Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today we WON the cancer Lotto!

I loved typing that title.  A win.  Yes, it was... and here is how it goes... I start by saying... this is a TRUE story.  And what a story it is. 
Yesterday, Wednesday, June 15,  I was scheduled to have a bone scan and a CT scan to insure the cancer had not spread.  Of course to have these tests ordered it meant the possibility was there, and I hated that.  I suppose I might have been living in what I call my "ugly fog" for a few days... the unknown.  Wednesday morning, 6:45am to be exact, I was in the basement of Riverside in Nuclear Medicine to have the IV started for the bone scan.  I have had a whole lot of IVs lately.  More than I can count, but none that went quite like this.  I should have known I was in for a treat when she said "wow, this is a big needle.. are you having another scan.. we don't usually use these huge needles for bone scans. "  Humm.. big clue Brett, but I just responded in my fog, "yes, I have a CT scan after this."   Did she need to tell me it was a big/huge needle?  Um, NO.  So, I turned my head away form my right arm... hoping she got what she needed.  I would love to say it was uneventful, but that was not the case.  I don't know what happened, but the next thing I knew, I had blood all over me, and needless to say the radioactive material as well.  Apparently, the IV didn't go as planned.  She cleaned me up, and then we quickly checked to see if any of the radioactive material went into my blood stream by standing in front of the scan.  Thank God it did and all looked ok.  The hospital closed the room I was in, hazmat put a huge tape X on the door b/c of the spill.  And to let me know how bad they felt for the issue, they gave us complimentary meals at the cafeteria!  Ha, that is my first comp'd meal I have ever had.  Unreal.  I wasn't mad, see I am just in that fog.  Just kept praying the test would be ok.  The rest of Wednesday was pretty smooth... considering... and I had the CT scan and bone scan and returned home,.. exhausted.  We were planning to have the results on Thursday, and would be meeting with Dr. Lilly in the afternoon.
At 10:23pm Wednesday night Dr. Lilly called me on my cell phone.  He ask to have Ben on the phone.  He told us he had the results of the tests and the CT scan came back clear.  OH - huge breath, relief, I started to breath deeply... what about the bone scan..??? He went on to say the bone scan had shown something that needed to be ruled out- a spot- on my right femur.  SHIT.. really ... oh, I had some hip pain while doing boot camp in February... I ask Dr. Lilly -- do you think that could be related?  He said does it hurt now, and I told him no.  He said that was a good  sign, but we really needed to do an Xray tomorrow morning to see what we are dealing with.  The Xray was scheduled for 10am, I had Genetic counseling at 11, and then I would meet with Dr. Lilly at 12:noon to discuss the results of the Xray and see if an MRI was needed.  We hung up.  Not sure Ben slept a wink.  I was in my fog. 
This morning, we got our sweet kiddos off to VBS, and headed to the hospital again.  We got to drive past St. Edwards and see all the kids and the wonderful volunteers... I knew most of them ... and wanted so much to be one of them today.  I bit my check.  Enough with the waterworks.  I needed to pull it together.  Got to Riverside and saw a happy family leaving with a beautiful baby boy.  Wow, didn't see that coming... I had my moment.  I cried it out.  Pulled it together, and got my X ray out of the way.. (or so I thought) Then on to Genetic Counseling, and finally met up with Ben in Dr. Lilly's office.  They called me back quickly.  They told me that the xray I had 2hrs. prior didn't get all the info.  They didn't get the whole femur.  Good Lord!  I am so short, I don't have a long femur.. what did she miss!  So, we ran, and when I say ran... literally ran to radiology, got the new Xray and returned to Dr. Lilly's office.  (All located in Riverside Hospital, thank you God)  And by the time I got back to Dr. Lilly's he was waiting for us.  He took us back and said very calmly... The X rays are clear.
The X rays are clear..... Ben and I look at each other - OK I say, that is good right... Dr. Lilly looks puzzled.  He has had two Radiologists look at the bone scan.  There is a mass on the bone scan, and the only thing they can attribute this to is some kind of "contamination" b/c there is NOTHING on the xray.  OMG I say... I had my clothes on during the bone scan!  I looked at Dr. Lilly, and explained the spilling of the material in Nuclear Medicine.  I didn't know if would have been on my pants, but it was all over the floor.  The IV was in my right arm and the femur is the right leg.  He left the room and went to call the Xray radiologist and the bone scan radiologist.  He returned 10minutes later and said,  yes, it looks like contamination.  You had your clothes on during the scan, but not on the Xray.  The bone scan picks up the radioactive material that collects... even if it is collected on my jeans.  UNREAL!  I grabbed Ben and we held each other, my God, this is good news.  We have gone through hell thinking the unthinkable again, but I am clean, I am clear, and I am out of my FOG!    Dr. Lilly said both radiologists agreed no further testing was needed, a bone scan would be performed in 3months.  (That is normal, in this case)  I am not sure I could write how good I felt at that moment.  It was like nothing I have felt ever.  Good news.  Really good news.  What is next,... Chemo, radiation, and MY LIFE.... that is what is next... my life back.  On our ride home Ben looked at me and said, " I feel like I just won the cancer Lotto!"  Indeed. 
Thank you for all your thoughts, and prayers, but mostly, thank you for taking care of you.  Hearing all of you that have gotten your mammograms, made appointments that were overdue, or just took the time to ck out your ta tas.  We are mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and we matter.  Take care friends.  I love you.


  1. Such great news Ben & Brett. Wow! I'm overwhelmed, and so happy for you.

  2. Wonderful news! Stay strong for the next phase!

  3. That is Unreal:)))) You have such a FANTASTIC sense of humor!..LOL! Prayer really works!!!!!

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  5. Liz told me the story today and I was just in shock. Of all things??????? I am so glad you guys got good news, keep it coming.