...and I'm not referring here to the excellent song by REO Speedwagon. (although that song is now officially stuck in my head...)
Lisa & I head back out to Houston Wednesday, 2/17. It's time for another batch of nuking & bloodsucking (as I so delicately refer to it).
Routine followup appt.
As if there will ever again be such a thing for me...*sigh*
--Wed. - drive to Houston (in a nice borrowed ride, courtesy of a buddy here!)
--Thurs. - blood work + P.E.T. scan
Note: no bkfst, no lunch, no morning coffee = Bummer!! On the plus side, we'll have a HUGE supper with LOTS of good Tex-Mex food @ Gringo's w/ two HS classmates & friends who landed out there and whose homes we've invaded before. I'm planning on embarrassing everyone @ our table w/ the sheer volume of food I'll consume. You've all been warned...
--Fri a.m. - the next in a series of "most-impt-Dr.-appts.-in-my-whole-life"
--Fri. afternoon - celebrate while driving back to H'burg (well, that's our plan anyway...)
We'll be staying w/ one of the two HS classmates, who is graciously opening her home to us again. (Note to USM friends: she's a proud USM grad who was a Dixie Darling during her days here in town)
We'll also be rolling in a much nicer vehicle than any of ours, courtesy of another great sacrifical giving type friend here who's letting us borrow his truck.
--safe travels to & from, and safe driving in Houston
--accurate scans that show "nothing to see here..." (in other words, pray that there's nothing amiss, & that the scans show that)
--peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7)
--pray for these VERY generous friends who let us borrow cars and invade homes; Please ask God to bless both of these friends--one lives here, & one lives there
The bottom line answer to this question: "so, what's it like walking into M.D. Anderson?"
Absolutely overwhelming! One NEVER wants to walk in there as a patient. Pretty much nobody gets referred there by being slightly sick. (Remember, mine was stage IV in both lungs when I first made the trip in 08...)
With that said, we have had AMAZINGLY GREAT Drs. & nurses & techs. Our MDA experience has been very good (well,...good within the context of the previous paragraph...)
This trip's medical stuff:
--bloodwork - no biggie; they'll draw several vials from my arm/hand. It is mind-boggling though how many people hang out waiting to get stuck.
--P.E.T. scan - get hooked up w/ IV device; get injected w/ the nuclear stuff (mildly radioactive sugar solution, more or less...the cool movie-effect part is that they wheel it in on a cart in a metal container that's smoking all scary-like); forced lie-still nap for an hour or so in a small room; then the scan, which lasts about 40 minutes; the most, um, exciting part is when the tech says over the speaker "OK, Mr. Madaris, here comes the contrast solution"...Have you ever felt like you were losing control of your bladder? Yeah, this feels a lot like that...only you can't move...(why I thought you'd all want to know that escapes me, but there it is)
P.E.T. stands for "Positive Emission Tomography"...or "Pretty Expensive Test" whichever. (*grin*) The results of the test are quite amazing; essentially a 3D set of scan results that the Dr. can scroll through & slice & dice in different ways. What they're looking for is spots that "light up" on the scan, meaning something is drawing in LOTS of the sugar solution, meaning something's amiss.
Based on my experience w/ bad scans, picture a satellite photo of a solar eclipse...w/ the light from the sun shooting out in rays from behind the moon. If something like that shows up on a P.E.T., that's bad. (Seen those results on previous scans!)
We'll do the medical fun Thursday from 8 - 1 or so (depending on wait times); Lisa will be bored out of her skull, as she'll spend all this time waiting...and waiting...a n d w a i t i n g...
We'll meet w/ Dr. Homsi, my medical melanoma oncologist Friday morning to get the results. (reminder: "medical melanoma oncologist" as opposed to Dr. Mehran, my surgeon, and Dr. Kim, my lung dude, and Dr. Hwu my immunotherapy guy.) Just the one appt. this time, assuming nothing lights up.
So, it's time to unblock the travel routes & details I've blocked for 5 months now. *another sigh*
Your prayers are MOST welcome and MOST appreciated.
With Love & Hope,
p.s. - THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS FOR US!!!
Only eternity will show you how much you & your prayers mean to Lisa and me...For now, "thank you" plus hugs to any whose path I cross will have to suffice.