Saturday, March 03, 2007

Barium...It's What's for Breakfast

This week I went for my FIRST SIX-MONTH checkup, post-cancer. I had to go for the CT Scan, which means I also had to drink two 20 ounce canisters of Barium. For those of you who don't know, Barium is kind of chalky, chunky, milky (think: wallpaper both consistency and taste). One canister at 9.00...not too bad, but bad enough. I got that uncontrollable shake you might get when you remember "The Drink That Did You Wrong" when you were younger. For me, it's rum and coke, for reasons I won't go into here. Every time I think of it, my head shakes, like someone half-sneezing, trying to get the thought and the taste out of my mouth. Barium is like that.

At 10.00, I take my second "fifth" of Barium. Not pleasant at all, and for a second or two, I wonder if I am going to keep it down. I had a window in the morning when I could eat breakfast, but I missed it in the general hectic activity that is my morning routine with my wife and daughter. By the time I realized, it was too late. Now, I am thankful.

I got to the office at about 11.00, right on time for the procedure. It was cool walking in, because these were people I had seen pretty much every day for more than a month when I went through radiation. They were happy to see me, it was funny (now) to think about all that has happened since the August 14th. I went into the CT Scan room and laid down on the "teleportation table" and was then inserted into the CT Scan tube/chamber.

"Here we go," I thought. And then my mind began to wander. "What if they find something?" "They won't." "Yeah, but what if they do?" It went on like that for a while. It was not a bad conversation, or a frightful one, just a detached observational musing about what it would mean if cancer came back. I arrived through the maze of my own thoughts at this: "If it comes back, I'll kick its ass back to the hell from which it came...AGAIN." That was enough. I wrapped up, got in my car and went back to the office. As I was arriving, Dr. Kottapally called and said everything looked good to him, but he was forwarding it on to a second specialist just to make sure. That was quick!

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