Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Sound of Your Own Wheels
Me and my posse (Shelly’s word), my cancer posse that is, all dread our C.T. scans. We have them every four months and they tell our doctor what is happening inside our body. Specifically we all get the liver, lungs, and other organs checked to see if the cancer has progressed in any way.
The test itself isn’t the demon that we are afraid of, but the results are. The results are the monster under the bed personified. So this is always a very stressful few weeks between the test and the doctor’s appointment.
The results of the C.T. scan will let the doctor know if the treatment we are on is working or if our treatment needs to be changed.
My friend Helen, whom I love and whom is no longer adding her wonderful presence to this earth because her doctor refused repeatedly, even after she begged him to give her a C.T. scan. Don’t get me wrong, I know the scan would not have saved Helen’s life. We have cancer, we are going to die. What it would have done is given the doctor a head’s up as to what was going on in her body and may have bought her more time. His answer to her was “Why go looking for trouble?” Well, Dr. Ostrich (not his real name), like everyone else’s doctors say, the test will let them see what is going on and change treatment so that we can try to keep a step ahead of the cancer. Apparently it is not a good idea to be an ostrich in the medical profession. By the time Helen got her C.T. scan it was done through her family doctor at St. Boniface Hospital and by then it was too late. The cancer had collapsed her lung and was throughout her liver. Jill, Angie, Helen and I hated that bastard.
I had my C.T. scan yesterday. The usual suspects were all there. I couldn’t eat for four hours ahead of the test. I had to sit with my arm in hot water and then they (three nurses all had to try) poked me four times before they got the needle in. This time they got it in somewhere by my elbow. The needle is put in because during the test they will inject a dye that will help them see the images of my body better. I drank two cups of some water mixture with what I think was iron. Then I sat for a few hours.
Computed tomography (C.T.) is an x-ray procedure that produces detailed, cross-sectional images of your body. Instead of taking one picture, like a conventional x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you. A computer then combines these pictures into an image of a slice of your body. This test can help tell if your cancer has spread. After the first set of pictures is taken, you receive an IV injection of a radiocontrast dye that helps better outline structures in your body. A second set of pictures is then taken. You need to lie still on a table, and the part of your body being examined is placed within the scanner, a doughnut-shaped machine that completely surrounds the table. It looks like a big wheel. The IV injection of contrast dye will make you feel flushed and also makes you feel like you have peed your pants.
The technician told me that each C.T. I have had equals to 1,000 chest x-rays. So, at this point, I have had 8,000 chest x-rays in a two year period. Apparently they could cause cancer. Oh, really.
When I was getting the C.T. scan and keeping my eyes closed because it is like a big wheel that spins around you and when I looked up I felt dizzy, I thought of the Eagles song Take It Easy. These were the phrases spinning on my wheels:
Well, I'm running down the road tryin' to loosen my load.
Take It easy, take it easy. Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.
Lighten up while you still can don't even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.
We may lose and we may win though we will never be here again.
Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load, got a world of trouble on my mind.
Take it easy, take it easy don't let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.
Oh we got it easy. We oughta take it easy.
I told Nadalene that I am driving myself crazy with this and she said just one more thing that helped me. “Mom, the test is not going to give you anything. What you have and what is going on with the cancer is already there. The test is not your enemy it is your friend. It will let your doctor know what her game plan needs to be. You have to let this go, give it to God because there is nothing that you can do about it right now. Whatever it is we can deal with it, you have already dealt with this.”
I need to give my spinning wheels a rest before the sound of them do drive me crazy.