Had to be there at 8:30 am, fasting since midnight, no food or coffee! Luckily they were happy to use my port instead of starting a new IV in my arm. It was funny because the person doing the port was obviously new to it and needed a lot of encouragement. They were aghast to find out that normally I am not made to wear a cap and face mask when my post is being accessed.
They then proceeded to dump a TON of medicines into that port. OMG. Antibiotics, pain meds, benedryl, steroids. It took about 20 minutes and the whole room started rocking and rollin’. Crazy.
There was some confusion before we got there about whether I would be spending the night. The nurse & then the doctor made it sound like I would most likely be spending the night. The nurse said most people spend the night because of the pain, the doctor said 90% of people have a collapsed lung and have to stay overnight with a chest tube. I just had to stay a few extra hours.
I was really very anxious about this procedure. That got worse once I was drugged. They roll you into the CT machine and there is another 30 minutes of prep in there with you half in the tube. I just kept thinking I’ve had this done twice before and I don’t remember even one detail. What if it’s so horribly painful and I blocked it? Why am I coherent now? My brain was so fuddled. They didn’t not know me out as much this time – which is why I remember so much – until they got to the ablation part. I was in lala land for that part.
So after all the prep the doctor came over and started poking around on my chest (it’s actually in the same spot as my port that you see in the picture but the other side of my chest) then he came at me with a needle and said, this is going to feel like a bee sting and THEN it’s going to burn. And it did. It was the numbing medicine. Thankfully it worked because then he came at me with the next needle! I could feel it go in and it was uncomfortable and then he went into my lung and I COULD FEEL IT! So weird, so uncomfortable. Not terrible painful.
Then something happened, there was concerned noises and some flurried activity and then I coughed. And up came an entire mouthful of blood! Now I am strapped down on my back in a CT Machine with a needle in my chest so there isn’t much a can do. Can’t sit up, can’t grab a bucket, luckily my nurse was very aware and grabbed a towel and spit a huge amount of blood, like big lumps of blood into it. Then I did it again, and again. It was very unpleasant but luckily I was so drugged I wasn’t overly concerned. I don’t know what happened but I know they had to pull the needle out and try again and it was much better. If you want to see people scramble spit out mouthfuls of blood while they have a needle in your chest. I do know the nurse kept patting me and then at some point said You are a very strong woman!.
Then they finished that part and knocked my ass out for the tumor ablation. They microwaved my tumor into a mass of scar tissue. I did end up with an air bubble pocket in my lungs but it wasn’t growing so they let me go home with it.
They whole thing didn’t get very painful until about midnight. By 3am I was not happy at all. I got up took a bunch of tylenol and camped out on the couch. Sitting up is much better than laying down. I got a few hours sleep and the pain is lessening but I assure you there will be no physical activity today. I cannot breath normally and when I do it feels exactly like falling onto your back and getting the wind knocked out of you. Sudden constriction and pain!
So now we are done with the hard part and we wait for all of the samples to go out to their respective designations and hope for some good news.
That was a long story!