Friday, May 19, 2006

More fun in CT land

I went back to the Cancer Box for my first post-lung surgery CT scan today. They had me pre-medicate this time because of the hive that continually shows up on my forehead during CTs after the iodine contrast is injected, so I was well-doped up on Benadryl when I came in. Guess what - it didn't help a damned bit, the hive showed up again, and all I got was a sleepless night to add to my cranky morning since I couldn't eat beforehand. Still, I managed to make a new hat for the occasion...

Those are CT contrast bottles taped to my hat, by the way - the smoothie that tastes like artifically flavored berries mixed with dirt in a creamy white base. The proper medical term is "barium sulfate suspension". According to Wikipedia, other uses for barium sulfate include paint pigment (it replaced white lead) and pyrotechnics. Just thought you might like to know. I suppose it could be worse - sometimes the barium sulfate is given by enema rather than orally (usually for colon and small intestine studies).

Anyway, the CT looks good - you can now see staples where the mass used to be. We also got the pathology opinion from IU; they agreed with the local folks that the mass was teratoma and not active cancer. Hot dog! We're back on the surveillance schedule. Like Dr. V. said, it was just a speed bump.

Later in Dr. V.'s exam room, fabulous nurse G. scored me some breakfast from a buffet that had been set up for employees. Eggs and sausage - SWEET! Plus, nurse R. from the chemo room came by and got to satisfy her picking jones by pulling out some suture parts from one of the thoracoscopy ports on my left side (the sutures were popping out and keeping the wound from healing completely). Apparently the nurses all have their own wound fetishes. Nurse G. didn't like the picking at all, but apparently she totally goes wild for pus shooting out of an abcess. OK, that was probably TMI, but welcome to my world.

Afterward, I asked for copies of all my paperwork from this year so far so I can start building my next FAA file. They farmed it out to a woman from the medical records room, who came out with the copies and said something like, "Wow, I actually get to meet Mr. Santoro!" Apparently my hats have made me some sort of legend (in my own mind at least).

OK. It's now time for a nap. Tuesday we meet with the thoracic surgeon so he can look at me and say, "Damn, I do good work!" What I want to know is this: the wedge they pulled out was about 6 x 5 x 2.5 cm (the mass inside was only 1.2 x 1 x 0.9 cm). The ports (i.e., cuts) for the scope are only about 3 cm. How'd they get that chunk out?

Have a great weekend!