My web site is devoted to medical and treatment information about this rare cancer. My blog is devoted to sharing what has been the more difficult part of the journey for me, the emotional and spiritual road I've traveled as a rare cancer survivor.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

CT Techs and CT Scans

Happy New Year! I started this blog one year ago today...very cool I've had another one-year landmark. I celebrate them all now.

I just drank my first pint of barium, more tomorrow early, more when I get to the hospital, and of course the IV contrast as always. I made up my mind long ago to enjoy the taste of barium, and I do! Mind over matter. I liked mint better than the new Berry Smoothie, but my radiology department doesn't offer a menu of flavors, just Berry Smoothie. I decided I'll make that my favorite flavor now.

I also know what to wear to a CT scan now. Leggings, bulky shirt or sweater and no bra. When they tell me to change into a hospital gown, I tell them that won't be necessary as I'm wearing non-metalic clothing. So I get to do my CT scans fully dressed, no humiliation of a hospital gown for me anymore! I think this will be my tenth or eleventh CT scan. I'm good at CTs now, I know the ropes.

And I guess I'm blessed to have been around to have this many scans.

I was thinking of the poor techs who do our scans, I wonder if they realize how closely we watch them. I know I have always watched their body language and facial expressions very closely. If they seem too serious or aloof, is it because they see something bad on the scan and want to keep a professional distance? If they don't say much, is it because they can't tell us what they saw, our doctor has to tell us? And if they are too cheerful, are they trying to cover for the fact that they have just seen a mass on our scan and don't want us to know? Only once have I had a CT tech who knew I was a medical professional confide to me "Hey, it looks fine to me, I didn't see anything!" The rest I've scrutinized endlessly.

Then of course it's the waiting game for the results. Every time the phone rings I worry it might be the oncology office calling with a bad result. If they don't call, then I sometimes worry that the scan result got faxed to the office and was missed in the pile, and no one saw it....maybe there was something on it that needed to be seen but was missed? I'm a medical professional, I know that happens sometimes. The worst I think was when I came home and someone had called but hung up without leaving a message on my answering machine...maybe it was the oncology office and they didn't want to leave bad news on the machine? Of course now I have caller ID so I can confirm that.

Sometimes I have a friend or my husband just pull up my results on the hospital computer. Sometimes I go to the hospital radiology department and just sign for a copy of my results. Sometimes I make an appointment to get the results from my doctor...once when I was there waiting for my results my blood pressure was 180/110. Guess I was nervous? Would have been kind of ironic I guess if I'd had a stoke while waiting for the results of a CT scan that was fine!

I know we all go through it. I guess it's character building. And it's so wonderful when we get to celebrate good results and to know we have a long stretch of time before the next scan.

I wish that for all of us.

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