Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7

I survived MRI Day!

Barely, but I survived.

There's nothing quite like being literally strapped down and inserted into a loud, beeping tube for two hours to start a girl's day off right (can you feel the dripping sarcasm?), but I survived.

When I checked in this morning, I was the first MRI on the schedule, so I'd figured I'd be in and out by 10:00, at the latest. That was not to be the case. At about 8:00, the MRI tech came out to talk to me. ... Drumroll, please. ... The MRI machine wouldn't turn on. That's right. It would not turn ON.

The good news is that there is another MRI machine on site, it's just in another building, a good 5 minute walk away. Rhonda the MRI Tech went over to the other building to make sure that machine was up and running, and told me she'd come back for me when she was ready to roll. At about 9:00, she came to grab me, and then we went traipsing across campus: the tech in her scrubs, Jo in her cute outfit and me .... in a gown and fuzzy slippers. (I was not about to change back into my clothes, just to get right back out of them. I'm a slow dresser in the best of circumstances, anymore. Having an IV poking out of my arm is not what I'd call "the best of circumstances".) So, I took a little walk in a hospital gown (complete with the tie in the back) and some stripey scrub pants that were 10 times too big. No bra. ... Oh, how the mighty have fallen. (Gone are the days when I gave a flying leap about what anybody might think when they see me in public. At this point, and esp in that circumstance - at a hospital - I figured people had probably (hopefully) seen worse.)

The MRI was finished at about 11:00. Rhonda promised she'd do what she could to push it through, but because of the delay in getting everything up and running, she couldn't promise that the report would get to Dr. H today, so I could get the results. I thanked her for doing her best, and told her I understand about equipment malfunction (she's not the only one who works with computers), and then I said a little prayer that somehow, someway, that report would make it to my handsome doctor, so he'd be able to call me and give me the update.

I went home with my DD (being as drugged as I have to be to survive two hours in an MRI chamber, it would be criminal - literally, criminal - for me to drive myself anywhere) and fell asleep on Jo's couch at about 2:00. I woke up just after 4:00 and was disappointed to see that I hadn't had any calls from MD. ... Not five minutes later, my phone rang. Unknown number. Insert rapid heart rate here. I answered, and there was a dreamy voice on the other end.

Dr. H - Is this Lauralee? ... Or do you go by Laura?

Me - It is. ... Actually, I go by Laurie.

Dr. H - Oh, Laurie. At least I remembered you shorten it. ... But why Laurie?

Me - Because you know me, I like to make everything complicated.

Dr. H - (laughing) Yes, you do. ... Well, I am calling about the MRI results.

Me - (to myself, in my head) That's too bad, because I was hoping you were calling to say you loved me.

Dr. H - It looks like it is scar tissue. We'll continue to monitor it and watch it to see if it changes, and if we see anything, we'll go from there. Your next PET should be in three months. I'll have scheduling call and set that up. Did you have any questions?

Me - Yes. Why do I only have scar tissue in one place?

Dr. H - This scar tissue is where Dr. G took your kidney. That was a pretty invasive procedure, and it left scar tissue.

Me - I get that, but why don't I have scar tissue where he took my spleen, too?

Dr. H - This is relatively new tissue. That is why we will watch it. Maybe it will get bigger, maybe it will get smaller as it heals. Like when you cut your arm, at first you have a big scar from the cut and then it gets smaller and smaller. All scars are different, bodies are different. It's hard to say what will scar and what it will look like.

Me - Okay.

Dr. H - Well, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll see you in 2013!

Me - You too! Thank you for the phone call. (But what I was thinking was, "I love you and your ridiculously sexy accent!")

And there you have it, the story of the MRI. I survived a delayed MRI and two hours in a tube. I got my phone call the same day as the test. I  got to talk to my beloved Dr. H and I found out that my Tootsie Roll looks more like scar tissue that it does like anything else.

Life is good.

I mean, it was good before the test, the phone call, and the scar tissue verdict... but it's somehow just a little bit better now. (Here's hoping my nervous stomach will settle down and I'll be able to go back to sleeping through the night, now that I know that's just poky scar tissue in there making my back hurt.)

One scan down. Two clean scans to go until I hit a year being cancer free. (June 21, 2013, you cannot come soon enough!)