I don’t know what’s happening to me. Last night, I started shivering uncontrollably. I could not get warm. I took my temperature and it was 101.1. I had pain in my abdomen – my whole abdomen – like I’ve never experienced in my life. It was brutal. Sometime during the night I felt I had to throw up and my stomach heaved so violently it was as though it was trying to expel some kind of poison. I have never thrown up like that before. Nothing came out but it did make me feel better. After that, I slept for a few hours.
I woke up sick and had to go in for a CT scan of my chest and an MRI of my abdomen and pelvis. The imaging center had called yesterday to rearrange my appointments because they wanted to do it all at once. I had never had an MRI before so I asked whether I had to stop eating a certain number of hours before the procedure. The man who called told me I had to stop four hours before and I confirmed that because I didn’t want to get it wrong. He told me that I should eat breakfast no later than 7 a.m. and that the technicians would have to change their lunch because now I was coming in during their lunch hour!!! I didn’t ask to change my appointments. In fact, I liked it the way it was originally set up. He also said again and again that I had to call when I was outside the building – not just ring the bell – which is what I had mistakenly done last week and was chastised for by the receptionist. This guy made me nervous. When you’re being subject to radiation and scans you want to feel like everyone is on your team.
I was too sick to drive so my mom drove me while I laid down in a heap in the backseat. This sudden physical deterioration has been very scary for us both. I have no one to ask about it – is this normal? What does this mean?
Before we left for the imaging center, I called to try to reschedule my sigmoidoscopy because the cancer center will not let me see the oncologist until that’s done. I am the luckiest girl because I spoke with the most compassionate scheduler who was able to get special permission to move up the date on the procedure. So now I don’t have to wait two weeks. It will be done next week. She was so loving on the phone – I know that sounds strange but she really was. She really helped me and I will never forget her.
I could barely stand up when I got to the imaging center. I had the chest CT first. I knew the technician from last week. She’s lovely. She had a helper today. She helped me lift my legs onto the table and got me heated blankets because I was shivering.
Then I went into the MRI. I had to take off my yoga pants because I was told that sometimes the pants are made with metal thread. So I was brought to the changing room. The technician in charge of the MRI found me sitting on a bench behind a closed curtain in the changing room with the smock half off because I couldn’t get it on. She helped me get it on and then gave me another robe because I was so cold. I was also given the two blankets from the CT scan to wear into the procedure.
In the changing room, the technician seemed a little annoyed. But during the procedure, towards the end, she became very supportive and kind. She told me what a good job I was doing and she helped me off the table. She also offered to help me change back into my clothes. She was wonderful. So I thought that maybe the scans were bad. I asked her and she said that she had seen worse and that I was here for the long-haul. She was very encouraging. She said my doctor (primary care physician) would call me today with the results.
I didn’t mind the MRI. I just closed my eyes. I had to wear headphones so the technician could talk to me. I was strapped in and stayed stock still so that we would get good images.
I couldn’t move when we got home and I couldn’t eat. All I’ve had in the past 24 hours is water and 2 snack cups of unsweetened apple juice and a couple of crackers. I’ve been waiting for my doctor to call but it’s now 7:45 p.m. and I haven’t heard from him. I wish he had called even if they are not done analyzing the scans so that I could have told him about my fever and pain last night.
I feel very alone.