I arrived early for the scan because I had a few questions. It quickly became obvious that the lady dealing with me was not in the mood for questions. This attitude when it happens is so hard to deal with. Unfortunately it happens frequently.
I wanted to know if the dose of contrast dye was calculated on your body weight. The reason I wanted to know is that I am 46kg lighter than last time and didn't want any possible problems if they grabbed the dose off my last sheet. She answered my question but literally stopped short of rolling her eyes in frustration at me. It was a standard dose by the way.
I asked why I needed to stay for 45 minutes after the scan as I'd never had to do that before. This time I did get the rolled eyes. Apparently it's protocol. Hmmm lady I've had more of these than you and I know its not, but I'll be quiet because otherwise I might need to explain what a supreme effort coming here is. I might have to explain that this time a year ago I almost died in this hospital and that today is the first time I've stepped back in here and brave as I am I don't want to be here a minute longer than I have to, let alone 45 minutes.
While positioning me on the scanner bed, my patience finally ran out. I had to lie on my back with my arms extended above my head. It's a difficult position for someone who has breast reconstructions and it usually takes me a minute to get comfy. She was having none of it. She grabbed my arms trying to pull me into position. I asked her to be gentle as it is uncomfortable to be in this position when you have breast reconstructions.
Her tone changed immediately. Yes telling her I had reconstructions was indirectly telling her I once had breast cancer. She became human. I told her I had Cowden's syndrome which unsurprisingly she had never heard of and she said it was great I was still around, which is a standard reply when people don't know what to say. I shouldn't have had to share all this to get her human side.
It's quite surreal when the scanner is blasting you. I know that my condition isn't helped by the radiation being fired through me. But I also know that without it, the tumours invading my body can't be monitored and they need to be monitored because without my padding I can feel them more and they bloody hurt. And when something hurts you worry and think the worst, even a hundred lumps later.
The dye starts. I can feel the metallic taste in my mouth and then the familiar warmth invade my groin area. It seems to last longer than usual but I don't dare ask another question. I am taken off the bed and into the waiting area to serve my 45 minute sentence.
At the end, a young man whom I remember from my previous scan comes over. He says " welcome back" and asks how I've been since last time. We make pleasant chitchat for five minutes and he then ushers me into the treatment room to remove my cannula. I jokingly say that his colleague thinks I'm a " pain in the arse" because I ask too many questions. He chuckles and tells me she's the biggest pain in the arse going. I laugh and my faith is restored in people.
Moral of my story- ask as many questions as you like. Nobody knows your condition and your story as well as you do and you have every right to information and knowledge that informs you and eases your mind.
Now to wait for results.
Till next time...xxx