yesterday kinda sucked. everything was going smoothly at first: they injected me with a radioactive tracer (dopamine isotope), which apparently lights up in the presence of cancer. (is that the first time i’ve written the word cancer? it seems like a heavy, almost-taboo word, at least for someone my age. i can’t decide which is worse — cancer or brain tumor. maybe i’ll get used to them both, eventually. i guess i’ll have to.) i asked the pharmacologist who injected me with the dopamine isotope if i’d turn into a superhero. he responded that although they’re still working out the kinks in the superpower isotope, i would need a letter from my doctor if i intended to fly in the next 24 hours — just so i wouldn’t be arrested on suspicion of nuclear terrorism. you know, everyday, run-of-the-mill stuff.
it was after the radioactivity and the PET scan that things went a little downhill. the MRI tech botched the IV for the contrast dye profusion…twice. when i told him that he seemed less-than-confident about the proceedings, he had the audacity to tell me, “actually, i’m just not confident about your veins.” i let him know that he was relieved from duty and if he could please have someone else do the IV, that would be lovely. thanks. once i was finally inside the MRI machine, i could feel the dye rushing through my veins. it felt like a mini version of the big hydroelectric generator we saw on our camping trip to huntington lake a couple months ago.
i was inside the MRI machine longer than i’ve ever been before. they placed a plastic cage-like piece over my face and locked it into place. i found myself thinking about winston smith and the rats. fortunately, brain MRIs are not my greatest fear. i was wondering, though, what would happen if there was an earthquake. perhaps the MRI machine is one of the safest places to be. on the other hand, would i be able to undo the lock on the face cage? i wished that there were in-case-of-emergency instructions written in size 8 font on the little mirror that allowed me to see out of the machine. so i’d be able to get out if there was an earthquake.
bang!thump!drone.hum. the inner workings of the MRI sounded like machines on the war path — or, maybe, on a lighter note, the soundtrack to wall-e and eva’s first dance.
i was inside the MRI machine longer than i’ve ever been before because they had to do a highly detailed scan of my brain. tomorrow, when i have my biopsy, the neurosurgeon will plug my brain’s coordinates into his computer to map the exact spots from which he’ll extract samples. pretty high-tech stuff. i feel fortunate to have such advanced technology on my side — but i also think about what other technology is waiting around the corner that could make the process simpler, easier, more effective. the grass is greener around the corner.
other tests, too, yesterday — chest x-ray, EKG, blood work — which resulted in my finally knowing my blood type (O positive), something i’ve always passively wondered about. it is better to give than to receive. or so i’ve heard.
i’m off to bed. biopsy at 8am tomorrow. wish me (and the neurosurgeon) luck!