Nearly there…

Friday morning saw me at the Oncology Department for the final CT scan and the preparation for the radiology, later in October.

Sitting in a small waiting room for half an hour, with half a dozen coughing, spluttering, sneezing and generally sick other people cannot be good for your health, so I have been doing a pre-emptive Lemsip strike over the weekend. However, once out of there, and into the hands of the experts, things went a lot better.
This CT scan was not for assessing whether or not I have cancer, but to see exactly the situation with the node that is to receive treatment. So, all that is necessary is to have the marker injection, and not the aniseed drink (see blog posts from a couple of months ago). The canula was put into the vein on the inside of my right wrist – it’s pretty prominent, so went in easily.
Then it’s just a case of dropping your trousers and laying on the CT scanner, while about 6 people place various metal junk on your abdomen. a ring of copper wire was placed around the node area and three ball bearings were stuck to the skin, one each on the edge of the pelvis at the hip, and one just below the navel. Once the dye is injected and the scan done, the metal is removed, and the ball bearing locations are replaced with tattoos. Apparently, people have tattoos for fun… 😉 It is a bit of an odd experience having 5 or 6 people working around your abdomen while you are laying inside a machine, but they were all very friendly and efficient.
Although I have had the dye injection before, this time I really noticed the flow through the blood system – within a couple of seconds, I could feel the “flush” in the fingers on my left hand, even though the injection was on the right. A couple of seconds more, and the flush reaches the groin and the legs. It’s incredible how fast the blood flows.
So, while we are away in Malta and Italy, some expert will be working out what dose of radiation is required and in what direction – these beams are very precise and accurate these days.
The first treatment will be on 26th October, the first Monday after we return, with the last one 12 days later. I have been able to arrange the majority to be done at 5:15pm, o will be able to come straight home afterwards.
Also nearly there with the holiday stuff. We seem to have mislaid the Malta guide book – which is bloody typical! – so we will have to replace that tomorrow. My stock of film should be sufficient for the trip (including Rebecca’s film needs), but I will also be taking the Nikon and lenses. Good job we have a hold case as well as the carry-ons this time 🙂
The weather doesn’t look too bad for either the One Challenge, or Umbria, so fingers-crossed.
The very interesting news this year is that Ivor at Red Dot Cameras in London has very generously offered a D-Lux 4 as the prize for the Challenge winner. That’s a camera that retails at around £550, so well worth making an even greater effort than on a normal year. Prizes for second and third places too. So, t’s going to be a good Challenge, with maybe 25 of us taking part.