CT scan

Today was my CT scan day.

I’ve had one of these before so I knew what to expect.  But here I will tell you what to expect if you have to do it.

You cant eat anything up to 4 hours before, or drink anything up to 2 hours before. So basically if you wake up in the morning for a morning appointment which is normally the case you go thirsty and hungry.

Upon arrival to the CT part of the General Hospital in Paphos, with your 1 liter of water they empty out once glass out of it and replace it with a small bottle of a medicine that tastes like ouzo, or aniseed. Its really disgusting. My appointment was at 11:00 am.  Their instructions where to drink two glasses immediately and 1 glass every 15 minutes until I had one glass left for the actual scan at 12:15.

Well, let me tell you for the most part I held my nose, that works like a cold, you cant taste anything when you have a blocked nose! For the rest of it I held my breath and tried to gag as little as possible. Having my mum and sister there was very helpful as they wouldnt stop yapping so it kept my my mind of the job at hand and made time pass really quickly! So take friends with you to keep you entertained!

By 12 o clock I was on my 3rd pee and unfortunately this stuff has an effect on your bowel too.  As in you have to run.  So if you think its wind, it probably isn’t!  It didn’t have that effect on me last time but perhaps the completely empty stomach and yesterdays radioactive injection didn’t help.   Trying to find a clean toilet at a hospital isn’t an easy task I can tell you. Not one where you can actually sit down anyway. Not really great when you are in a hurry! lol

I went into the CT scan room and she put a butterfly needle into my arm ready for when they were going to inject me during the scan.  I then had to remove anything metal off my body, that means your bra ladies and nose studs too so don’t wear funny underwear with metal decorations as they will have to come off too.  You get to wear a lovely hospital gown that doesnt shut at the back.  How sexy is THAT.  My mum and sister found it most amusing when I opened the doors to the waiting room and danced a little.  You see you have to try and make jokes out of the situation otherwise things can get rather depressing.

Then you have to lie on a long table, again thats so small your arms dont fit on it so I had to tuck mine under my arse. You don’t get arm rests for this.   The machine is rather huge and you go through a large donought shaped type thing which is what takes pictures of you.   Towards the end of the scan they inject your butterfly thats sticking into your arm already (painless) with this fluid stuff, think there is about four of them, and you get this warm feeling in your throat, chest belly and your private parts. Its like you wanna pee.  And it can make you dizzy and feel as though your drunk.  It only lasts seconds.  Then you go through the machine a few more times, holding your breath at various stages and your done.  So the scan is simple and straight forward providing you remain still. (let this be another record for me). It was rather boring so I spent mine humming to myself, and singing, it helps take away any fear you may have.

The before part is rather crap though, cause it makes you feel sick and it gives you diarrhea!  Howeve the warm and fuzzy feeling is rather nice from the injection! Thats probably the only upside to it that and the part of being able to lie down and rest! lol   The actual scan itself took half an hour but it can be even less depending on what you are having scanned. I had a full body one as they are checking to see if the malanoma has metastasized to my brain, breasts or belly.

The results time depends on how serious your case is but generally its within the week of having the test. Or it can be on the same day.

I am picking mine up in two days and then I am going to see the oncologist straight after.

So by Thursday I will either be completely relieved or a complete wreck. Or both..   I am trying to be up beat about it but truth be told I am terrified of what lies ahead.

A better day

Bone Scan Results Image

Today, I got up at oh my god its early at 6:45am! I haven’t done that in a while, but as mentioned in yesterdays post I got to lie in till 10:30 so I shouldn’t complain.  Had to set off to Limassol for a bone scan appointment at 9:15.  I couldn’t eat anything as I had to have blood tests first, which normally I would do on a separate day, but as I have to have them in time for tomorrows CT scan and I couldn’t have them after the bone scan I had to prepare today instead.  My mum arrived shortly after along with my sister whilst I was upstairs changing the stinkiest nappy ever.  I keep saying that each time as I am sure they get stinkier!

My sister and I set off to Limassol and once we got there and finally found a parking space it was a mad rush as someone had broken in to the hospital outpatients and robbed their tills.  Lucky for me, not having a clue where I am I asked a woman where to sign in and she did it all for me.    Had my blood tests and then off I went for the bone scan.

They inject you with some highly radioactive stuff (even the injection had a silver metal thing around the tube for protection) and they said I had to drink as much water as possible, pee as much as possible to flush it out and stay away from pregnant women, babies and don’t sit too close to anyone for 24 hours! I cant even share my bed with my husband.. sigh.. lol  And I had to wait 3 hours before the scan could actually take place.  It takes that long for the stuff to work.

Meanwhile, I scoffed down a large sandwich and my first bottle of water, and then we went to look for the Limassol mall which took us a stupid amount of time as we couldn’t find the place, with me as the main entertainment as every time I lifted up my arm to get some aircon to cool myself it smelt like five fisherman’s wives hairy pits that had gone unwashed for days! ha  this to you may be too much info and rather gross, but how do you think I feel when I am the one that has it.  But wearing a plastic gauze under ones armpit in the hot Cypriot sun wont do anyone any favours, no matter how many times you wash around it, and put deodorant on.  I cant wait to take out my stitches.. or stitch as the case my be and neither can the rest of my family..

We had some nice lunch (yes after I scoffed a large sandwich) once we situated ourselves in the middle of an empty restaurant away from where I hoped no one would sit next to us and by the time we finished it was time to go back for my 130 scan!!  A quick pee stop and off we went.

I got my general blood results which show that I am healthy but slightly dehydrated and then went to the special bone scan clinic.  Still waiting for the white blood cell ones though.

The process from here is to sit in a room separated from everyone else, and then go into another room that has this massive scary looking machine in it, with a desk behind some glass (for the staff protection) .  They then ask you to remove any metal jewelery and lie on a bed that is barely wide enough for a stick insect and add arm rests to it.  (you don’t have to take off your clothes either! Bonus) Then this bed goes high up and the scanner thingy comes above your head by inches.  I didn’t like that part I felt a little claustrophobic but the very nice nurse Andri said the closer it is, the better the picture.  Then you aren’t allowed to move or talk for at least 10 mins. Let this be a record for me! ha  It soon passes and the bed starts to move from under it slowly slowly and there is a screen to your right which you can turn to look at after its moved from your head and you can see how much time you have left and which part of your body is being scanned.

During the process this lovely girl came to me and said, I can see your scan, and you are fine. “what do you mean I am fine?” I ask! She said “your bones  are fine and I will confirm this when we are finished and I will also check your soft cells too”.  Well I couldn’t believe my ears and as hard as I tried not to, I cried, I was so relieved I cried.   She then went on to tell me that my soft cells are fine too!

Indeed after the scan, she showed me the computer picture of my skeleton which was freaky and apart from a full bladder there were no signs of any cancer! Whopeeee!   This means that battle no 1 is over and I have won it!

Apart from not being able to cuddle my son or go near him the whole process was painless but time consuming but I found the Limassol General hospital very nice and helpful.

The oncologist saw me and said that I am to return to Limassol as soon as I have my CT scans ready.

When I returned home I went to have my stitch out.  Big massive ouch!  But I thought who cares, I can have a shower, but to my disbelief the surgeon replaced the old gauze with some white spray and a new gauze which I cant take off for TWO more days!  So smelly armpit will be with me a little longer.. sigh..

So although I started my day with a really really stinky nappy it finishes rather better! (even with a stinky armpit) Wouldn’t you agree!! 🙂