Monday, October 20, 2008

Diagnostic Tests Tomorrow

CT Scan
Well, lucky me made it out of the hospital and recovered just in time to keep my previously scheduled appointments for two detailed diagnostic tests tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. The first of these is a CT Stan aimed at my Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvic region to see if the cancer has spread. The most challenging part of this test is drinking (and keeping down) the 2 half-liter bottles of barium sulfate suspension (one I take tonight, the other I take in the morning). Given my chemo regime and my generally weak stomach, this is indeed tough. Last time I tried the Apple Smoothie flavor and it really sucked. I had hoped they might have the new Creamy Vanilla flavor, but they don't carry that yet. So I'm trying Berry Smoothie flavor . . . and just hope I can keep it down. I survived it last time, but I'm a little worse for wear than I was 3 months ago when I had my first CT scan.

MRI with Contrast
Following the CT scan I will have an MRI on my left thigh. This should be a piece of cake (assuming I'm not sick from the previous test). Given the number of pictures they take and the contrast that gets added at the end, this test takes close to an hour.

Test Results
Following these tests, I have an appointment with Dr. David Monson to review the preliminary results of these tests. I will not know definitive results until my follow-up appointment with Dr. Gina D’Amato next Monday (10/27/2008).
Note to Family: please don't call asking for the test results! I will post the preliminary results just as soon as I get home (hopefully before 5:00pm). I would greatly appreciate your patience here.

Expected Outcome of Tests
Quite honestly, I'm optimistic that the CT Scan will show no spread of the cancer (I'd be shocked otherwise). Just keep in mind that it's much harder to give a quick and accurate reading of an entire Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvic scan than it is to examine the MRI of my left thigh (so best that we defer final judgment here to the Radiologist, whose results I'll get next week).
As to the MRI, I fully expect to see further shrinking of the tumor. Just how much I cannot say, but Dr. Monson should be able to provide good feedback here.

Oh yeah . . . that other test
I will also have to follow up tomorrow with Dr. D'Amato about the results of my bacteria cultures taken Sunday prior to my hospital departure. With any luck, there will be no further evidence of any secondary infection. I'll keep you posted with what I find out here as well.


nan said...

Thanks for the update Dave! It's great that you're feeling well enough to keep us all informed.

Holly does a magnificent job when you're unable, but we love hearing from you because we know you're on the upswing when we do.

Good luck on all the testing!

Bridget said...

I'm so sorry you have to drink that awful stuff. Yuk!

We'll look for good news in the coming days.

Holly ... I'm a really good 'child watcher' (baby sitter is not politically correct anymore). Although I don't live close by, you can give me a call anytime and I would be honored to help out.

Enjoy your days at home.

Chuck said...

Good to see you're feeling well enough to write, Dave. Thinking of you every day. Hang in there, you're doing great.

Kelly said...

Reading about all these barium sulfate shakes is making me hungry. They may taste like crap, but they sound great! It all about the marketing...

Bring one into the office next time you're in. I'll drink it or pay you $20!

$10. I'm on a budget.

Lynn Akers said...

Do we have independent confirmation of these tests tomorrow or could this be a ploy to pick up more Varsity dogs?

Gwyn asked me to pass along her best wishes for the entire Novak clan -- she is travelling now but still getting e-mail updates!

Chee said...

Dave, I hope everything is going well with you. I am looking forward to seeing you again the next time I am in the office.