A bit from scan day

Our appointment for our 32 month post-treatment scans started at 8:15 am. That was a pretty early wake-up for the week of camp. Our kiddo is usually such an early riser that the only times I have to wake her up are for these days with early appointments at the hospital.

The first picture is her after getting emla cream in the places we think they may use to insert the catheter to do the contrast infusion. Morgan does this part, it’s cream, then Glad Press’n Seal, then coban. The coban she chose this time has duck prints on it, it came with a pretty cool duck from Aflac that she got back at diagnosis time. She really prefers they use her arm, but they’ve had to use the back of her hand some so we get it ready just in case.

Picture 2: We were early enough that we noticed the lighted signs at the hospital. We don’t remember noticing them before -but we approach from different directions, so who knows!

Picture 3 is in the room where our fantastic nurse was working to find a good vein to use this time. We had one, but after getting a poke it decided it wasn’t up to the job.

Her veins have been through a lot in the last 3 years, so they don’t always cooperate when it’s time to stick something into them. Unfortunately this was a “2 poke” day -but not a blown vein, so we call that a win!

There’s a lot of unpictured pretty hard things before the one with smiles. That’s the “we did it” pic. We are SO thankful for these 2 ladies.

Before having to go through this I didn’t even know that Child Life Specialists were a thing. Sarah (on Joanna’s right) is our “new” one, she took Sherri’s place several months ago. We were super sad to see Sherri go – but, we are so glad to be getting to know Sarah. She jumped right in and even though it’s been 4 months since she saw us, she picked right up chatting with Joanna and helping keep everything going. The hard things are always a little less hard when Child Life is around.

On Joanna’s left is Sam -when she came to the lobby to get us, I exclaimed “Yay, it’s Sam!” She has had the greatest success inserting the catheters on scan days the last several times. Not only is she great at chatting with our kiddo, she is excellent at finding the vein and getting it done. Finding out she was assigned to our oncologist was one of the “yay” moments we’ve had in this process. Things like this truly make a difference. There are lots of great people working in the JEC, and I’m glad we get to be working with this one.

With the catheter in place we were finished upstairs and headed back to the car to drive over to the OU Physicians Building for the MRI.

Check-in there went smoothly and they got her back pretty quickly for the MRI. As usual, Morgan and our pile of belongings went down the hall to the waiting chair and I went into the MRI room with our girl. They don’t usually let people in, but our kiddo has pled her case and I’ve agreed to fill out their forms and follow the rules, so it works to let me come in. We both leave our metal stuff outside. I don’t have any pictures of this part because my phone is down the hall with Morgan.

MRI machines make lots of loud noises, and the room is cold. I think the warmed blanket our kiddo gets is her favorite part of the day. I sit in my chair and watch a bit, jump sometimes when the noises change, and try to hold it together as the reality of why we’re there finally starts to hit. Up to this point, there have been things to do to get to the next step so there hasn’t been much thinking time. Now I have about an hour to be still. A few MRIs back I realized I could bring a book, so I do that now. But it can be hard to concentrate.

Another one of the small blessings of getting to know the staff providing these services is that the techs working remembered our kiddo and that the saline going into her vein can make her sick. So, they’re able to work it out where they do that part really slowly or can skip it. It was pretty nice that she didn’t have to explain that this time, the worker just told her the plan and why.

After the MRI we walked around a corner to the x-ray part and she went in pretty quickly for her chest x-ray and that was it for scan day this time. We picked up some brunch on the way home and enjoyed watching TV together (there were new Bluey Minisodes) as we ate. After that both parents fell asleep while she watched more TV.

And now we wait. We have 2 appointments scheduled for next Wednesday, July 10th. One with her oncologist for her results and check-up and one with her surgeon to follow-up. They’re in 2 different buildings, but all down at the same complex.

Before we left the house to go the hospital she asked me how many MRIs she has had. I told her I didn’t know but could probably figure it out. She replied “yes, please” I just counted, and it’s been 14 head and neck MRIs since April of 2021. Each one has been with and without contrast, so in the eyes of our insurance it’s been 28 of them. They’ve been done in 4 different hospital locations. 11 at Physicians, 1 at Mercy, 1 at OU Medical Center, and 1 at OU Edmond. We have pretty vivid memories from each location.

Well, as usual this is WAY more than most of you want to read about all this, but I know that it all blurs together for us, and sometimes it’s nice to look back and see what happened when, so I continue to overshare πŸ™‚

Thank you for supporting us through this, for encouraging us, feeding us, sitting with us, praying for us, and loving in our girl. Knowing people care and love her really makes a difference.

3 comments

  1. It’s hard to be a tough stick! My record for infusion IV tries is 9…. I can’t imagine going through that as a child! So much bravery and an amazing support system! Praying from Norman!

  2. Sam is one of my favorite people (I trained her as a new Labor and Delivery nurse). She is an amazing nurse and person! Praying for you all!

  3. Thank you for the update. Waiting for the great news to follow. Prayers. Love, and Hugs.πŸ₯° πŸ™πŸ»β€οΈπŸ¦‹

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *