Monthly Archives: June 2015

Scanning the Options

Today I had the pleasure of going in for a CT scan, which I mean literally, as in I enjoy the experience. It is a brief scan, takes less than fifteen minutes in the actual room, but for some reason I always find it quite relaxing. The parts leading up to the scan aren’t quite as comfortable. Like choking down the solution that will make me light up from the inside…

Drinking a barium solution
Getting Radioactive

Drinking barium sulfate has become somewhat less disgusting since they introduced the mochaccino flavor, it’s true. One of the ladies in reception noticed my second bottle of the morning during my check-in and mentioned that she heard it was “pretty good.” I told her that “more palatable” was a better description, but it is admitedly a huge leap over the nasty flavors offered just a few months ago. Just one additional way in which science is continuing to earn that motto, “better living through chemistry.”

And the fasting; I hate the fasting. Not that I can really complain about four hours between 6:30 and 10:30 in the morning — since these are my usual hours between breakfast and my late-morning snack, I got off easy today. My scans are usually a bit earlier and I can’t sneak a meal in, but today I got lucky.  That’s why, I suppose, I was in an especially good mood upon arrival. Continue reading Scanning the Options

Why I Kept My Cancer Private

In this age of social media, some people might question why I kept quiet about my cancer treatment for as long as I did. There were some very simple reasons for me — in spite of the fact that I was writing a blog about it the whole time. (If you are learning about my experience for the first time, that link is a good place to start reading after you are done here.) Essentially, however, I wanted to keep my personal life separate from what I felt might otherwise define me in the eyes of others. This was a short-term issue, I realized, because at some point the nature of living with an inoperable cancer is that it does define much of a patient’s life, regardless of how much one might prefer otherwise. So I decided to try the slow roll out of information and, to be quite honest, it has served me well (and I also think it has been good for many of the people in my life, too).

When I received my initial diagnosis, there were certain people, mainly family members, who already knew that I had some health issues that were being investigated. In addition to my immediate family, there were also my employers and maybe one or two other people who had to be in the loop, and I knew I would tell these people right away when I had all the information.

As part of my research, before I had any solid diagnosis, I had already gone through pretty much every possible scenario in my head and followed up online to gather information on what any potential diagnosis would mean. Along the way, I also discovered that
Continue reading Why I Kept My Cancer Private

Clip Show, Cancer Edition

Every now and again, I come across some great video or article that I want to incorporate, but it doesn’t fit into the current post I am writing. Chemo brain being what it is, I usually just forget about these tidbits of juicy knowledge, but once in a while I copy the link for later.

Now, because I am in a sharing mood, I present this recap of what you would have otherwise missed from my browsing history…

Ladies and gentlemen: the Clip Show, Cancer Edition!

Tom Brokaw’s stirring interview on NPR’s Fresh Air:
Continue reading Clip Show, Cancer Edition