Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tests, Tests, and More Tests

For the uninitiated, here's a brief description of the preparation required for the tests I've been enduring over the last two weeks:

CT SCAN: Preparation includes ingesting a quart of bromide cocktail from 6:30 am until an hour before the scan. I recommend serving the RediCat berry bromide chilled in a martini glass. But skip the olive. Feather boa and candy cigarettes are optional. This one was easy.

PET SCAN: Preparation includes calling the airline for a special meal because we're flying back from Hawaii and I can only eat protein and broccoli after 5 pm the night before the procedure. The Atavan knocked me out cold and I don't remember a thing.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY: Preparation includes reading posts on the mantle celll lymphoma listserve, calling the doctor to request Atavan and Demerol, calling my friend Melanie (a nurse in the bone marrow transplant department) for more information and encouragement, hyperventilating while trying to visualize the process, and talking endlessly about my anxiety levels to my husband George and daughter Cindy.

SPINAL TAP: This is also known as lumbar puncture, but the word "puncture" makes my head light. Preparation is pretty much the same as for the bone marrow biopsy above. The test is Thursday, February 29, so I'll report later on the results.


Lilli said...


I've never had a bone marrow biopsy, but I have had a lumbar puncture aka spinal tap. I think the worst of your tests is over. It didn't hurt. The name sounds way worse than it feels.

Let us know how it goes.


Susan Carrier said...

Lilli, That's a relief to hear. I read a book in junior high school about a heroine who receives an excruciatingly painful spinal tap. After reading that book, I hoped that I would be able to get through my entire life without enduring the procedure.

But I think that medical science has made a few strides in the last 40 years.

Thanks for helping reduce my anxiety!