The next week i was off to scientific experiments - on the insides of my entire body. My nodes, although they lit up like the Enterprise's warp core on melt down - were seemingly cancer free - but my incredibly intense and madly brilliant oncologist wanted to know if even one rogue cell of my stupid genetic Her 2 Neu positive multi focal metastatic disease ( i had been reading my binder) was throwing a party elsewhere. If it was she was gonna crash it like Mellisa Mcarthy as Dr. Crusher in Star Trek the Next Next Generation episode 4 " Silently it grows - Loudly it dies."
This was going to require a cat scan, a bone scan and a muga heart scan. And an I.V.
The idea of a CAT scan - to this lesbionic is HILARIOUS. That is all. For now. Next Book.
However, the other tests are not so funny, unless you can imagine yourself swaddled in warm giant sheets and stuffed into a long narrow white tubes while radio active material travels around your inner galactic road map looking for sleazy diners where cancer is replicating itself. That visual helps. But nothing helps the visual of an I.V.
In order to get images from these various machines you have to not eat past 8 am and then drink a right stupid amount of Warf would never drink this - water. But not pee. Cross your legs your eyes and your fingers you hope do not urinate - because if you do - ya gotta do it all over again - another day. Like the poor sod beside me in hallway who was on try number 3. Then you have to have some sick baby test tube thingy taped to your arm that is attached to your throbbing 2x punctured vein with a teeny plastic tube so that the blue scrubs can all take turns shooting red dye hot dye into you like Paula Dean Filling a cherry cupcake.
YES obviously i took a sedative.
First up was the h20 and the CAT scan. A super, gentle young fellow did this one for me. (He also did the I.V. and it was like a butterfly kiss ) Which is gross but it did not hurt.
CAT scans are quick, and painless - the tube is spacious - in comparison to the tomb that is an MRI but there is one teeny quirk. You can experience one or maybe both of these sensations. Peeing your pants or having an orgasm.
Thank god i needed to pee because that was i got. If it had been the other i would have DIED.
Next was the heart muga scan. Again they shoot you up, smother you in sheets so you do not freeze or move and send you into the worm hole. The Muga is cool as it goes for 500 heart beats - four times - and if you are super nervous like me it takes like 15 mins.
The bone scan is similar but in a way way tighter tube and it is longer as your whole bod goes in and as in the muga an exterior station circles your chest and head. This one did not go so well. We knew this because this is small city. I have been an active member of my community for 22 years. Liza too. We love this town. We know and care about a lot of people in this ancient Champlain Sea - (you made your) Bed don't lie about it - So we knew the looks they shared. And we know they could not share.
They look like 'hot spots'. My neck and spine was like the Milky Way. The possibility that i had bone cancer was right there in front of us. Totally inoperable. Hello radiation.
Goodbye teaching… so long seeing SNL live….sorry Vegas… next life….i love you Liza…
and thank god for the man who could not pass his urine test as the enhanced scanner - the big gun that really illuminates your calcium was available - right then and there. So
over we went.
I was re-wrapped in fresh sheets as i had sweat soaked the last set and i was placed on the tray. I was trembling. I did not think i had the strength to hold my arms at my side and lie still for another 40 minuets. My lower lip was 3.2 on the richter scale about to send a tsumani of tears. ( quick adhd/ptsd kick in ) Go to 80's songs go to Tears for Fears - pop your collar and move on...
But i did not have to. Dark Blue Scrubs asked me if i wanted her to secure my arms.
" Yes please."
She returned with a leather laderhosen wrap strap and essentially mummied me. It felt great. Secure. She was so reassuring. Kind. Engage. In i went. And around started the circling of this solar panel around my head and neck. If i have brain cancer how will they know? WIll i suddenly start stop talking and take up agility traning for kittens? … my mind was warp 10…feeling hot hot hot...
Liza would not leave my side and there was no telling her she could not be in the room with me. Until she got so close that the scan picked up her and not me and they had to start again. Liza stepped back as she would have to learn to do in the future and let it unfold as it will.
Dark Blue Scrubs came in and turned the monitor so both Liza and I - and surprisingly the entire team could see. They were all there with me. As they would be with me for the next year and a half….
Although they could nor would not say - they knew they had discovered a galaxy of trouble yet to come in my neck and upper back, along with a few dim stars waiting to go red dwarf in my hips and right foot. My head, thankfully and not surprisingly was empty. Whew.
I - so tired and so afraid, so unable to process, so sedated, meditated myself to sleep.
and woke up to be told that the results would not be available to my care team until mid next week. Time for me was becoming anything but a line.. it was spinning...
But - in the same way my gene pool knew i had breast cancer that fateful day in June, my bones knew this day In October that i was ok. For now. And for now - that was good enough.