Thursday, July 22, 2010

Whew!

Thank the little baby Jesus!


Turns out they didn't run out of BBQ pork before we got to B's after all!




Oh, and Chuck's CT scan was all clean. No cancer :D



What a long day we had. A long day of waiting in two different cities with nothing to do in between the couple of things we were waiting for.

The appointment for the CT scan was at 9:30, so we left here about 7. I expected a long wait at the hospital in Greenville, because the waiting room in Radiology was packed. Normally he gets his CT scan here in Jacksonville, and they send the results up there where Chuck gets checked out by the doctor at a later date.

This time we decided to do it all same day. Chuck was in for his test and out in record time. Those people really run a tight ship! Best hospital I've ever had to deal with. If you're going to get sick, go to Pitt Memorial in Greenville.

Chuck came out of the test kind of loopy though. Have any of you ever had a CT scan with contrast dye? You can taste a really strong metallic taste in your mouth and feel it in your nose, and your crotch gets really really really warm. Your balls feel like a hot teabag.



Since we got out of there in record time, we raced on over to B's BBQ. We had beat the rush! I felt triumphant.

Which wouldn't last long. Because although their pulled pork is delicious and succulent and I thoroughly enjoyed it, there is one problem with the place. No air conditioning. It looks like a hole-in-the wall dive from a movie about the South. There's a smoke shack out behind it. Which gives it a great ambience!

If only it wasn't 100F/37C outside. And even hotter inside, of course. Dear God, I felt like a roasted pig myself!

We actually killed most of the day by eating, which I hate to admit. The appointment to see the doctor was in the afternoon at 2:30. There's nothing to do in Greenville, so we stopped and got ice cream. Then we stopped and visited with my old boss who now manages the Barnes & Noble bookstore there. Then we got coffee. Lots of thumb-twiddling.

Boring enough for you yet? There's not even any way to turn this into something funny!



Finally the appointment came nigh. We did have to sit in the waiting room at the cancer center for quite awhile. That is one of the most depressing things you can ever do. People are there waiting for their chemo. Everyone looks so sad. A lot of people are bald and skinny. I applaud the people that work in that clinic, but man, I don't know how they do it without Prozac.

I remember the first time we came into that clinic, when Chuck started his chemo. I even remember where we sat while we were waiting. Chuck was very silent. That was....I think 'ominous' is the descriptive feeling I'm looking for. Chuck is never silent.

This the the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center from the outside. The Brody School of Medicine looms in the background.


We did see one of his chemo nurses this time, who totally remembered us. She even remembered the year we were there...she didn't know we got married, and was very happy to see us still together. Chuck is as big a ham as I am (and an even bigger charmer of the ladies), so he kept all the nurses laughing every time he went into the chemo bay. Tough to forget Chuckles. He copes with difficult things through making other people laugh, just like I do.

We weren't expecting the results from the morning CT scan to come back so quickly, but they did. The doctor told us Chuck's lung was clean as soon as he walked in the door. Dr. Walker is AWESOME. We were shuttled around to a couple of different oncologists over the last five years. Even though they were good at what they do, they weren't specialized in thoracic cancers (which lung cancer counts as). This guy is. And he CARES about his patients, I can tell. Sometimes doctors get a bit desensitized and mechanical, but this one isn't. You can't teach that in medical school.

Anyway, I mis-spoke last post. I meant to say we actually went back for bi-yearly check-ups, not yearly. They're every six months. Turns out, Chuck does have to come back one more time in 6 months. And we thought it would be done. Or at least Chuck would only have to come back to be checked out every couple of years.

The doctor got all Dennis Downer on us. Chuck still will have to come back every year. For like the next 20 years. After 5 years, it's unlikely the SAME cancer will return to Chuck's lung. But after 5 years, there's a 20-30% chance a different lung cancer will attack him.

That kind of depressed him. More correctly, that kind of depressed his wallet.



We were cheered up later on though, we did end up going to that baseball game in Kinston. Ate some bad-for-you-but-delicious stadium food (I stayed away from the hot dogs, IG....but I may have had a chip or twelve O_O). Drank a couple of beers. The game got cancelled near the end, on account of a nasty thunderstorm.

