Monday, May 4, 2009

Scanning... scanning...

So I had my body scan today. One thing about this cancer stuff is that it's full of new experiences. You gotta have the new experiences, right? Not that I can recommend most of them...
  • Having cancer: Sucks. Not recommended
  • Biopsy: Sounds interesting, but is just a needle in the neck with insufficient anesthesia
  • Surgery: Despite the wicked scar, surgery blows beyond my ability to describe. Schedule it when Crocodile Dundee isn't going to be on TV
  • Low iodine diet: Not as bad as I expected, but strange. Stay away from salt, potato skins, sushi, and dairy
  • Radiation: Extreme boredom punctuated by unlimited cosmic power. Leaves a bad aftertaste.
With today's scan, that should wrap things up for major medical procedures for awhile, assuming the results are good. I'll get the results next week.

So, what's a body scan like? A little like being in a kitchen utility drawer that's being opened slowly.

You lie down on a long skinny table and made to be as uncomfortable as possible. Then you're slid into this tiny Stargate. (Warning: If you're taller than a certain height, you will have your feet pressed up hard against the far wall. That certain height is three inches shorter than me.)

Then a big square scanning plate comes down to about two inches above your eyeballs. I don't have claustrophobia or anything, so that wasn't a problem. But if you possess a prominent, aristocratic, sexy nose (like Sarah Michelle Gellar or myself) you are encouraged to not sneeze.

See how you can't stop staring at her nose?

Once all that is set up, the doctor (specialist in pushstartbuttonatrics) pushes a start button and says "see you in 40 minutes."

The view slowly changes. Your feet gradually... stop... pushing... against... the... wall. Imagine that you need to get into your sock drawer but you believe a poisonous leaping tarantula has moved in -- this is how the sock would experience life.

After what seems like a weekend but is really maybe 40 minutes, you realize your perspective hasn't changed in awhile. Someone comes in and arise as refreshed as if you've been balancing on a 2x4 for most of the last hour -- that is, you don't arise at all and have to be pulled to your feet.

And you're done! Nothing to do but wait for the results! A fitting finale to a long, scary process that began with an uncaring office staff and a series of stabs in the throat. Now that you know what having thyroid cancer is like, you don't have to do it yourself.

Stay tuned for the gripping results, same time next week!

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