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real or imagined?

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

I went in for my scans today feeling good and confident.  That faded real fast!

Upon being taken back, the tech asked me if I'd ever had a reaction to contrast before and I told her I had not.  I told her I was not suppose to have contrast today and she said yes you are, that's what the doctor ordered.  So, I asked her to call the doctor's office just to be sure because I was certain he told me there'd be no contrast used.  She called and sure enough his receptionist scheduled it wrong.  Thankfully we caught it and no (potential) harm was done. 

Once the tech got me situated and gave me instructions, she told me she'd be scanning my chest, pelvis and abdomen.  I got all comfy and layed perfectly still, moving only to breathe.  Just when I thought we were done, she came in the room to check on me and tell me what a great job I was doing lying still and that two of the scans were going to be repeated.  Something about the way she said it made me think something was abnormal.  When finished, the tech came back to my side and I swear I saw a look of 'you poor thing' on the her face as she lowered the table and, I instantly felt an overwhelming sense of doom.  I can't decide if the look on her face was real or imagined.  I usually don't ask how things looked because I know that technicians and nurses aren't at liberty to discuss the outcome of tests with patients but thanks to the look on her face, I felt compelled to say something.  So, laying there on my back looking up at her as she's lowering the table, I flash her a big cheesy smile and give her a thumbs up and say "everything look beautiful in my pictures?"  She pauses momentarily, cocks her head to one side and said "lets hope so.  We got everything we needed to get and will send the report to your doctor right away".   I'm pretty sure she had a look of pity in her eyes. 

Since then, I've been a nervous wreck.  Can't seem to get my mind off it.  I'm hoping this glass of liquid therapy in my hand tonight followed by some retail therapy tomorrow and spending Sunday with my grandson will prove to be good distractions till the doctor calls me on Monday. 

 

Suekub's picture
Suekub
Posts: 112
Joined: Apr 2013

Hopefully the look of pity is in your imagination! I have had more scans that any one person should have to endure and I never look the technician or nurse in the face after the scan just in case I also see "something" in their eyes. 

I will continue to keep everything crossed for you.

Sue

 

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Sue, I think that sounds like good advice.  From now on, I'm not making eye contact with the techs and/or nurses.   Years and years ago I was a registered medical assistant.  While in school I remember several of my instructors put a heavy emphasis on keeping a poker face when dealing with patients.  If my tech today had a poker face I wouldn't be freaking out right now. 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1464
Joined: Jan 2010

Sindy,

 

Its called scanxiety. While your tech may do these scans often, i will bet that the vast majotity are for people with 2 kidneys. When she sees only 1 kidney on occasion it does not strike her as normal.  Hence she is unsure based upon no facts or evidence that something looks wrong. Now go have that Dirty Banana and forget about this,

 

Icemantoo

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Iceman, I would agree with what you say if the tech had not already established the fact, prior to scanning me, that I have no cervix, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, appendix, gallbladder or right kidney.  I truly am half the woman I use to be.  Thanks for trying to ease my mind tho!

I haven't tried the Dirty Banana yet.  Think I'll wait till my cruise, maybe in Haiti or Jamaica...or both Wink

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Hey Twinnie, scans are nothing but stressful, we have so many concerns when going through the procedure. We are looking to the Radiologist for any little signs or intonations in their voices. Realistically this is just another day at the office for them. She could have been thinking ' I wish I hadn't put these shoes on this morning, my feet are killing me'. You have no idea where her thoughts were in that moment so I shouldn't read too much into it.

I will be thinking of you, at least it is not too long to wait. I am sure come Monday you will be like 'Happy Feet':)

 

Djinnie xx

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 351
Joined: Oct 2013

I am hoping she was wearing uncomfortable shoes!

Try not to fret - hard to do, but it won't change the outcome. I wish you didn't have to wait the weekend. I will be thinking about you. Please keep us posted on the results!

In the meantime, have some fun - glad you have some planned.

