Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Does she or doesn't she?

Baby Boomers may remember a popular ad campaign launched by Clairol in 1956. The voice over asked, "Does she or doesn't she?" while a beautiful blonde tossed her golden locks. I'm asking the same question these days. I just wish it was about hair coloring instead of cancer. And it would be nice if my hair dresser, not my oncologist, was the one who knew for sure. (You know your life is topsy turvy when you see your oncologist at least once a month, but you haven't seen a hair dresser in 16 months.)

I'll find out the answer to that age-old question on Monday. In the meantime, I've completed my PET and CT scans at the City of Hope. I had a strange experience while I was in the CT tunnel yesterday. I suddenly became very nauseous and asked the technicians to stop the presses. Then I threw up violently into a tray. Repeatedly.

We're not sure why I had this reaction. It could have been the berry bromide shakes that I chugged at the rate of two ounces per second that day. Or it may have been an allergic reaction to the iodine contrast that I received through an IV. Or maybe it was the Happy Meal that I wolfed down right before the scan.

At the same time, my inner lip suddenly puffed up. I looked like I'd just received a collagen injection or a bee sting. I stuck around for a while for "observation," but no new hives or Happy Meals surfaced.

In spite of the gag-inducing milkshakes and the prospect of throwing up, I enjoy going in for my CT scans. I always schedule them for the early afternoons because I know that my favorite technician, Joanne, will be working. We both talk a mile a minute until the little smiley face light in the machine says, "Hold your breath." After the 8-second break, I come up for air and more fast-paced conversation.

While I sat in the observation room, Joanne came by carrying a bright-colored reusable grocery bag from Jensen's Grocers. After I admired it, Joanne explained that she bought a half dozen because they were just 99 cents. Then she removed her lunch from the bag and gave it to me as a gift. (I wouldn't say that I've found the "perfect purse" - just the perfect reusable grocery bag.)

Is it any wonder I love going in for my CT scans? Not to mention the fact that they answer the age-old question, "Does she or doesn't she?"

(If you click to enlarge the photo, you can get a closer look at my thick, curly locks.)


Ann said...


Your curly short do is absolutely adorable! Of course, it doesn't hurt that you're adorable to begin with. :) Sorry to hear about the CT episode. Maybe it was the motion of the machine or a rogue happy meal? Hope you're feeling better.


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I just signed up for the bone marrow registry, thanks to your posting the Project Michelle video on your blog. It's something I've always intended to do but never got around to, and there was a registry event nearby this morning. It was quick, painless (just a cheek swabbing) and the cost was covered by the American Red Cross. So thanks for the inspiration.

Also, thanks for helping Katie with her research on journalism and the internet. When she asked us if we knew of any really good blogs, Mike and I both pointed her to yours.

Have a good one!


Susan Carrier said...

Me? Adorable? Thanks, Ann.

Barbara, that's so exciting that you registered. Wouldn't that be something if you ended up being a match for Michelle or someone else?