Stepping up to the big leagues.
Kim had her mind made up that we were going to look into the Hillmon Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh. She had taken on the internet with a vengence. It turns out that the Hillmon Cancer Center was in the top 5 in the USA and had satelitte centers in suburban UPMC hospitals. Passavant Hospital was in the North Hills of Pittsburgh only about 25 miles from home. It was also the hospital that host many of the main characters of Hillmon...surgeons, radiologists, oncologists...just on and on.
Kim had managed to make me an appointment with the Cancer Center at Passavant for mid July. Mid July????
Everything about this cancer deal is turning out to be a bit different than I thought. No one had yet determined that I even had cancer, but what happened to the old "Early detection" slogan? Oh well...
The last week of June had me going to my little Ellwood City Hospital one last time for the CT scan. This was another step into medical science I had no experience with. I arrived early and was number two in line for my "upper chest/neck with contrast" scan, whatever that meant.
What that meant was I was going to have to be hooked up to an electronically operated IV machine that looked ever so suspiciously similar the set up used in death chambers at your favorite local Federal Penitentary. Did I mention that I absolutely despised injections and needles in general and although I realized it to be an unreasonable and irrational fear, it was MY fear and I had every intention of keeping it that way! My nurse was very good at putting in the th IV needle, as those things go, but I was still scared and it still pinched and I still did not like it.
The "contrast" they had mentioned was some kind of iodine/shellfish mixture that would render the images of the CT Scan easier to read by adding dark/light areas(?) by nature of the contrast mixture. As you lay on the table just prior to your insertion into the 8 foot tall doughnut of the CT Scanner, they come over the speaker (Oh that's right, CT Scans are radioactive so the crew is behind glass in a very NASA like environment while you lay there with the full and complete protection of those beautiful and stylish blue and white hospital gowns) and tell you "Mr Campbell, we are going to start your IV now. You are going to feel warm and will have a sensation like you may have just peed your pants"
Peed your pa......Whoaaaaaaa!!!! I'll say there's a sensation! It just started in my upper chest and neck and went right down my spine in seconds, and yep, it feels like you peed your pants! Just as soon as it rushed over me, it was gone.
Hmmmmmm. MRI's weren't all that bad. CT Scans, at least without IVs, weren't all that bad. I guess I'm doing alright so far...