Friday, June 29, 2012

Modern Medicine

Been a busy week for the fat kid. Monday I started with a magical mystery machine called a Muga-Scan. That's an acronym for Multi-Gated Acquisition. Throw an ampule of glow-in-the-dark stuff into your veins then lie for twenty minutes with a big square box angled over your heart. It captures data at the rate of 240 frames per second and generates pretty neat pictures of your heart ventricles sucking and blowing blood down the pipes. Conclusion seems that my heart works.

Tuesday was trip to Dallas. There I started with a cardiologist consult that included EKG, cardio-ultrasound, and stress test. Then to the second floor for a carotid doppler scan. Conclusions there seem to affirm that heart pumps and sucks well and even sends some juice to the top floor for maintaining the data processing wetware.

Quick trip up the Dallas North Tollway to an imaging lab for a PET-CT scan. Slide another couple ounces of  glucose syrup loaded with more glow-stick stuff into a vein. Wait an hour for the hungry little tumors and tumorettes to feed on it, then do a Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography scan. That's a super-cosmic 3-D living color imaging of the torso. All those greedy little bad cells give themselves away after gorging on the glow-worms.

Yesterday it was North Texas Medical Center and insertion of a central port for chemo. That technology has come a long way since the peripheral line I had ten years ago or the central ports I saw used with a friend who had leukemia. Those were external plumbing that offered easy hook-ups for injection and infusion. They left you with a plastic IV terminal either from your arm or chest that created problems with bathing, swimming, clothing, etc.

Today's version is subcutaneous. That means under the skin for the folks who graduated from Chicago public schools or UC-Berkeley. The line is placed on either side of the upper chest linking to a major artery. A small plastic disk is inserted and once the incision heals the only evidence is a slight lump. Pop a needle into the center of the lump you're linked into the network as it were. Pretty quick and very little residual discomfort.

Got a week-end of general normalcy ahead, then start of first three weeks of infusion pump marriage. Monday through Friday on the drip for three weeks then three weeks off.

Still got to shop for a fake mustache or risk total loss of identity.

7 comments:

John Venlet said...

Ed, hope all works in your favor. My best to you.

Anonymous said...

I expect a great book when you finish all this treatment. You will be ready for your residency. Hope all goes splendidly. Wolfpack Jack

immagikman said...

Best wishes to you, hope it all turns out well. In the mean time I hope I dont seem like some Kind of Ghoul when I hope you keep us posted on how things are going and the processes that you go through.

FlyingBarrister said...

If you are going with a fake moustache, go all the way, and get one like Billy Ruiz in this video. (His is real).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-GFfd9nOTU

juvat said...

Ed,
Stick with the real moustache. A great American told me it makes you immortal!
Good luck and hang in there.

bongobear said...

I really admire the way you appear to be handling this. I was not so sanguine when I dealt with this disease 12 years ago.
You've got a lot of readers out here who are pulling for you.

Pedro Chavez said...

You got the hammer, Ras. Give 'em hell.