Thursday, March 17, 2005

Octreotide Scan, Liver Biopsy, Etc

Sorry, no catchy title I'm afraid. On Tuesday, March 8th I started my Octreotide scan at H. Lee Moffitt in Tampa, FL. I went in at 7am and had some blood drawn on the second floor and then went back down to Radiology on the first floor and checked in. I didn't have to wait very long and was back in Nuclear Medicine by 8am. The girl injected me with the dye and told me to not eat anything and come back at noon so we could start on the scan.

I drove around for awhile, drank lots of water to help flush my system, and just kind of window shopped until it was time to go back. A little before noon I checked back in and again was called back pretty quickly. They had me lay down on this long metal bed that slid halfway into a donut shaped thing with large metal "blocks" above and under me. I was able to watch the scan at first while they did my abdomen and freaked myself out a little because I kept thinking that everyplace that was lighting up must be the cancer. :) After calming myself down I enjoyed the peace and quiet for the hour and a half that the scan lasted. They did my abdomen, chest, neck, and head. When they were done they told me to come back tomorrow to finish up.

I arrived a little before 8am on March 9th and again went back quickly. This time I was there for three and a half hours getting various angles and scans done. I WISH I could have slept because I was exhausted from lack of sleep at this point. I hadn't taken any pain killers in days and that in part was reason why I wasn't sleeping. The time didn't go by too horribly slowly though and when it was done I went and picked up my two youngest kids from a friend's house and took them out for awhile.

For the liver biopsy I was told to arrive at 7:30am even though my biopsy wasn't until 9am. So I showed up like a good girl and then proceeded to be told that I still had to wait almost two hours. Luckily that isn't what happened and I think I only waited half an hour or so. A nurse took me back to a room that had an ultrasound machine set up in it and a tech who was making sure everything was ready. She explained to me that she would be handling my pain meds through an IV she was inserting. To be honest, I thought this was absurd because WHY would there be any reason or need for pain meds? LOL.

After the IV was in the doctors came in (two I had never seen before and honestly don't remember the names of) and the younger one explained to me that they were going to numb the area they would be inserting the needle into and taking cell samples from my liver as Dr. BC had requested. He said there could be some discomfort or pressure when the needle was inserted but there shouldn't be any real pain and it should go pretty quickly. He said if I needed pain meds for the discomfort to just let the nurse know. My famous last words were "I've given birth naturally three times without any pain meds I think I can handle this". I'm such a dork!

I had a moment of hope while they were trying to find the tumors because they could only find one. I don't think a person can help themselves but wish that it means the other tumors are gone but they assured me that wasn't the case and sometimes it's hard to find them on u/s. :( Oh well, even though hoping sucks sometimes it lets you know you're alive so yep... I'm still alive.

So they numbed the area and the first five times they inserted the needle were fine. Only felt a small amount of pressure but no big deal. Then after they took the needle out the fifth time I started having pain in my liver area. I told them it felt like someone was taking a high heeled shoe and grinding it into my liver over and over again. The nurse put some meds into the IV and it eased up a little so they did the sixth needle stick. As soon as he pulled the needle out again the pain got worse. I started saying "Oh, ow hey that hurts. Is that suppose to hurt? It's not uncomfortable anymore it HURTS". The doctor didn't know what to do because he said he'd never had this happen before. Great, new first for me again. LOL. The nurse gave me more pain meds and they waited a few minutes while letting the pathologist look at the slides to make sure they were getting what they needed. The pain got worse and the nurse gave me a different pain med in hopes that it would help but again it didn't even touch the pain.

Finally they said they had enough and we would stop there. The nurse told me that if I had any pain meds of my own I was welcome to take one. *laughing hard* It reminded me of the phrase "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!". :) So I took one of my Ultracets and just hoped the pain would ease up soon. I was then moved down to Recovery for four hours of observation. About half an hour after I got to Recovery it hurt to even breathe and I asked the nurse if I could have something to help the pain. Seriously, it only hurt when I breathed. It was the oddest thing! She said she would check and see and then never came back. Well I wasn't willing to have to spend more time in there so I just sucked it up after that and tried to ignore the pain.

After a little over three hours later they said I could go home so my friend picked me up, dropped me off at my car, and I drove back to her house. From there I picked up Lil Man and Sis and drove the 3 1/2 hours home. I was still in alot of pain but I just wanted to get home and get this all over with!!!

Once at home I took two of my Ultracet and just sat around for the rest of the night. It still hurt to breathe and sleeping was hard.

It hurt like that for two more days and then finally it just felt like a bruised liver and sore. Of course as that pain started easing up I started getting pain in my kidneys. It's now 5 days later and the pain is only getting worse. I've called the doctor and left a message but of course no call back and I have a feeling I won't get one until late today either. If nothing else I may go up to the ER at the OTHER hospital tonight and get checked. Probably another infection or kidney blockage with my luck. *sigh*

I've also been adjusting my steriods to see if I can handle a lower dose. Unfortunately, anything below 15mg of Prednisone seems to make me sick and the headaches start. Oh well it was worth a try though eh?

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