Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What in the world was a UNC- chapel hill graduate doing on the campus of Duke University???

the only time that i have ever  been on the duke campus was quite a few years ago when i was a student at UNC chapel hill and attended a basketball game. at the time, all i cared about was throttling them. the rivalry between our schools still goes on strong, so never in my wildest imagination would i have thought that i would go back  to THAT school for any help. 

thanks to wonderful directions from a friend of mine, my husband  and i arrived at our destination with very little stress, and only a minor hike in my blood pressure at check in. the person helping me get checked in- taking my vital signs,etc was wonderful. she even came looking for me when she thought that i had been waiting too long for my lab appointment, after my doctors appointment. i will tell you more about the lab later on. 

so i saw the doctor. she had a student with her, which i think always makes for a somewhat awkward situation. i know that people have to learn how to take care of patients, and that this is part of the process, but i do feel that it makes it a little harder to talk to the doctor. she ordered a repeat on my lab work, and really would not comment too much on what i had had  done at my other endos office. i was expecting that, and i understand where she is coming from. i am sure that she feels more confident using lab work done at her hospital. she told me not to "rule out" more surgery or chemo if she finds something. wow, i was a little surprised about that, i guess. the way i figure it, if i get a good scan and good blood work this time, i am going back to my old endo and try to put this behind me. if however, something comes up-i,e, the cancer has come back in my neck area or somewhere else, i will be in a good hospital for treatment. 

the full body scan is tentatively scheduled for the first week in june. it takes that long for the insurance to approve the thyrogen injections, and it will work out well( i guess) schedule wise for me. that is our vacation week, and so i do not have to worry about my husband or myself getting off work for the procedure. you see, this scan takes all week! on monday i get a thyrogen injection. on tuesday morning i get another thyrogen injection. on tuesday afternoon, i get an injection of ( a tracer dose) I-123. no, not I-131, this doctor uses I-123. i am not sure why she likes it better, but i think that it is because it is given IV and not in a capsule form. also, it is supposed to give better scan results, though i am not sure why this is so. so on wednesday, i have the scan done. on thursday i get to go shopping with my daughter! yeah. then on friday, i go back to duke for the all important blood work. she said i had to have this done there. period. so i am staying with my daughter and son-in-law from sunday night until friday morning. 

i first thought about having the thyrogen injections done at the hospital in hickory( like i did the first time), but as many of you may know, there is a shortage of thyrogen at this  time, and i thought that duke would have a better chance of getting the drug. also, i will admit it is actually less trouble for me to have it all done at one place, and of course there is the added benefit of getting to visit with my daughter. i may even go to some zumba classes with her, that is, if can muster up the energy.i probably will though, everyone knows how much i love zumba! 

i said that  i would tell you about the lab appointment. duke university is a very big place, right? modern, cutting edge medical treatment and so on. the lab for that clinic was the size of a broom closet! really, i am not kidding. the med tech came out to get me and led me to this tiny room that would have been small for one person, but there were about 4 of us in there, and oh, i forgot, a dog. a dog! he was in training, i suppose , for guiding blind patients to the lab. he came right over to me( i know not to pet guide dogs in training), but i guess he knew a dog lover when he saw one. i told my husband i sure hoped that he was not a cancer sniffing dog!  i was sitting in a very small chair that had only one "arm" - on the right side. since my good vein lives in my left arm, i crossed it over my body and laid it on the chair arm. the med tech said " whats da matter with yo' right arm??" " there is no blood in there" " Really?," he says. " Yes, really, and my good vein is about right here", i said, as i pointed to a spot on my left arm. Surprisingly, he hit the mother lode. maybe surprising to him, but since i have been stuck about a zillion times, i like to save the med techs some trouble, and me some pain. 

the thyroglobulin results will take about ten days they said. and i can view them on the computer at the same time the doctor does. i am not sure if she will call, write, or send  out a carrier pigeon  with her diagnosis. maybe she will send me an email. i am o.k. with everything now, i have adjusted and have come up with my own plan of action. that always makes me feel better- more empowered. i will of course, let everyone know what i found out. i have been to duke and survived. someone even had a carolina flag up in the lab.i asked the med tech if it was his, he said "heck, no". maybe it belonged to the dog.....


  1. I'm hoping for the best for you Bea.

  2. thanks,Karen. i always appreciate your kind comments! i will let everyone know when i find out something. it may take a little longer because of the holiday, but as soon as i know something, i will blog about it.