Tuesday, May 10, 2011

unFamiliar Routines

Today was the long anticipated off treatment PET Scan. By tomorrow we should have the results that will lead us in one direction or an extreme other one. One set of results will head us back to chemotherapy to attack the cancer again and another will lead us to port removal and one step further away from cancer treatments. As I have said before, not my will but His be done.

The PET SCAN went well overall. This is CJ's third, or maybe fourth, Pet Scan. But who's counting, right? I guess I should be, but I could not remember. Let's just say we are familiar with the routine....or at least we thought we were until today.

Typically, we arrive and are taken back to a cozy little room where they inject him with the radioactive chemicals that cause the PET images to "light up" in your body on the scans. It is a huge metal encased vile that looks somewhat ominous compared to other plastic injection tubes.
After the injection, CJ has to sit for 45 minutes to allow the chemicals to spread throughout his system. Then he is taken into a large room with the PET scan machine in it. It looks similar to an MRI machine only way bigger and more impressive looking.

He was in the bathroom (nerves) right before the injection, and the technician, whom we had never had before, was going over everything with us as she set up her medical supplies and waited on CJ. I was half listening because I already knew exactly what was going to happen and still keeping one ear out for CJ to come out of the bathroom. She went on, "After I inject him you will wait in the waiting room while he sits and allows the chemicals to take effect." At that, my ears perked up. I assumed I must have heard her wrong considering I was only half listening.

She walked out of the room and immediately my husband looked at me strangely and asked, "What did she just say?" That's when I knew I did not hear her wrong. I told him that it sounded like she said we have to leave the room and wait out in the waiting room, but she is mistaken. I have never waited in the waiting room. I always stay with CJ! I even stay with him during the actual PET Scan while he is in the machine.

I could feel the heat rising in my chest but decided to allow this to play out. CJ came out of the bathroom and I assumed my position in the chair across from him and waited. She returned and injected him with the radioactive chemical. She finished up and informed us that we could leave now and go to the waiting room. I told her nicely that we have done this a few times before and we never leave him. We always sit quietly with him. She went on to tell me how he has to be perfectly relaxed while he waits and be very still. No games. No reading. Just relaxed. All I could think of was, "Well lady, you are doing a good job at accomplishing the exact opposite," because I could tell CJ was getting nervous just at the discussion and change in familiarity.

Instead of saying that, I patiently protested that I was going to sit with him as I always have. when we get PET Scans. She went on to tell me how I cannot because it protects me being of child bearing age and I cannot be in the room with the radioactive materials. The only child I was interested in protecting was the one sitting in that chair right behind her looking at me with those huge brown eyes.

This is when as a mother you want to ask, "Do you have children, mam?" But instead what came out was, "Mam, I sit on the Family Centered Care Advisory Board and I know this hospital is committed to Family Centered Care." She stared at me silently for a moment and then said flatly, "You can sit in the hallway."

So I perched my chair right outside his door within eye and ear shot and sat for 45 minutes in the hallway. Dad went to the waiting room to pray and encourage me through texting!

CJ was a little nervous because of all of this. He said that his stomach and head hurt and I just told him to rest and he eventually just settled into the big over sized chair and closed his eyes for a while.

Eventually, she came to get him and he was taken to the PET Scan machine for scans which lasted for about 20 or 30 minutes. Once again, I perched myself right outside his door and waited. He did well.

We now enter the phase of waiting on results! Thank you again for all your prayers. We will updates as soon as we hear!


Anonymous said...

The waiting part .... ugh hate it! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and CJ. Please send him our love!
Nicole Ana & Alberto

Anonymous said...

Still praying....let us know..
The FIgueroa's

Anonymous said...

We are glad that all went well...thank you for the update. Wilma

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the change in routine. Can't wait to hear what the results of the scan are.
Thinking of you...send hugs to CJ
Carmen and family :)