July 14, 2009

How did you react?

In this case I broke out in hives!

Today I had a follow up bone scan and C/T Scan. Like everything else with this disease, it all takes time.

At 1:00pm I was injected with a radioactive isotope in preparation for the 4:00pm bone scan. Not much to the prep other than accessing my port and injecting me with a syringe they take out of a lead container that contains a warning symbol for radioactive material. It's kind of ominous.

Immediately after the injection I spent the next hour drinking a "creamy vanilla" mixture in preparation for the C/T scan. This scan was approximately my 4th or 5th in the last four and a half years. It's a relatively easy process that seems to have gotten easier over the years. My memory isn't the greatest but I do remember that the first few times the liquid was dreadful and it seemed to take a lot longer to consume, or perhaps it's just that the wait used to be longer after consuming the liquid. Anyway, after I finished drinking the required dose I was immediately escorted to the scan room. The C/T device is not like the scanner you see on TV or in the movies. It's like a gigantic donut. I lie on a table that slides me in and out of the donut hole. Before the scan starts however they injected me with some type of iodine that reacts
with the "Creamy vanilla" liquid in order to make 'areas of concern" light up on the scan. I can tell when they begin the injection, as I feel a weird warming sensation in my lower abdomen and bowels...lovely!

Today, shortly after the injection I started feeling a little itchy but thought it was the chigger bites from recent rounds of disc golf. As it turns out, I was was having an allergic reaction to the iodine and started breaking out in hives. I didn't put two and two together until they were done and I was back in the waiting room with Mary. I told her I was itchy, she pulled up my shirt and discovered a few hives on my stomach. I returned back to the procedure area and the doc, the nurses and techs knew right away what it was and 50mg of Bendryl took care of everything. The only problem was the Benadryl wiped me out and I needed a 45 minute nap when I got home. Also, now anytime I need a C/T I'll have to take Prednisone (steroids) the day before. Hopefully, it's low dose and at least my knees will feel good for a day! We were surprised that I had an allergic reaction, as I've had numerous scans previously, and I never had a problem. The doctor explained that one's immune system can be altered after going through chemotherapy, so we will assume that's the case.

Mary and I had 90 minutes to kill before the bone scan so we ran out to one of our favorite places to eat, the Blue Koi. Ever since chemo my favorite dish at the Blue Koi has never tasted quite the same. I am glad to report that today it was great once again! We both enjoyed the meal and our time together mid-afternoon.

The bone scan was routine: lie on the table and 45 minutes later, you're on your way. After receiving the Benadryl, I think I might have dosed off for most of the procedure and my ride home as well!

I'll pick up the CD's tomorrow and we'll review with Dr. V on Monday.
I'm not sure where this thought came from today, it may have been the murder/mystery I was reading or the article on Elizabeth Edwards from an old dog eared People Magazine, but I was thinking two things; I think Mary and I are doing a pretty good job of living a "normal" life. I'm not sure what normal looks like anymore, but my guess is there is some semblance of it in our day to day lives. That makes we happy.

The other thing I was thinking is I am grateful. Grateful for what you may ask? I am grateful for all the time God has blessed me with since this happened. So many people in this world die quickly, unexpectedly and without any warning. I was just reflecting on how lucky I actually am!


Eric said...

Another great share, David! Thanks for the adventure and thanks for the reflection. I'm feeling lucky WITH the "C"--not that I would have voted to get it mind you--but lucky for the fine folks, focus, and kinship the "hobby" has brought me.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I too am grateful to God for the time I have been given.
We lost a good friend to PC last week in this small town , He was 52. It has been great to be up here and the fishing has been good, Soon I will be back in Boston to meet My new Oncologist.
Dan J