoughts were with you today - Love Rosanne

  3. glad that day is over; now on to the next and then you know the plan and it will be easier to deal with. not knowing all the facts and the waiting is so hard ..hugs, thoughts, prayers to and for you, Julie. and lots of warm emotional blankets to wrap you up in!

  4. Thought about you often today. Glad that is over and you can get some answers and move forward with a vengeance !! Prayers to you and Bruce.

    Big hug for ya,

  5. As I was doing my mowing yesterday I was thinking about you and said a little prayer as I mowed. Thinking of you often and sending you my hug as well.

  6. On this day of knowing you are getting some information from those tests, I read and reread your blogging to see if there is anything I missed, some type of clue. But, no clue, just more tears. I want to be there to give you my hugs, I don't know what kind of support I could give you. I'm so glad Bruce and your sister in law are there - my love to you - Rosanne

  7. how wonderful to come home and be hugged by Bonnie, those pix of her hugging you really got to me...all those who love you want to give you hugs, I only wish I was in the place of Bonnie...thinking of you, praying for you - all day, every day!