Squirrel Fur (A loooong post)

Okay, time to do some catching up here. Let’s see, yesterday the PET scan went well. The scanner was one of those they pull up in a trailer, rather than installed in the hospital. On the way into the trailer, up the sharp metal steps, the tech managed to knock himself right off the top step. He had reached the top and was trying to both open the door and move to the side to allow me through. His slip-on shoe hung in the stair’s teeth however, sending him swinging into the abyss hanging onto the door handle. Quite an amusing way to start the day, especially since he didn’t get hurt.

I continue to be astounded by the advances in the X-Ray world. It’s only been 8 years since I ended my x-ray/CT career, but it’s already unrecognizable to me. Even the contrast they give you to drink is immensely improved over what I used to have to hand out. Incredible.

One other thing I’ve experienced before, but now have a chance to write about. The PET scan involves lying in one position for a long time (20-30 minutes). Said position involves keeping your arms above your head the entire time. This is a little difficult for me to do, due to the swollen lymph node in my left armpit. It’s kind of a sttretchy, swollen kind of pain that just gnaws at your brain the longer you keep the arm up. Blech.

So I have my arms above my head, and due to the aforementioned pain, I’m holding my left hand with my right to keep the arm up. After ten minutes or so, it’s like I’m not holding my hand anymore. Now, it feels like I’m holding on to something in between my hands. I can tell my left hand is held and I can tell my right hand is holding something, but I can’t tell that they’re holding each other. It’s like after a certain amount of time in the same position, my nerves decided to stop reporting back the correct sensation information. Once I would move one hand or another, the correct information would come back and I could tell what was going on. Weird.

Later that day after I got home from work, I went over to CVS and got some clippers. Time to take my hair before the chemo does. Now i have a lovely coating of squirrel fur on my head. Click on that photo of me on the right and it’ll take you to the carnage.

So today was the bone marrow aspiration. This was done so they could see if any cancer has entered the marrow and also so they can more properly figure out the stage of the cancer. In this lovely procedure, you lay on your left side in the fetal position. Tell you what, do this: Put your hand on your hip. That’s the iliac crest of your pelvis (the top edge) follow it back to your back until you reach a little bump on your sacrum (that’s the bone in the back that holds your two pelvic bones together). Feel the bump? That’s where Sam the PA drilled into my bone to suck out some bone marrow. As horrible as the drilling part might sound, it was one of the easier parts of the procedure. I was numbed up with lidocaine and he made sure to press around with his thumb to both spread it out and get it closer to the bone. This numbed the outer covering of the bone, so I felt nothing more than pressure as he drilled (by hand). Then came the bone marrow part. That’s the part that hurts like a sunovabitch.

You see, even though I had lidocaine, it only touches the surface of the bone. Since the marrow’s still in it’s hard candy shell at numbing time, you get to feel everything. It’s not the worst pain in my life, the dislocated hip still has that honor, but I wouldn’t want to do it again anytime soon. I was talking to Barb about it and she mentioned the little kids at camp (Hole in the Wall Gang) who have had to go through it. I can’t imagine going through this at such a young age. Having this done at 33, I’ve had a lot of different pains occur on my body to prepare myself for more. Plus, I’m old enough to convince myself that a) this has to be done and b) running around the room until they catch me is only going to prolong the inevitable.

Now I have no more tests until the 25th, when I get the port put in me and I have my first chemo treatment. The Fear has already begun…