Hugs,

Jojo

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

Greetings Ms. Twinthings:    The karma gods must have been in a playful mood yesterday.  I too went for tests on Friday.  CT, MRI, bone scan.  I also had to deal with the contrast-no contrast issue.  Turns out there were different radiologists for the CT and MRI.  Dueling doctors.  I helped them reach the proper decision and we proceeded.  No IV contrast for CT, IV contrast for MRI.  Here I'm afraid our stories diverge.  These are the same techs that 3 years ago when I was having shortness of breath and was sent for a lung CT.  They didn't bat an eye when my lungs turned up full of blood clots from a tumor spitting them out of my right kidney. I had absolutely no idea as I walked down the hall to the dr's office. That walk was closely followed by rushing medical staff, shots of Lovanox and an ambulance ride to the hospital.  My point is:  I would never, EVER play poker with these ladies and I'm sure your techs are just as good.  My only suggestion would be to try to find some male test techs.  Since I'm a disgusting guy, my only memories of yesterday's tests are the deep brown eyes of one tech, and the smooth skin of another as she prepped my arm for the IV.  And of course the soothing sound of a delicate voice through the MRI headphones.  My results are also on Monday and then I go to work. Find some good sales, hug your little buddy and listen to the joy and innocence in his voice.  We are all warriors on this post and while we may have momentary stumbles, we advance together against our enemy and draw strength from each other.  Your doubts are understood and shared by us all and yet we all continue to live until we die and we aren't dead yet.  No Prisoners!

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 351
Joined: Oct 2013

Gordon, you always speak so eoloquently. I always feel rejuvenated and renewed when I read your messages. (and love that all you remember of your scan is the beauty around you - you rock!) Good luck with your results as well. And please let us know how it goes.

thinking about you!

Hugs,

Jojo

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Gordon, thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement.  It sounds like you are one lucky man!  And thank goodness your techs had those poker faces, for had you panicked your situation could have become exponentially worse.  Will be hoping and praying for the best possible results for you on Monday! 

I had a beautiful young lady tech last Friday and although I could appreciate her beauty, it did nothing to distract me from noticing the look of "bless your heart" on her face.  She seemed a little too compassionate, if that makes sense.  I know now, after much thought and many words from you all that it was likely imagined.  The mind is a beautiful mess!

From now on, I'll pray for a sexy male nurse with dreamy green eyes with which to get lost in.  Wink

I'm looking forward to sharing good news with you on Monday, and you with me!!

Sindy

todd121
Posts: 504
Joined: Dec 2012

Who knows what goes on in the minds of people! Easy to say, I know.

I just keep learning the same lesson over and over again, I'm not as good a mind reader as I think I am.

They almost always think I'm getting contrast when I do my CT (4 this year). I say "No. I'm not." They look confused. I say "My creatinine is 1.6 and my doc says no contrast unless it's under 1.5." Then they say ok. Another thing I've learned this past year, I speak up. I used to be really bad about this, thinking they were the experts and letting them make decisions for me. Now I'm adamant, because I know they make little mistakes, their minds are elsewhere, etc. I'm really just barely on their minds when I'm there.

How good are those technicians in reading scans? Honestly, I don't know. I'm sure there are certain things they have to look for to make sure they got a good scan, and I suppose they learn a little doing their job, but I think the radiologist is not even in the same room with them.

I had an MRI of my brain and spine last week, and the ER doc and radiologist decided that something with my spine at C3-C5 might be causing the numbness in my right hand, so the ER doc orders me a type of prednisone. I decided to hold off until I saw the neurologist to take the medication. The neurologist looks at the scan and says, C3-C5 is too high up to affect that nerve. That nerve exits the spine at C7, and your C7 is perfect.

Point?

If the ER doc and radiologist make this kind of (what I think must be pretty basic anatomical mistake), you can bet the technicians don't really know what they are looking at. As many surgeries as you've had, you must have a lot of scar tissue. It's probably a challenging read!

I'm rambling. I hope you can let it go and enjoy the next few days. But I also understand...

Todd

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Todd, funny you should mention scar tissue.  Just last night as I'm still obsessing over the techs expression, it occurred to me that I DO have a lot of scar tissue.  Not to mention SO much mesh from 6-7 hernia surgeries.  I don't think I'm any more special than the next patient but I do think I am different than the majority of the belly scans they look at.  I almost had myself believing scar tissue and mesh were likely why tests were repeated and why the tech had that "you poor thing" look on her face. 

Then today I read your post and I'm thinking it's a sign.  You are absolutely right!!  Your rambling has given me a sense calm, so thank you soooo much!

By the way, I'm glad to hear your cervical spine is OK.  I'm pending surgery on C5, 6 and 7 to untrap bilaterral pinched nerves, repair a tear that's allowing leakage of fluid, remove a bone spur that's indenting the spinal column and finally, to insert plate and screws to get my c5-6 off each other.  Right now, they are totally collapsed.  Surgery was scheduled but RCC slipped in from nowhere and changed my plans.

