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[Cancer]

[cancer] Up the hill and back down again

Yesterday I had an MRI and a PET. No CT, despite expectations. I suspect miscommunication on the oncology side, but my oncologist was completely out yesterday, so we won’t have a clarification until today at least.

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The Marquam Hill hospital complex seen from the aerial tram pre-dawn

Things didn’t go especially well at MRI. They made four attempts to access my chest port, all unsuccessful. We believe I have clotted up. As a result, I have a 1:30 appointment today for a flush and enzymatic de-clotting. Also, the IV therapist didn’t like the condition of my arms from the previous day’s blood draws, so I wound up with an IV in my right hand. Which generally is a site that hurts like a demon, but she shot me up with some Lidocaine. This all took considerably longer than planned. When I finally got into MRI, they had to re-run one of the sequences, so I was longer in the machine room than expected as well.

Nonetheless, we made it over to Nuclear Medicine in time for my PET. That’s where the CT confusion emerged and some more time was lost to a series of phone calls and messages between Nuclear Medicine and Hematology/Oncology. (On the plus side, the Nuclear Medicine tech asked me how to pronounce one of the character names in Mainspring.)

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Me ready for my PET scan

When that finally got as straightened out as it was going to get, I then had the PET. That’s an hour of prep, some time messing around, and 30-40 minutes of machine time for the particular scan series normally ordered for me. At the end, their computer crashed and the tech couldn’t at first confirm successful imaging. So I was held for a while in case we needed a redo, but eventually everything rebooted and my images were located.

Also, for them what cares about such things, I had a fasting glucose of 108, which is a bit higher than normal for me. (That was measured as part of the PET process.)

It’s unclear to me whether I’ll be having a CT in the immediate future, and if so, when. I have a message in to my oncologist, to which she will hopefully reply today.


Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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