Friday, February 26, 2010

Just say no.

I had the octreotide scan this week. Tuesday I went in at 10:30 a.m. for the injection of the radioactive agent. I asked them to leave the IV in so I wouldn't have to get poked again the next evening for the CT scan. It was weird sleeping with the IV in - I don't know why since I'd slept with all kinds of tubes in me at the hospital.

I ate an early lunch of potato leak soup at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. That was my last solid food until Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. It was awful. I had my short scan (2 ten minute scans) on Tuesday afternoon. They were easy. I almost fell asleep they were so easy. Wednesday I had an appointment with Dr. Jones at 10:00 a.m. He lowered my prescription for Hydrocortisone from 60 mg to 50 mg per day. We talked about the chemotherapy and radiation. Because I will need a dose of steroids each chemotherapy injection, my progress in tapering will slow. The steroids at chemotherapy are to help with nausea.

Wednesday afternoon, I went to the hospital for my scans. I got there at 12:30 to pick up my two bottles of contrast so they could be refrigerated in Nuclear Medicine. My appointment was at 1:00 p.m. They were running behind because of some last minute inpatient scans that needed to be done. I didn't get in until just after 2:00 p.m. This meant I would not be able to start drinking the contrast for my 5 p.m. CT scan on time. The scans weren't too bad. My arms were hurting from laying above my head for 45 minutes each scan. I got through it.

At 4:30 p.m. I was finally done with the scans, but now way too late to do a 5 p.m. scan. You have to start drinking the contrast an hour and a half before the scan. They rescheduled me for at the hospital (I was going somewhere else before) for 6 p.m. I started drinking the contrast and knew it was not going to be good. Around 5 p.m., I went to the guy behind the counter and told him there was no way I was going to be able to drink all of the contrast. I asked him whether they would rather have me drink it all and throw it up OR drink some and still have it in me when I have the scan. They asked me to just drink a few sips every 15 minutes or so. I did.

Craig and Halle came about 6:20 p.m. and sat with me while I waited. Apparently the CT machine at the Huntsman Cancer Institute broke down and they sent all of their patients down to the hospital. Again, I had to wait beyond my appointment time. Around 7 p.m. I finally got taken back for my scan. As I was walking back with the nurse, she went over the scans they would be doing, my abdomen and pelvis. Hmm? No. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to also have my chest done. The nurse argued that the orders did not include the chest. I told her I have lung cancer and I'm pretty sure they need my chest scanned. She called and got the order corrected.

Luckily my IV still worked so they didn't have to poke me again. This was the only positive thing about the entire process. When the scan was over, I went to change back into my clothes again. As soon as I came out, I went into the bathroom and threw up. Craig came in and helped me. Another public bathroom throw up episode. Yuck. Actually, that bathroom was cleaner than mine at home. We were in a funny little part of the hospital - a room that had a dressing room, bathroom, and waiting room all in one kind of. Anyway, I wasn't feeling that well.

Craig asked what I wanted for dinner. I had been thinking about it and knew exactly what I wanted and from where. Little America diner: Roast Baron of Beef with Gravy instead of Au Jus, Salad with Ranch Dressing, Crackers, and and Iced Tea. At 8:30 p.m., that's what I was eating. The mashed potatoes were the best. I started having breathing problems at dinner.

We got home and I knew I wouldn't be going anywhere the next day. Craig suggested that Halle stay home with me the next day. She did. Poor thing. She had to hear me throw up in our bathroom a few times. She took really good care of me yesterday. I ate a little dinner - hot beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes (they just sound so good and easy on the tummy). I had to resist the temptation to throw up again. It was hard.

Today, I am home again but Halle is at school. I'm just trying to feel better. I really hope I don't ever get asked to do that test again. I won't do it again. I'll have to respectfully decline the opportunity. If the doctor asks why I won't do it - I'll ask them to go and give it a try first, then let me know how important they think it is versus the feeling of going to hell and back again. And then, if they decide I should still do it - I'll say no.

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