This is my vacation week, I don't have any little ones until next Monday. I am going to spend my vacation trying to get some of the cleaning done that has been ignored for so long. My friend Anna is leaving today for her vacation, and has left her car with me. I am very happy about this, since I will be able to make runs to Savers and the recycling facility that I don't get to on weekends.
I have a ct scan at four today, and have to remember not to eat after two o'clock. My scan is at Miriam, which is very convenient. Kaileigh, Steven and I walk over to the hospital where we learn I am the last scan of the day. This makes me think they squeezed me in. There had been a paperwork mix up in the scheduling, and it took a couple of days to get things straightened out.
This will be the scan which shows just how well my Folfox treatments have worked.
This ct room is quiet compared to the other I visited. I don't ask, but I attribute this to newer, greener technology I have read about with the cooling system. This makes the whole experience more relaxing. No loud whooshing sounds.
The drill here is the same as every other time. There is a bed to climb on which slides into the large donut shaped ct machine. I have forgotten to wear pants without metal, but rather than having to change into a johnny, I am covered with a blanket and asked to pull my pants down below my knees.
I get an IV solution in my arm of contrast dye, the one that makes you feel like you might need to pee. The bed slides into the circle of hard plastic up to my shoulders, and slides out. I am instructed by a recorded voice to hold my breath and slowly it slides in again. I notice two emoticon symbols above the bed. One means inhale and hold, the other means breathe. I don't remember seeing these on the other machine I used. Just as my chest finishes going through the donut, I am instructed to breathe again. We repeat this whole process again one more time, and then I am done. It seems to go faster than the last two I have had.
In the evening Kaileigh, Steven and I go to see the movie Big Eyes. It is a good movie, and it was fun to see the big eyed style of paintings, much like those that hung in my bedroom as a child.
Julia and I go to the registry to get her car registered. We have a very frustrating experience. We arrive just before it opens so we won't be there all day, and in the end we leave without accomplishing our task. Most of the people we deal with are surly and unfriendly, surprising since we can only be the second or third person they have seen so far today. The most helpful people we meet are a woman who was there on business, and a woman at the return ticket desk. She was kind and clearly described what we need to do to get Julia's car registered. We need a signature from her mom, so I arrange to meet with her later.
I return home to my cleaning projects. Just before dinner leave to meet with my sister in law at a bank to get her signature notarized on the car registration form. I manage to do this, drop Steven at a meeting, and make it to knitting on time. I don't end up having time to eat, but find some chips in the church kitchen to tide me over until I get home. Ayla and her friend Malani are coming to learn to knit this evening. It is fun to have new knitters join us. I have forgotten that Malani is left handed, but I figure out how to show her a knit stitch.
I return to the DMV with Julia and Steve. We go in later in the morning, and our experience today is far nicer than it was yesterday. I don't know if it is the holiday tonight, but everyone is very helpful. We manage to register Julia's car with no further problems, renew Steven's license and get out of there in an hour and a half. Surely this must be a record.
As we are driving home, Kaileigh calls. She is already at our house waiting to go with me to see Dr. Safran. By the time we get home, there is only a short time before I need to leave for Fain 3. We walk over, I register, get my blood drawn, and my vitals taken. Kaileigh, Steven and I are all shown to one of the exam rooms to wait for Dr. Safran. While we are waiting, one of the teaching nurses comes in to visit with me. She asks how I have been doing, and how my other doctor's visits have been. She tells me Dr. Safran has good news to tell me about my ct scan.
Dr. Safran comes in accompanied by Megan, his resident, and and the nurse who had just visited me. He asks me if I want to see my scan. We go to his computer and and he shows me the scan from October, then the scan from Monday. It is hard to believe this is the same liver. There are no spots, no large tumor obstructing my vein. Everything is gone, my liver looks clean. It is like some kind of magic trick has been performed and my liver has been switched.
We go back to the exam room and Dr. Safran tells me we can plan on reattaching my colon now. After that is done, at the end of February, we will meet again to see how my recovery is going. If things look good, we will discuss starting another round of chemo, which will last about six more months.
I have done it. I have made it through all of my folfox treatments and come out the other side with a clean liver, all by the end of the year. This is by no means the end, but it is one wonderful way to end a year that has been difficult, and start the 2015 with renewed purpose and energy. An upbeat beginning to a new chapter.