Maintenance visits

I had two other doctor’s appointments last week – a MuGA scan and a Herceptin treatment. The MuGA was first. I had the same technician I had the first time (this is scan #3). He’s a talker, which is nice because then I learn all kinds of little tidbits about the procedure. It was the first scan since my mastectomy, which limits any bloodwork or injections to my left arm. I wasn’t looking forward to two injections in the same arm, but I needn’t have worried. The tech called for an IV instead. The only downside to an IV is I could feel the cold from the saline flush moving through the vein in my hand. I couldn’t taste the saline like I can when they use my port, though.

I thought to get a picture of the cylinder the tech carried the technetium injection in.

The lead holder for my technetium injection

The lead holder for my technetium injection

The body of the hypodermic needle is also jacketed in metal, but the cylinder is solid lead. Apparently, it gets dropped all the time, which explains all the dents in the cylinder. I tried to pick it up, and it is seriously heavy (which probably explains the dropping). That’s good enough for me to add lead to my element collection.lead

Friday was my every-three-weeks Herceptin treatment (which is why I’m still getting the once every three month MuGA scan). I brought a really good book I was reading with me, so I was all set to sit quietly for my half-hour injection. I did get interrupted once by a Mercyhurst art therapy intern. She had just started at the Cancer Center and was wondering if I was interested in doing an art project. I’m always up for a bit of art, so I said sure.

The project she had brought was to make a road sign, real or imaginary, that reflected your mental state. Once I drew the sign, I was supposed to write why I had chosen that particular image.

My road sign

My road sign

As you can see, I chose to go with “Slow. Road work ahead.” Sometimes it feels like I’m never going to be done with treatment, or I’m never going to feel like my old self again. I know it’s not true, but my brain isn’t always rational. So, the sign was an acknowledgement that it takes time to be done and healed. I was quite surprised how much better I felt after drawing the sign and talking about it. The big box of freshly sharpened colored pencils probably helped a bit as well.

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