And it STAYED nasty. The hour drive home through the rural countryside was a white-knuckle affair. We could barely see out the windshield a couple of times. And a crack of lightning struck something quite near us and seared the image on our vision for about 10 minutes afterwards...scared the crap out of me.

But we finally made it home. 13 hours out on the road. Glad that's over for another six months :)

Thank you everyone for your well-wishes and good thoughts. Not to get all mushy, I truly believe that they help. :)

22 comments:

Turling said...

Fantastic! Glad to hear the both of you are doing well. Your description of the CT scan is dead on, if not just hilariously described. Had one when I was sixteen. And, here I thought the burning was just the good looking nurse...I was sixteen, after all.

Kyna said...

Haha! Boys :P

I thought Chuck was exaggerating until I had my own CT scan done last December. It was weird...I felt like I was lying in a puddle of my own pee. I can't imagine how weird hot balls and a 'taint aflame' would be...

Becca's Dirt said...

That is wonderful news. Good for you Chuckles. That was a long day but a good one.

Bub said...

Brilliant news for you all! Love the cancer logo you have - can I nick it?!

Phillip said...

That is fantastic news!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Glad you got such good news, and at least you got all the appts over with in one day.

Meredith said...

Yay! I'm so glad for you both. That is wonderful news. And I don't just mean the part about getting to the BBQ place on time. :)

Laurrie said...

This was the best boring post. Really. That's a compliment. The best part of course was your hubby's good news, and that I could read about all day!

Tweedlebug said...

Hurrah for the clean scan and BBQ!

Edith Hope said...

Dear Kyna, Of course, one's first thought is how marvellous that Chuck is in the clear and whilst it may be a little depressing, not to say unsettling and worrying, to have to keep returning, he is obviously in the very best of hands.

That said, you have in this posting managed to turn what could have been a somewhat traumatic day into one with a great deal of humour and fun, not least by including some very amusing pictures. As for tea bags and...well, that is something which will have to remain a mystery, at least to me. However, I shall never view a cup of Earl Grey in quite the same way again!

Kyna said...

Becca: Yep, we were both a little bleary eyed yesterday morning when we woke up. I had to catch up on sleep today lol.

Bub: Once again, I'm so glad you stopped by my blog. I had some free time today, and went back to read your previous posts. I love finding people with the same sense of humour and honesty that I think I have. :)

Philip: Thank you!

Catherine: Yep, and we're going to do it the same way next time. It's more expensive to have the CT done at the hospital, but worth it. Chuck hates coming home to wait for the results by phone. And then of course they don't call you if you're negative. I hate hearing 'No news is good news!' :P

Meredith: I don't know...that BBQ is just about as good as hearing 'no cancer'. I can't speak for Chuckles, but I think he'd agree ;)

Laurrie: Thanks for the 'compliment' LOL. :D

Jessie: Thank you!

Edith: I hope you use loose tea leaves, because I'd hate to put you off tea forever. I'm 100% sure that no one's dropped their tackle in your cup whilst you weren't looking!

Well. Maybe 98% sure. ;)

Michelle said...

Chuck is so lucky to have you by his side as he travels this path :) I participate in the Relay for Life every year and his face is one of the far too many that pop into my head as I do the 12hr event. Your strength and humor inspire me, I am proud to call you one of my girls :D

Rosey said...

Hi Kyna,

I am happy for you guys!


I had no idea these CT scans were like that. Doesn't sound like a picnic at all. Maybe rocky mountain oysters should have been on the menu instead of pork.

TS said...

The world needs more good people (and less a**holes) so I'm glad Chuckles is healthy and has a great support system. Been down that road before and it didn't end well. Ya gotta quit postin' about good BBQ because it does NOT exist in my area and yer makin' me drool...! If South Carolina pulled pork were a plant, I'd be a farmer!!

Laura said...

I'm so glad to hear all is well!

Noelle said...

Hello Kyna,

I am so glad to hear the good news. I can imagine it was not fun to hear that he will have to be continually monitored for cancer...it makes it kind of hard to leave it behind, doesn't it?

