My cancer journey has begun. Just six days after my diagnosis, I am on my way. This is sure not a journey that I wanted to take but here I am! Today, I had a CT scan done of my chest, abdomen and pelvis. Although this is the 3rd time for me to have cancer, I do not remember ever having a CT scan before.
So what is a CT scan? “A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images, or slices, of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays do.
A CT scan has many uses, but is particularly well-suited to quickly examine people who may have internal injuries from car accidents or other types of trauma. A CT scan can be used to visualize nearly all parts of the body and is used to diagnose disease or injury as well as to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.” (source: MayoClinic.org You can see below what the equipment looks like. The nurse didn’t even think I was too weird wanting a photo of it. 🙂 Check out the artwork over head to add a bit of comfort and scenery to the person laying on the table. Not sure if you can tell, but those are painted tiles with an egret scene on each of them.Preparation was not terrible. I was told to stop in the day before for the contrast “cocktail” that I would have to drink before the procedure. I am not sure exactly what I expected but was I got was two 16 oz. bottles of thick, white milky looking liquid. They told me to put them in the fridge to made them taste a bit better. I was to drink one before bedtime and one 45 minutes before my appointment. Oh yeah, there was no eating or drinking after midnight. I drank the first bottle last night and was pleasantly surprised. While it was not the best tasting drink, it was smooth (I was so afraid it would be chalky) and had some sort of a flavor which helped to make it more palatable.
So who is going to be shocked when I tell you that when I got up at 7:30AM and my appointment wasn’t until 11:30AM, I decided to have a cup of coffee. Just ONE cup though! I did not add cream like I normally would and that cup of coffee helped me get through the morning. I drank the second contrast cocktail as I was driving in a pouring rain to Morehead City where the procedure was to be done.
I did get a bit of a surprise when a nurse called me in to ask questions about meds, etc., as nurses do. She said she would be getting my IV ready. IV! I said – no one told me that. Turned out that I had to have a contrast material injected into me during part of the procedure. The procedure took less than a half hour once I was on the table. I had to lay with my arms up over my head, while the machine worked its magic. Then came the injection. She told me that I would probably feel flushing of my face and neck and then it would feel like I was peeing but she promised that is not what was happening. I could not believe how quickly that made it my pelvis and yes, it did feel like that. It did not last very long though. I had a couple of more times to hold my breath for a short time and wait for the machine and it was over.