Friday, July 23, 2010

A Snarky Start to the Day

This morning I went to see my good friends at Radiology for CAT and PET scans (next week I'm having DOG and HAMSTER scans). Luckily they were the first appointments of the day, so I did not have to fast for too long. When I am hungry (with or without cancer), I tend to get a bit edgy, so add anxious and nervous to the list and I was in rare form this morning: screaming at bad drivers on the road (I wasn't actually the one driving) and threatening to take off my bandana to give a smoker on the sidewalk an idea of what was in store for her. Plus it was smelly in Center City and people everywhere were grossing me out and pissing me off. So much for my positive attitude.

Anyway, the scans weren't too bad. The only drama was when the nurse (not my usual favorite one) was accessing my port and couldn't get the needle in. She keep jabbing me with no success, so she finally (after making me cry!) turned me over to someone else who chose a smaller needle and had no trouble at all. I thought the port was supposed to eliminate exactly that type of issue?!? After that, I could just lay back and relax while the radioactive glucose and contrast dye did their jobs. Luckily, I did not have to drink the barium, since I told them I have chronic nausea and it would be a waste as a puddle on the floor. They gave me 2 cups of water to drink instead. I wasn't uncomfortable, but I will say I did feel weird. When the tech injected me with the contrast dye, he reminded me of the warm feeling I might get all over my body. I did not get it everywhere, but mainly in my nose and yes, "down there". So odd. I requested that the tech take my picture before the scan so that Judah could see what I mean when I tell him they send me through a big donut to take pictures of my insides. He was surprised, but willing (as evidenced by the photo above).

Now, we wait for results. I probably won't know anything until Tuesday, when I have my next appointment with Dr. Henry and then chemo again (Round 3 - DING!). It is agonizing waiting for these things. Your whole life - and future life - runs through your mind on a loop whenever you're not distracted enough. Is the chemo working? Did the tumor shrink? How much more of this to I have to endure? And then there's the dreaded question: has it spread? That thought hadn't even entered my mind until last night when I read about a friend whose cancer spread to her bones during treatment. Then I was officially terrified and had a minor meltdown, until Dan reminded me that there are good signs already that the treatment is working. My itching is gone (finally!) and the venous pattern on my chest has shown improvement since the beginning of treatment. Also, the swelling I had in my chest (whereabouts the grapefruit had set up camp) has gone down significantly. Hence, I should have positive feelings about the scan results and I am trying my darndest to not let my fears get the best of me. After all, I read somewhere (chemo brain prevents me from crediting the appropriate author) something along the lines of: don't give the universe any ideas...

This has been an eventful past few days. Since my energy level has increased, I've been able to do fun things like:
- drive a car again (it had been about 7 weeks)
- start to catch up on thank you note writing (if you haven't received one yet, don't worry, it's coming)
- finally keep an appointment for family counseling (for confidentiality reasons, I am not permitted to make side comments on this one)
- shop at Marshall's (we all love a good bargain, especially Dan)
- attend the Look Good...Feel Better make-up workshop (although 80% of the make up contains parabens or phlalates and is thus unusable)
- go swimming (Schwartz's - you ROCK!), and more.

I have been so busy, I have barely had time to facebook! So we consider that an improvement from Bed-ridden Days 7, 8 and 9. I truly appreciate all of the outstanding support from Team Mama Mia. Every day I continue to receive sweet messages, emails, lovingly made meals, and thoughtful cards and treats in the mail - I think that aside from my wedding day, I have never felt so loved and cared for in my life. So a big muchas gracias to all of you team members who have kept me (and the rest of the clan) in your thoughts and prayers, and have made me feel so appreciated and valued. You are all cordially invited to the huge dancefest we will host when this whole ordeal is behind us, so we can thank you in person.



  1. Well, that's such a terffic, all encompassing, image-conjuring, nail-on-the-head truthful post that I'm left with little to say except-thank you. I'll invoke my mom's Middle Eastern philosophy-- worrying accomplishes nothing but more worrying. As for those fears, completely understandable but with so many positive signs, why bother when you've got a Judah, Dan and the rest of the gang around!!! Love you!!!

  2. You continue to amaze me with your positive energy!!!

  3. Sam Charles Gould, M.D.July 23, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    People you personally do not know in Los Angeles send loving thoughts to you, Dan and Judah on a daily basis. Keep living the "Good Life" every minute of every day.