I love eating pork, but it is kind of hard with a photo of a cute pig looking at me ;-)

The Idiot Gardener said...

I am so happy that they hadn't run out of pork; that would have been bad. It might have even ruined your trip. Also, well done for avoiding the hot dogs. Sometimes they even put vegetable matter or cereal in those things. bastards; I want dog when I have a hot dog, not bloody cornflakes!

Oh yeah, good news on Chuck too. Mind you, at least while he's getting the checks, you get pork. It's a win win scenario!

Keep smiling!

Bernie said...

Such good good news! Lovely post ... your wicked sense of humour is refreshing and would certainly help you both get over these speed bumps on the journey down life's highway.

Having had experience of caring for my Dad during his battle with cancer and also helping my father-in-law during his battle ... I heartily agree with you ... I don't know how the staff turn up for work everyday in the Oncology wards/departments ... they are simply angels on earth.

Never heard of 'pulled pork' ... sounds like a real treat!

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

So glad everything is clear, even if he does have to have hot balls for the next x years!

That really is crazy lol, hopefully it isn't something I will ever experience (not that I have balls... but the puddle of pee description you gave)

Kyna said...

Michelle: Aw, thank you! You inspire ME, to do the Relay For Life. Chuck and I keep talking about doing it, and we never just do it. :P

Rosey: Out of all the weird things I see eaten in the South, testicles aren't one of them lol. I'd have to travel aways before I hit a place to serve em up! Ew. I think I'd rather eat hearts n' livers. :(

Not all CT scans are like that, only the ones where you have to get contrast dye injected. And if you're allergic to shellfish, they won't do that to you ever, interestingly enough. Must have the same substance in it...

TS: Well, out of all the BBQ places in NC, there really aren't too many amazing ones. B's in Greenville and The Bogue House here in Swansboro are THE best I've found. And I'll try it anywhere!

Laura: Thank you!

Noelle: I always find it funny...when you go into a BBQ place here, you see little statues of smiling pigs everywhere throughout the decor. Why are they smiling if you're eating them??? lol

IG: I'm happy too. The whole time we were waiting for the CT scan, Chuck was so antsy, and not for the results of the test. He kept saying, 'I hope we get to B's in time...' I was laughing so hard, that's a man that really loves good food :)

Bernie: Pulled pork BBQ is delicious. I'd never heard of it either until I moved to the US. You basically roast a whole pig in a smoker BBQ for HOURS. And then after that, you 'pull' the tender pork meat apart with a fork or your hands so it's shredded. And they just call it 'BBQ'. It can be basted with a red, ketchup based BBQ sauce or a cider vinegar and red pepper based sauce. In NC, the vinegar sauce is used. That's my favourite!

Liz: It's crazy how fast injected things travel in your body. As soon as you're injected in your elbow, you can automatically feel what I described. Very weird.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kyna girl .. I am not even going to try and explain why I haven't been visiting blogs these past few weeks ;-)
What I want to say is that I am so glad Chuckles is clear and you two got through that day and drive home in one piece .. well .. minus a few brain celss through pure exhaustion ? Again I am so very very happy this visit was CLEAN ! can't say the food was but hey .. dirty is fine too .. we all eat 7.5 pounds of dirt in a life time right .. used to be 5 pounds but I'm sure that calculation had to be adjusted by now ?
Number one son and gal from South Carolina are doing well and coming closer to the big move for son : )
I'll keep you posted on the red tape issues ? LOL
I have to go read your other post now girl .. you make me snort and giggle a LOT ! kleenx box close and I don't drink and read at the same time anymore ! LOL

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Kyna, I'm so glad Chuck's CT was clear. You know, the thing I hated was that these hospitals put the words 'Cancer Center' in giant letters on the outside of the building. It's ominous, and depressing to walk through those doors, especially the first time, and eye-opening to see how many other people are there with you.

Chuck's five year milestone will still be huge, and very worthy of celebrating, and although he'll still require annual check-ups, it's a good thing, if only for peace of mind to know that things are still going well.

I'm glad you two didn't miss the BBQ (but why do little piggies have to be so gosh darned cute?) :P