I hope you get to answers to the numbness in your hand soon.

Thanks again for your words of support!  This place and you people are the best!!!

Sindy

LynninNC
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2013

Sindy, I had my first CT scan last September because of shortness of breath and a stitch in my side. My GP said she was ordering the scan in abundance of caution beause my BP had been really high at a regular check-up the previous week. I was worried about a lung embolism.    As I was leaving the scan room the tech said to drink a lot of water to clear the contrast and "oh, drink a lot of water to take care of that kidney too". It did not register with me that he had seen something until well after the phone call from my doctor that night saying that there was a cyst on/in my kidney. The next morning the cyst turned into a "cystic mass" and then into a "mass that needed to be removed ASAP". So, sometimes you do not even need to look at the poker faced tech person, you just need to listen carefully!   Since then I have had 5 CT scans and an MRI and am facinated with my interaction with the tech person. I too look for signs of pity and concern!  

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

Sweetest Sindy: Maybe if you could get him to wear a nice T-shirt during the CT you would be in a lovely daze for the rest of the day..

 

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Twinnie and Gordon I will be routing for you both today, let us know how you got on soon as!

All the best:)

Djinnie xx

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Thank you, Djinnie!  It's 2 in the morning and I am sleepless.  What is wrong with me??  You are up late too, no doubt with much on your mind as well.

I'll update you as soon as I get the good news.  I'm sure the news will be fine.  It has to be.  One thing I know for certain, whatever the case may be, I'll be OK.  I always am.  Now, I'm going to attempt to sleep and pray for an early morning call for both me and Gordon.

I'm cheering for you too, Gordon!  rah-rah-ree-, kick em in the knee, rah-rah rass, kick em the...well, you get the idea.

xoxo

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Hey Twinnie, I hope you managed to get some shut eye! I wasn't up late, I was up early you are around six hours behind. I was off to my Doctors appointment!

All the best today:)

 

Djinnie x

 

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

I would no longer dread ct's then, would I?  Kiss

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

OK Sindy... you go first...

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 409
Joined: Feb 2013

You will both have good results x

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Why, thank you but, I didn't get a phone call.  One minute I tell myself it's a good sign, that if there were a problem, they'd have called right away.  The next minute I'm telling myself the doctor just doesn't want to ruin my holiday with bad news.  Good grief...I'm going bazerk!  I will call their office first thing in the morning and pray they aren't closed till after the 1st.  Surely they will be open till at least noon, right? 

How bout you, Gordon?  I'm counting on you giving us a good report so...go

Srashedb
Posts: 156
Joined: Dec 2013

Sindy: you are amazing!!!! my husband's scan reports were put on his health chart three days before his appointment and I read each word, looked up definitions and hounded his doctor's office since a weekend was approaching.

i, not having a bit of medical training, had hit the darkest despair; my husband went about his life, spending time with our granddaughter while I worked, researched, called the doctor driving myself nuts.

of course, the doc's interpretation and mine were different. In fact, I have been checking here for your reports on and off today.

post when you know, ok?

sarah

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

Thanks Sarah,

By golly, I will know something tomorrow.  I try to be patient and I get that I'm not his only patient but patience has never been my thing so I'm calling first thing.  I will post ASAP after I have something to report.  Thanks for your concern! 

It has got to be as hard, if not more so, being a caretaker than the patient.  Bless you for what you are dong for your husband.  It's what any good wife would do and you are clearly a good wife.  Hope he's doing well!

 

Sindy

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Twinnie, I hope you managed to get some sleep! Waiting is tough, we tie ourselves up in knots,wanting the news but paradoxically dreading it, it's so stressful!

I can't imagine a Doctors office being closed on New Years Eve! Will look for your post later, all the best:)

 

Djinnie x

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 351
Joined: Oct 2013

Sindy,

I have been off and on this forum several times checking for you and Gordon's results.

Let's end this year with great news!

I have faith in you contacting the doctor's office. You go, girl! I cannot believe that they wouldn't contact you either way. Obviously they have never been a patient themselves!

Hope to hear the good news soon!

