Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Queen Awesome's Adventures in Cancerland: World 13

Lucky number 13! Hopefully it brings me some luck in my scan results!

This morning was my CT scan. My information package didn't make it to me in time, so I had no idea what to expect. It took every fibre of my being to keep me away from Dr Google too! I'm conflicted now as to whether or not that was a good idea. I think I'm still leaning towards a good idea. Dr Google can be a dangerous thing!

Kerrie and I got to the hospital at 10:15 this morning and checked in at the x-ray department. I was really surprised at how quickly things moved! I had anticipated a much longer wait. We were only in x-ray check in for 5 or 10 minutes before they called me to the CT scan waiting area. A nurse came out only a few minutes later and called me to change into a hospital gown.

The nurse brought me around the corner to the change room area and handed me my gown and a bag to put my street clothes in. She gave me instructions to change out of my clothes while she went to get me my cup full of water that I needed to drink. She told me after I had the water, she'd get me to sit in the chair and she'd be over in a few minutes. I looked over to the chair she had gestured towards and froze. It was one of 'Those' chairs. I asked her if that chair meant I was getting poked. Her answer instantly began the flow of tears. I was getting an IV. Oh my god, that's the worse kind of needle to someone with a needle phobia like mine! Blood test needles and freezing needles aren't great, but at least they're quick. In and out. IV's stay in. Gah!!

The tears came on quick and there were lots of them. I can't believe how fast they started falling down my cheek. I am such a baby when it comes to needles. I hate it. Logically, I know there's nothing to be scared of; it's completely mental for me. I'm not scared of the pain; they don't really hurt. I don't know what it is. I wish I did. My breathing was quick too and I think I must have gotten pale because the nurse was making me sit down in a hurry. I was fortunate to have the nurse I did. She was very kind and considerate. I sat in the change room and drank my water while the nurse went to speak with the scan technicians. She was so sympathetic to my fear that she wanted to ask the technicians if it was necessary for me to even have the IV. That was so sweet of her. = ) Unfortunately for me, the technicians confirmed that it was necessary for the IV to be in place for the scan.

I got changed and went and took my seat in The Chair. The nurse went to find Kerrie for me to have him come sit with me. Poor Kerrie, he had no idea what he was walking in to! He came in from the waiting room and I was sitting in The Chair blubbering and shaking. So much for trying to hide my irrational fear from him! Kerrie sat with me while the nurse put warm blankets around me and my arms. She had given me another glass of water that I thought I was suppose to drink then. I was suppose to wait and drink that right before going in for the scan. Oops. I had already drank half of it. But it did help calm me down a bit. The nurse was very nice and just took her time. She didn't rush me at all. She offered to get me some Ativan to help calm me, but I wanted to do this drug free. I really don't like taking things, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. She left me to try and calm while she tended to a couple other patients.

Waiting for the IV was certainly another low moment for me. I hate that I'm so scared! I always feel so stupid while I'm sitting there crying and shaking away. I don't know if it was better that I didn't know what was coming, or if it would have been better to have known before hand. From what a few people had said to me, I had prepared myself for the possibility that I'd be getting a needle. I had no idea it would be an IV. Sitting there in utter panic about this IV, I broke down again. The whole situation all became very overwhelming again. The reality that I have cancer hit hard and I broke down. If only you could quit cancer!! The nurse came back and offered me some Ativan again. Again I declined as I was determined to do this drug free. She also told me that I didn't have to do this at all, but I knew that meant that the scan wouldn't be done either. That wasn't an option. As much as I hate needles, not knowing if the cancer has spread is worse. I had to do this. So the nurse got her equipment ready and I picked a spot and stared. It's never that bad to get these needles which makes me all the more mad at myself after it's done! She was very good with me. I've also never had an IV line put into my arm. I've only ever had them in my hand. I must say, the arm is better!! You don't feel it nearly as much as the hand. After she was done, she wrapped my arm in a blanket so I couldn't see it. I appreciated that. She had me stay seated in the chair for awhile while I calmed down. When she came to check on me again later, she said my colour was much better. I must get pale when I get needles. I'll have to ask Kerrie.

Once the nurse felt I looked okay to stand, Kerrie and I were taken to some chairs outside of the scan room. Again, we didn't have to wait long before my name was called. We were both taken into the scan room. Kerrie was escorted through to the other side to another waiting room. I finished the last of my water and laid on the scan bed. The scanner was nothing like I thought! I was expecting a long tube, like what MRI's are done in. This was just a small doughnut shaped thing. The technician helped me get situated on the bed and in position. I had to lay with my arms above my head and would be prompted on what to do with my breathing. The nurse had given the technicians a heads up about my needle fear, so they were great about that too. The technician gave me a warning when she was going to unwrap my arm and hook me up to the IV tube. I just kept my eyes closed.

Soon we were ready to get started. The machine started doing it's thing, moving me back and forth through the doughnut. The nurse and the technician both warned me that when the IV fluid was turned on, I could feel a warm sensation and possibly have a taste in my mouth or a smell. They also warned me that some people feel as though they've wet themselves. That made me giggle. = p The technician gave me the 5 second warning that the fluid would be entering. At first I felt nothing. Then I felt the warm feeling. It wasn't what I expected. I'm not sure how exactly to explain it. It was odd, but nothing bad. I didn't get the smell side effect or the sensation that I wet myself, but I got the taste one. It tasted like I was sucking on a penny or something. But even that wasn't all that strong. The warm feeling passed quickly. The taste lingered for awhile.

I kept my eyes closed the entire time and just listened to the breathing prompts. The technician told me that I was almost done, that it'd only be another minute or so. That was fine, the worst part was over! This was a piece of cake! Just as I was going in for my final scan I felt a wet splatter on my face and arm. I told them something just sprayed me, but they didn't hear me. When the machine stopped, a different technician came in to unhook me. I still had my eyes closed at this point so I didn't know what had happened. It turned out the IV tube snapped and it sprayed the fluid stuff all over the place! After he took the IV needle out and I opened my eyes, I saw just how much of a mess there was. That stuff was everywhere!! It was all over the machine, the floor, the bed thing, me. I asked the technician if that would mess up my results at all. I really didn't want to have to do this again! He told me that I had gotten enough of the fluid into me and that it shouldn't be a problem. It was just a mess. The technician got a warm cloth and helped clean me off. The fluid was super sticky. The cleaning crew won't be happy to see that mess!

The first technician came back in at that point and helped me sit up. She had me sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes before she'd let me stand. I was still a bit light headed but I kind of fibbed when she asked me. I knew I was okay to stand and I just wanted to get out of there! I wasn't allowed to eat and I was hungry! I wanted to go get some food! So she gave me the green light to stand up and took me to where Kerrie was waiting and where another set of change rooms were. I changed back into my clothes and we were out of there! The whole process took less than an hour! I was shocked!! It would have been even less without my freak out. = p

Dr Bobyn and Dr Baliski both have access to the scan pictures now, but the written report won't be available for a few days. I have an appointment with Dr Bobyn for Thursday but I think I might have to make another appointment for my results. I'm hoping Dr Bobyn will be able to look at the scan pictures and tell me a bit, but I'm sure I'll have to wait for the written report to get my full results. Fingers crossed for some news on Thursday!


  1. Glad it went well...aside from the unknown I.V.!! Hope your results come FAST!!!

    XOXO Crystal

  2. Hi there, I followed your blog from WB. I wish you all the best in your cancerland ass-kicking journey. P.S. I am afraid of needles too, maybe seeing a counselor who can help you work through the phobia would be helpful? Especially with the surgery coming up.
    Best of luck to you!