Saturday, August 25, 2007

with onions and gravy

I've never been a fan. Onions and gravy are fine, but liver is not my dish. Well maybe liverwurst or braunschweiger on some crackers. I wasn't even really sure what function my liver ever did for me other than it was in there and was doing its job. But since it is probably sick, I had to have a biopsy sample taken and tested yesterday. One last scare for the week.

As it turned out, I was frightened for no real good reason. Sure it sounded scary enough having to be needled with a large surgical straw and little bits of the sick parts of my liver taken away. It gives me chills just writing that out, but the truth is it was a breeze.

Jody and I checked in at the hospital on time yesterday morning and I just kept silently praying it would go quickly no matter how much it hurt. We eventually went back and I got robed in the hospital's finest scrubs and filled out more paperwork. Not so much this time though as more data about me is flying around now than ever before. I knew I'd get another IV so I volunteered my hands again; they had been cooperating much better than my arms.

Not so this day. We missed on the right side and I knew it immediately. The little bubble of saline hurt a lot and did not help calm my nerves about the procedure coming up. I repeated my request for a sedative before things got under way... or maybe a sharp blow to the head to knock me out. I was ready to leave now, thank you. Instead, a little bity sonogram machine was used to expertly locate and lance a gooood vein in my left arm. I'd never taken a shot or IV that easily before. This equipment should be mandatory. ;)

Now that I was juiced, it was time to roll me back for the procedure. We talked about Vegas and hiking in the desert and I was happy to have my mind occupied with other things. I'd soon be sliding through the CT machine again while the doctor and the technicians pinpointed a spot to take the biopsy sample.

I already had the IV. To complete the set I got some monitoring pads stuck on me, a blood oxygen cap for one of my fingers, an oxygen supply stuck in my nose, and a blood pressure cuff on my right arm. Arms over my head so my middle could be seen and that lovely hospital robe pulled up around my neck. Ah, but not before I slipped my sleeping mask over my eyes. I did not want to even see the straw. So there I am, laid out on the table, dressed to thrill, and ready to be threaded into the CT machine. David Bowie's Space Oddity comes to mind as I feel like some sort of low-rent Major Tom about to be blasted off.

If the papers call, I like Polo shirts though I really would like to say how much I miss the tough old Warthog shirts from Britches.

If you don't know the song that's just my way of saying the procedure was a success. They scanned, scanned again, marked my skin with an ink pen on my right side, then scanned me a third time. I knew it was time when one of the ladies attending told me she was giving me the sedative I asked for. The doctor obliged me and talked his way through the procedure starting with a sting and a little burn to numb the area... and that was all I felt. He did two or three more but I couldn't feel them after the first. There was a little pressure that was just slightly uncomfortable; not even as much as if Jody poked me with her elbow as sometimes happens when we sit close together or snuggle in bed.

Click. Click click. Okay just a minute. I need to adjust the needle a little. Click once more. And we're done.

Back to Jody I go for a few hours of observation and we pass the time watching Ice Road Truckers, How Its Made, and Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel. Jody had ordered me a biiiig lunch from the hospital cafeteria and every bite was delicious. We'd gotten started a about an hour and a half late due to other things going on with other folks so we weren't released from the hospital until that much later. We dropped by the oncologist' office and dropped of the PET scan films she had requested. The hospital had needed to see them first before the liver biopsy so we carried them out when we were released. I was relieved.

Back at home, I had a few hours of discomfort as the area around the biopsy site started tightening up as if I'd pulled a muscle. Two Tylenol later and getting to bed a little early resolved that. I feel fine today.

I get three days off and will actually get to put in a full day's work on Monday for a change! I have some small issues to call Denise with on Monday regarding Tuesday's radiation therapy consultation and to ask about a yea or nay on a porta-cath for all the IV and bloodwork I'll be taking/giving over the next five or six months. I also need to get myself educated on my disability benefits and prepare to start that process.

So I have some homework to keep me busy but right now I'd really like to go to the grocery and pick up some braunschweiger and a box of Triscuits.

1 comment:

Deneen said...

John,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. It takes a strong person with courage and determination to endure and overcome the challenge. I believe, this blog is therapeutic and enlightening for us all. Please know, we are praying for you both. ...and we are here for both you and Jody.

God Speed! --Deneen