“This is just a trial run, to make sure we’ve set everything up correctly,” the nurse says. She has pink and gold streaks in her hair. I’m lying on my back and the white tunnel of the CT scanner is in front of me. It moves towards me. It’s cold in here, to cool the scanner.
“Breathe in. Hold your breath for a few seconds,” the distorted voice says over the speakers. The scanner swallows me, there are loud clicks as it takes the photos. “Breathe out.”
The scanner spits me out.
“OK, the fluid’s going in now,” the nurse says. “Does that feel alright?”
“I can feel it,” I say. The cold fluid moves through my veins, down my arm.
“Is it uncomfortable?” She says.
“No it’s fine,” I say. “Just cold.”
“So, you’ll feel relaxed and you’ll feel that you’re doing a wee, but you’re not. It’s just a feeling,” she says.
“Does anyone ever actually wee themselves in the scanner?” I ask.
“No, they don’t,” she says.
The scanner envelopes me and suddenly I’m doing a wee. Although, I remember, I’m not. It’s a lovely relaxing feeling. The bladder awakens, perhaps.
“Breathe in. Hold your breath,” the voice says.
The tunnel moves up and down my body.
“Breathe out. One more set of photos left,” the voice says.
The process is repeated.
“All done. Well done,” the voice says, and I emerge, blinking into the light.
“Is it OK if I go to the gym now?” I ask the nurse as I pull my trousers up.
“You’re the first person who’s ever asked me that,” she says, laughing. “As long as you’re sensible: you know what your body’s telling you.”
“I’m just going to do bike and leg things. I won’t use my arms,” I say, looking down at my left arm with the two cannula holes and my right arm, still a bit swollen from the possible lymphodoema.
“I like your attitude,” she says. “I’m sure it helps you.”
“I wish it could help me a bit more,” I say. “Thank you. I’m going to put this in my blog.” The tears are coming out. Oh dear.
“I’d love to read it,” she says, giving me a hug. “Don’t cry. I don’t let patients leave here crying.”
“Thank you for being so lovely to me,” I say. “If you give me your email, I can send you a link to my blog.”
“Unfortunately have to postpone my trip to London. Have been ill for two days now and no progress in sight,” the Facebook message says.
It’s from Arjen and I’m reading it behind the purple door branded with the nuclear radiation symbol whilst waiting for my radioactive isotope pre-bone-scan injection. Dad has rushed me to another hospital straight after my CT scan.
“Nooooo what is wrong? That’s terrible news,” I reply.
“Flu. I’m exhausted. Have been in bed now for two days,” he says.
“Cuddle xxx” I say.
If he does have actual flu, of course, it would be silly to see him. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment and hope that he recovers. Was looking forward to seeing him though. Lucky that I haven’t wasted money on the Ewok pants:
Anyway: had better go and work my legs.
Bone scan after this.
Wish me luck?
*Star Wars film title