The Big C

A journey through Stage Four Cancer

MRI

It’s very rare when my Dr orders a MRI for me, but today I had my second ever MRI to see what is going on with my hip/groin area on my left side.  It was an ordeal.  I realized that I move around a lot when I am in bed, but I never realized how much.  It is a lot.  If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have realized the reason I do, is because I can’t lay flat on my back for long periods.  The MRI required more than twenty minutes of laying flat, and the pain was pretty bad. So bad, that when the tech told me the MRI wasn’t over, but that they had to give me a contrast, I declined. I just truly, could not lay flat on my back for any longer.  Even though I walked into the MRI office, I needed a wheelchair to leave.

Embarrassingly, I had tears not only in my eyes by the end,but spilling down my cheeks.

So what is the take away information here?  From now on, no matter what the procedure is going to be, no matter how non-intrusive and painless it is, I am going to ask if it is okay if I take a pain pill before I get to the office.

So:

1.   ask if you can eat and drink before any procedure

2    ask if you can take a pain pill before any procedure

Now I have to wait for the results.  I’m not overly hopeful.

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Monday at too early o’clock was my CAT scan.  It’s been about 3 months since my last scan and something has changed in CAT scan in that short time.  The awful, chalky, glug-gy, retch inducing fluid has been changed.  Now the fluid is clear, like water, and tastes like fake, flavored water.  It was a lot easier to drink and one of the dreads of getting a CAT scan is gone.

You still have to drink 32 ounces of it in an hour, which is not easy for me, but in the world of medical procedures, is really a non-issue.

And the person who started my IV reminded me of my daughter-in-law-to-be; full of life, considerate, kind and caring.  The insertion had a minimum of the ouch factor.

It was such an easy scan, it’s hard to remember that it’s done for a serious reason.

I can almost forget that I have to continue looking over my shoulder for the shadow of the stalker.

God is good.  Merry Christmas!

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The CAT Scan

Next week is my CAT scan, and I’m nervous.

I’m not nervous because CAT scans are painful, because they really are not.  CAT scans are mostly a nuisance.

First, you have to drink a quantity of liquid, yucky liquid.  It comes in cute little, chilled bottles with yummy names like “Fudgey Chocolate” or “Orange Creme.”  They even smell yummy.  The taste however, ieeew, that’s a different story.  Having had more CAT scans than I can remember, I have worked out a strategy of how to consume the thick liquid without throwing up.

The most important thing is to have the liquid shaken up very, very well.  I can’t do it, so I have my husband do it, or one of my sons.  This gets the thick stuff on the bottom up, and mixed in smoothly.  That prevents a chunk coming up your straw and making you gag.

The second most important thing to do is start sucking on the liquid, while paying attention to something else – a television, a magazine, even a conversation that is none of your business.  Anything.  Don’t come up for air because you will get the yucky taste and gag.

Follow the directions the hospital staff give you for how much to drink at their set intervals.  Don’t try to slurp it all at once.

Do not drink the remains at the very bottom or you will probably throw up all that you have already drank of it.

Even the IV that they put into my arm to contrast for my scan is no more than a bit of an ouch! as they look for a willing vein.

Following the directions of Breathe! Hold your breath! Breathe! is sort of like playing a CAT scan version of Simon Says.

What has me nervous is wondering if my stalker has returned.  The only way to know is with the CAT scan throwing a light into all the hidden corners.

And that is what has me nervous.

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Refining Silver

A friend just e-mailed me this.  I found that I could identify this so much with having cancer.  I hope that you enjoy:

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know  when the silver is fully refined?’
 
He smiled at her and answered, ‘ Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’  
 
This is so much like having cancer.  We are the silver that is being refined.  God is the refiner.  While we are in the hotest part of the fire, God is holding us up, supporting us.  He is sitting right in front of us, watching us, never leaving our side.
And when He can see His image in us, He removes us from the fire.  He doesn’t allow us to stay in the fire one second longer than is needed.
I pray, that when I am once again in that fire, I never once forget that God is there, never leaving my side, watching me.
I hope you have found a blessing in this post.
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