Jojo

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Etiquette to one side Gordon, come on, at least give us a clue! Lol!Wink

Djinnie x

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank-you all for your interest.  It seems I'm status quo.  No shrinkage, no growth.  Yes, my wife and daughters are very thankful as am I.  Thanks for the good wishes and prayers.  As are you all, I'm hoping and praying that Ms. Twinthings has been out partying and celebrating because of her results and that explains her slow response.  Group hug for us all on this post would be nice. Let's all have a happy and drama free New Year !    AFTER FURTHER REVIEW!!!!!  I look higher in the post and there she is with a non functioning phone.  The reason the Doc hasn't called is because the results do not require immediate action.  CONVERSATION: Hello?  This is Dr. Tardy calling.  Just wanted to let you know that your scan was fine.  Have a nice day. Happy New Year. Good Bye...   And then you feel silly for worrying, pissed at the Doc for taking so long, and cry from relief. Time for hydration therapy...do you prefer white or red?

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Hey Gordon, maintaining a status quo is good, congratulations! I love your dry humour, always gives me a laugh! I am with you, hoping Twinnie is busy celebrating! Either that or she is out prepping another misile! You are right a drama free New Year would be great, fingers crossed!

You and your family have a very Happy New Year Gordon:)

 

Djinnie x

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 351
Joined: Oct 2013

Although, I have a feeling you, Gordon,are not boring! I agree with Djinnie! You always give me a laugh. Let's hope these great reports are the new pattern for everyone in 2014!

 

Cheers!

Jojo

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

lol, Gordon!  You're a funny one.  I needed a good laugh and I got one from you, thank you!! 

According to Dr Tardy's office, I'm clean as a whistle!  I don't really think whistles are clean but, whatever.  I'm just happy happy happy for a good report. 

And, I was oh so happy for your boring report!  Boring never looked so good, huh?  Two outta two ain't bad.  Now if we can just start getting boring reports from Djinnie, Tillie, Jojo and the rest. 

Oh, and for the record, no red no white.  I'm a beer kinda girl.  Or Vodka.  Straight up.  In moderation, of course Wink

Srashedb
Posts: 156
Joined: Dec 2013

excellent and happy new year!

cran1's picture
cran1
Posts: 128
Joined: Mar 2013

Great news! Very happy for you and Gordon.

bcbigb
Posts: 31
Joined: Sep 2013

Why the big deal,im going for my first 3 month scan in 2 weeks and i am getting contrast.Is this anything to worry about or just routine.Had 15cm by 9cm tumor,stage 2 grade 3 .Just wondering before I go in. Thanks 

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 384
Joined: Jun 2013

I'm certain your tumor being so big, is why you are having contrast at 3 mo scan.  That would be a good question for NanoSecond, Gordon or Fox or one of the other, much more experienced survivors.  I am not even in the same game as you.  My tumor was small at 4.7.  I'm sure the standard of care varies depending on size, stage and grade.  As long as your doctor tells you you're having contrast and it's not assumed by the front desk person or nurse who's scheduling the scan, you should be OK.  

Good luck!! 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1864
Joined: Oct 2011

Sindy, you really didn't need the contrast as the doctor had to establish a baseline. There was no need for "clarification". It was a "look see." For most of us, we drink a liter of contrast an hour before the scan so the radiologist can more easily identify your organs and then an iv contrast that absorbs more quickly into the tumors which are metabolicly more active at scan time. I no longer worry about the scan radiation. Or contrast damage to my kidney. I've had around 20 scans in the last 2 years. So what is one more? (or a dozen). I have gotten so use to being a cancer patient that these things don't make me even blink an eye. Always disappointed when new things pop up. Happy when old things disappear. But I am so thankful to be as well as I am now that I can't complain or worry about side effects. Which are mostly just fatigue anyway. I'll bet it is more worrysome to be so close to being cured that the thought of a new problem could drive you nutz.  Us old timers aren't any tougher. We are just more experienced. The sh!t has been thrown at us. We just watch to see what sticks.

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1152
Joined: Jan 2013

bcbigb.. wow, you had a very big tumor.. so 3 months seems very normal to me.  And your one Kidney must be healthy in order to get the contrast.  The contrast will make anything odd light up... easier to see should there be anything bad growing inside you.  Hopefully you are in the clear.  But the first scan is very important, it is the new baseline for future scans.  Even if no contrast on the next scan, comparing the two helps get a more accurate assessment.

Ron

bcbigb
Posts: 31
Joined: Sep 2013

I am getting a little nervous too,but thanks for the info ,im sure everything will be ok for me too.great to hear your results were good.

bc

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 513
Joined: Oct 2012

The IV contrast is particularly valuable in finding any potential mets within the liver and other soft organs.  If your creatinine allows the use of it, just remember to drink lots of water after your scan is completed.  That will help clear the stuff out of your system very quickly.

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