Saturday, May 19, 2012

Clinical Trial & Tattoos

Have I mentioned how tired I am? Do I sound like a broken record?

Yesterday was a long day.

7:40am - Arrived at the clinic for my Herceptin drip.  My appointment was for 8:00, but I thought arriving early to get my blood work done would speed up the process. Wrong ...

7:50am - Approach the receptionist window "do you want me to go ahead and get my blood tests done at the labs"..... "no, you are not scheduled for blood tests this time, besides they don't open until 8:00" 

Note to self - life is full of waiting, just accept it

8:10am - Nurse Tracy (whom I adore) calls me back and I choose a recliner to get started.  Formalities and verifications were completed and I sat back and watched the drip, drip, drip of the IV.  Tracy sat down for a bit and we had a very pleasant chat. 

The nurses are always super busy, so I really appreciated
this one on one time.  It gave me comfort talking woman to woman.

9:15am - Headed to Radiology Oncologist a few buildings down.  Parking was CRAZY.  Signed in and headed for the coffee machine. By the time I was stirring, the nurse called me in.

Here is where I lost track of time. 

The original doctor I consulted with months ago retired.  So, I met Dr. R and we discussed my status so far and treatment plans.  The subject of the clinical trial came up and we discussed it in great lengths.  As long as I'm eligible and my tests come back okay, I'll do it.

After the breast exam, he mentioned that they have a new machine where the patient lays on her stomach instead of her back. He said "since your breasts are so generous, there would be less potential of damage to the lungs."

I just about peed myself

Next thing I know, the Radiologist technician came in to escort me to the dressing room and then to the MRI room.  The plan was to make a mold of my back so I would stay in the same position during the radiation blasts. 

Four men in the room to accomplish this task

By this time in the journey, I have no issues with shyness.  I don't like it, but hell if I care by now.  Dr R used sticky guides to outline the area on my right breast. 

Then, I had to lay on my stomach. Forehead and chin resting on guards, arms extended over my head.  The longer I laid there, the more my right arm became shaky.  My left breast was squished (ouch!) and my right one hung down to be photographed.  The technician said that the mesh is soaked in hot water and they have only a few seconds to place it on my back and shape it.  He warned me a few times that it would be hot .... and it was. 

I asked if my scarf was going to get wet and he said yes.  So, I took it off.

Mrs. Lex Luther

The MRI machine began to move

During this time, my eyes were closed. I tried to steady my breathing so I wouldn't move or hyperventilate.  I'm claustrophobic. I tried not to think about my arm giving out. Just hanging on to what strength I had left to hold myself up.

I wanted to sing a worship song in my head, but couldn't find the words.
Only one word came to mind and I said it over and over and over.
Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

He calmed me instantly and then the machine stopped.

After they removed the mold, 3 separate needle pricks marked my "tattoos" on my back. The first one stung, but then my mind tuned it out and the other 2 were not as bad.

Now, imagine trying to "lady-like" get up from a stomach position topless. It must have been a sight!  I made my adjustments, put my scarf back on and was escorted back to the dressing room.

I will receive a phone call by the end of next week for the next steps.

Noon - I made it to work. 

2:00pm - I could barely keep my eyes open so I made arrangements to make up my hours today (4 hours).

I drove home and fell asleep.


  1. Three things I love with this post:

    1. "Your breasts are so generous" (I just about peed myself too!)
    2. Your picture! How did you get the dark background?
    3. YOU!

    1. 1. Remember most of my life a size A...until I hit 40!
      2. Tommy had a school project and his aunt is awesome to go all natural.
      3. Your not so bad yourself, little sis!

  2. I was a size A until my late 20's. I blame it on going from a physical job to a desk job. lol


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