Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wow, what a day!

I'm home from Emory from a very eventful day. Why I would expect anything else?

Check in valet at the Emory Winship Cancer Center, down the elevator to the tunnel to Radiology.
At 7:45 a.m. we get to Radiology to sign in for my CT scans. The first thing they ask is whether I've had any food. Well, yes my doctor told me I could and I knew it was going to be a long day so I ate about half of a Chic-fil-A biscuit (which I normally never do). They tell us that they will need to delay testing. Steve expresses concern that we've had this appt. for over 2 months and that we were told everything would be accessed through my port. There wasn't anything special that I would need to do . I remember being so excited about that....well.....

The Radiology Tech asks about my other tests and takes my information to go and make calls to see if we can get the other tests scheduled earlier. He is able to re-arrange my schedule so I can get all my tests in and allow enough time before having my CT scans. They then set up an IV port.

Back on the elevator to the Emory Breast Center.

I sign in and go through all the necessary paperwork and have another breast exam. They make you wait until they check the x-rays to make sure they are okay. After waiting quite a while, they come back out and realize that they should have taken more x-rays. I then wait again. They finally tell me it is okay to go but I'm not really sure it means everything is okay. Just that they will call if they need me. I'm told I will need tests every 6 months vs. yearly.

Back on the Elevator to the Ambulatory Floor.
We then head down to the lab for blood work. I've never seen so many people in my life. The waiting area set up for lab and chemo infusion is overflowing with people. People are standing against the walls because there is no seating. It looks like a bunch of people gathering for some type of large event. I go to the counter and ask them if this is where I need to be for my lab work. They tell me, "yes" and I look over to the line of people that are signing in and realize, we are going to be here for quite a long time.

Once I finally make it back to the lab, I asked the nurse if they are running specials today because of the number of people. They laughed and said, "2 for 1" today. They went onto say, that it has been like this because more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer. Very sad, I think to myself. Unbelievable, as I note that I'm probably the youngest one in the room again. No age and no background is exempt from this terrible disease.

By the way, as I have journeyed through these other appts., I have been given the "yukky" stuff to drink as I go so I'm ready for my CT scans. Mind you, my doctor told me that I would not have to do would all be put in through my port. As the person in Radiology explains it, they cannot do anything through my port unless it is a power port, otherwise the force of the dye going through will blow out my port. I do not drink all the "stuff" as I'm feeling nauseous and I'm afraid that I will get sick before I make it back down to Radiology.

Back on the elevator to the tunnel to the Radiology Dept.
We finally arrive back in Radiology, sign in and take me right back. The guy who helps hook me up to the IV, looks just like one of the Winans. He sees how messed up my skin is from the tape from the lab and an earlier IV injection so he takes his time and uses an alcohol adhesive. He works to get the IV in and then after all the tests, to take the IV out. I realize that I'm not as anxious or as claustrophic as I was the last time I go through the scanner. I've been through too many tests and therefore, I feel calmer. I even notice that the radioactive dye just sets my body on fire as it courses through my body....when before, the side effects were worse.
Back on the elevator, back to the main floor, out to valet (parking is terrible at Emory, especially when school is in session) and finally leaving Emory....

I was so happy to get out of there today. I felt incredibly tired and all I could think about was going to sleep. I fell asleep on the way home and Steve tells me that I was snoring. I am not a snorer so I'm not sure if I believe him or not but I was really out of it. It is a real emotional drain. I'm not even sure if I had all the tests that I'm supposed to, as it wasn't very well coordinated but I'm sure they'll tell me if not.......

Tonight seems like another lazy couch night to re-energize...praying tomorrow that I will have energy again. I know this is alot of rambling but sometimes I hear others say, "oh, you only have to go through testing, that won't be a big deal"....well, it shouldn't be a big deal but.... it always seems to wipe me out.

Hope everyone had a beautiful day. Although it seemed like we were on the elevator going up and down, floor to floor....all I kept thinking is....this is just a small step to get great reports!!

Love to all,
Good night,


Donna said...

I am so thankful this day is behind you. I pray that the results is all good all the way. Thank God for giving you and Steve the strength to make it through this day. Love, Donna

Anonymous said...

Hi Leah. What a day you had! I'm exhausted just reading about it. I hope you had a good night's sleep and you feel better today just knowing you have those tests behind you for now.

It's pretty bad when you say "I even notice that the radioactive dye just sets my body on fire as it courses through my body....when before, the side effects were worse". Good grief! How could it get any worse than fire coursing through your body! But, I know it can and that's why I'm so sorry for what you are going through. You are one tough cookie. All of us will continue to pray for you to heal and to maintain the strength you need to get through this.


Vernie said...

Oh Leah, what a wild and crazy day you've had. Makes me feel terrible for complaining about how the traffic had me all stressed out! Your journey has a way of slapping me back into what is important and what is not.

I sure hope all the test results are good and we can celebrate with another party!

Get your rest now and blog when you can, always good to read your writings! Love ya kiddo! Vernie

Jennifer said...

Hey Leah, I am so sorry you had such and exhausting day. I am thankful this is nearing to an end for you and praying that God gives you strength during this testing process. It will all be behind you soon! You will never know how much you have touched all our lives through this journey. Your an awesome friend and I love you!
"I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble. Proverbs 4:11-12
Love & Prayers,