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Archive for December, 2012

A good day.

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The Mayo – Results

Static.

Boring.

Nothing major to report.

Left adrenal bed active but not growing.

See you in a year.

Yay.

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The Mayo – Tests

Here I sit.

Exhausted after two days of tests. Took a little nap, did some work so I don’t have to take the day off from work, and now waiting to head out for a belated birthday dinner with the lovely Heppers. Tomorrow morning at 7.30 we get the results. I’m more nervous than I was before the tests, but still very anxious to hear.

The tests started out simply yesterday with a chest x-ray. Take off your shirts, put on the paper vest, click-click-click. Freezing of course.

Then off to bloodwork. My first poke of the day. Gave them what they needed -I’d guess about a gallon or so- then off for some much needed breakfast to break my fast.

Then off to Nuclear Medicine for the first of three steps. They had to give me a serving of Lugol’s Solution (high-powered iodine) to protect my thyroid during the upcoming test. Then I was instructed to come back in an hour for my radioactive isotope.

I had things to do though, other than wait. We headed down so I could get my ECG (Electrocardiogram) and test my heart. Once again, stripped to the waist, freezing. Bonus: my 47 year old man boobs stacked up pretty well against the other unfortunate souls lined up with me.

Then back to Nuclear Medicine for that injection. Second poke of the day. Pretty disturbing to watch this material going into your left arm while the syringe is encased in lead. Ick. I’ve had this done 4-5 times now and I never get used to it. Gives me the willies to know I’ll be radioactive for the next week or so.

And then back to Maggie’s folks for a nice lunch, and a three hour, dead-to-all coma nap.

And then back to Mayo for the MRI.

Technician says: so you’re here for a liver MRI?

Me: I guess, they’ve never been so specific before. Usually they just say abdomen.

Tech: We’ll be doing a Magnetic Resonance Elastogram on your liver to test for pliability and tumor growth.

Me: Shit.

So they strapped me in, put in the IV (third poke of the day), and took lots of pictures for an hour, and beat the hell out of my liver with an air-driven paddle. I must admit, it tickled.

___________

This morning I was back in Nuclear Medicine first thing and sliding back in the Hulk tube for more pictures of my radiated tumors. This was much more relaxing and I slept almost the whole test. I thought I was done but the radiologist saw enough interesting things that they wanted to do some 3D imaging.

So off to another tube for more. Not so relaxing this time. I had to keep my arms over my head the whole time. I’ve had frozen shoulders twice and that makes it very painful. I started to freak out a bit, but I made it without ripping off the straps and destroying the equipment.

So that’s my two days. Thanks for all the emails and Facebook posts. It means a lot.

I return soon with the results.

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Well…

A year and a half since my last post.

Many things continue to be the same, much is a lot different.

I turned 47 yesterday and I head for Mayo tomorrow for my yearly poke-and-prod. Three days of tests and I hope for a status quo.

If I can remember them all:

Urine tests
Blood work
Chest x-ray
Echo cardio gram
Radiation injection
Abdominal MRI
Adrenal MIBG I-123.

I still feel hopeful but the rational side says some growth will be noted. I’ve been dealing with fatigue and abdominal discomfort for months and years but there had been an uptick lately. We shall see and I’m ready to be happily proved wrong.

As most of you know, I returned to work in the summer of 2011. It’s a fantastic job and I’m so appreciative of it every day and the leeway they’ve provided for sick days and working from home. The benefits are fantastic, which are exactly what I’ll need for the rest of my life.

Maggie continues to be my constant. We’ve been together three years now, most of it cancer-clouded. She amazing. Me grateful.

My boys continue to be fantastic. Drew from Afghanistan, Gage from Andover.

Maybe I’ll update more, but probably not until things change. So, here’s to fewer posts for now. If you want to follow my bemused daily thoughts, find me on Facebook.

Love to all that read this.

-Keith

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