Thursday, May 27, 2010

#171: Cancer Geek

Yes it's very sad to have Cancer and life is unfair and blah, blah, blah... but some of the tech gadgets are so cool!

ENDOSCOPE


This tiny camera is mounted on the end of what looks like a plumber's snake. The doc gives you a mild topical anesthetic,sort of like Clorasceptic. Then they lube up the snake and poke it up your nose, make a quick left turn at the fork in the road, and zoom, you're looking at your throat from the inside. This video isn't of my vocal folds, but it looks just like mine did. Since I was a choirboy back in Dormont my voice has been a defining part of me. Actually seeing it work was a real highlight.

PEG FEEDING TUBE

This is just awsome. When they first described the procedure to me, I thought they were joking.


Isn't that amazing? Now what they don't tell you is that this hurts like hell. Imagine what it would feel like to have someone shove a pencil through your belly from the inside. Drugs take the edge off the pain, but only just. If I need it later, I'll attach a bag of formula to the tube and let gravity pull my supper in. Meanwhile I have to flush clear water through the tube every five hours to make sure the plumbing stays clear.

THERMOPLASTIC MASK

This is the procedure that I had done today. What amazes me is that somebody even thought this up.


Once they had molded the mask over my head and shoulders, they ran me through the CT scan. These will be the baseline images that they use when targeting my radiation. They'll also be able to watch and measure changes inside my body as the treatment continues. You might think it's pretty spooky to have your head bolted to a table, but actually I was pretty relaxed. I could easily have fallen asleep, but the platform is kind of narrow and I was afraid I'd roll off.

There are all kinds of miracles happening to us every day as we travel this road together. Love comes out of nowhere. Generosity and kindness take us by surprise every day. All in all there is much more laughter than weeping going on in our house. Technology is not always as heartwarming as a phone call from a friend, but it can be just as miraculous. I am continually amazed by the skills and creativity of the healers who are working so hard to save my life.

1 comment:

  1. Love your sense of awe and childlike wonderment Bob. Your ability to focus delight in the present is a powerful healer, too.

    ReplyDelete

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