91. First CT Scan

Shining the light back there, the news could be extraordinarily miraculous. “There is no site of cancer in your body”. The news could be extraordinarily perplexing. “There is so much cancer. We don’t know how you are still alive.”

It’s not the first.  It’s the first CT scan after major surgery.  The time line relates to the initial plan… but the surgery was a surprise.  It has been long enough for six cycles of chemo, and I did three before the lower colon decided to exit the building. And since that time, the focus has been healing from the surgery, and not chemotherapy.  No chemotherapy.

The New Normal

I feel “good” overall.  Things in life are returning to a “new normal”. 

New normal is all that anyone gets these days, as we phase through a tumultuous world. Covid 19 is more of a secondary challenge for most, where the top layer (the cheese) is losing their home, dying grandparents, financial difficulties, and a large variety of other personal layers.

The CT Scan

The scan was NOT a challenge.  It didn’t even rank as an herb in the Challenge Lasagna.  The Radiology department was running early.  I walked in to a brand new recliner and a Pina colada.  Well, the drink for the contrast was pineapple flavored anyway, not quite up to the standards of the beverage it mimics.

White CT Scan machine
CTScan Machine

The machine was the narrow doughnut shaped experience.  “Take a deep breath and hold it, 9,8,7,… Breath normally.”  The bed slid through one direction, moved back.  Then the dye was injected.  

Flushing the Port

Good news – the port was accessed for the dye.  Two birds with one stone.  A person with a port has to have it flushed every two or three months. It happens far more frequently in chemo.  But anytime the port is used, it has to be cleaned.  Cat scan and port flush, all in one go.

To vomit or not to vomit

The dye is so strange.  It courses through the veins, creating heat and waves of strange sensation.  Decades ago, when they didn’t have it worked out in quite the same way, I told the man behind the glass, “I’m going to vomit”.  He thought that was a really bad idea (it was), and told me I was not.  Luckily, after an argument, he was correct! 

Now, the person behind the machine says, “You may feel like you are urinating.  You are not.”  This has been my game three times in four months, nothing new.  The dye goes in, and the process of going through the machine repeats twice.  Painless experience, and with wonderful, healing people.

The results are immediate in the Urgent Care.  But they take time in the real world of medicine.  And so I am waiting.  

Waiting for the results

I have been talking about fear, and this is hiding in the shadows of my mind.  Shining the light back there, the news could be extraordinarily miraculous. “There is no site of cancer in your body”.  The news could be extraordinarily perplexing.  “There is so much cancer.  We don’t know how you are still alive.”  Equally miraculous.  Somewhere in between:  highly likely.

But there is an emotion connected to the result either way.  Fear.  Do I want to know?  It does not change anything.  It does not help in any way to keep the results a secret.  

Emotions can have many names.  Fear can be renamed.  It could be anticipation, resolution, excitement…  

It might be the sauce in each layer of the lasagna.  Can we make Challenge Lasagna without fear, without the sauce?  

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: