Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yum, more barium!

Today I had another PET scan, part of the constant surveillance I am under as part of the clinical trial. They keep the whole area very cool to keep the scanner from overheating and that includes the rooms where patients have to lie still for an hour and a half while the barium drink and radioactive injection are hunting for those rogue biker cells.  Last time I was shivering even under a blanket. This time I was prepared for the arctic conditions; I wore yoga clothes as they have no metal on them anywhere and I could keep them on the whole time instead of donning scrubs.  I'm starting to feel like a chemo pro!

Today's barium smoothie menu was vanilla, banana, mixed berry or chocolate mocha.  I tried the chocolate mocha this time and I'd have to rate it a full star lower than the mixed berry, which at least slightly masked the chalk texture and had less of a chemicals-used-to-clean-gymnasium-floors aftertaste.  Also, whoever created today's offering had either never tasted chocolate or coffee before, or must have laughed maniacally as they slapped the chocolate mocha label on it.  Oddly, I do not find the biolab or the barium smoothies on Yelp!, Zagat, or Urbanspoon - now how are foodies supposed to share our input and help build crowd opinions to guide the next wary guest?  Hmm...  I need to start an app for that. 

Better yet, since these things look like milkshakes, I ought to do some real community service work and come up with recipes for Butterfinger and Thin Mint barium smoothies.  Plus a peach mango for the health-focused.

I'll get results next week, but what they expect to see is that the rogue biker cancer cells have been largely killed off thanks to my wonderful death star drug, with some possible minor activity in the core sites which will be taken care of by the rest of my chemo treatments.

Last weekend before jail

With my third big, all-day chemo coming up on Monday (my halfway mark - whoohoo!), I will go from mild to moderate neutropenia, which means I won't have enough white blood cells left to fight off germs and bacteria.  This triggers the dreaded confined-to-the-house jailtime which I've successfully avoided so far.  So I've spent my time wisely this week:  played one afternoon in our new Perot Museum, finished all other doctor/dentist appointments, got a mani/pedi, stocked up on books and magazines, and made final trips to our favorite neighborhood restaurants.  I'm ready!

Thanks to all for your fabulous continued support and great suggestions.  One of the best was to use the upcoming jail time to focus on something fun in the future, so I'm going to work on the details for our upcoming trip to Australia & New Zealand (mostly New Zealand).  For those who have visited or lived there, any suggestions for a must-see or must-do?   Or, a suggestion for another great vacation location for a trip after that?  I'll have lots of time to work on the planning!

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