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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lymph Node Biopsy, with drugs and pickles :)

As I rolled over in my bed, my back instantly had a shooting pain like Zeus shooting a lightening bolt. I woke up instantly from the pain. 5:55am. Great. I still have 35 minutes until I have to be awake. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth like gum sticks to your shoe. I was so parched. I knew I was allowed one sip of water to take my meds, so I decided to use it wisely. I got a perc and my other two morning meds and savored that one single sip like it was going to be my last. Frustrated because it was not even remotely enough, I knew that being in a little discomfort now, would override vomiting my brains out later, so I let it go.

I crawled back into bed and grabbed my phone. Figured I could find something to kill time with on there. Solitaire, Yahtzee, Euchre, OOH a text from crush.
"Good Luck Today :**:".
Those are the kinds of things that make waking up on a day like this a whole lot nicer. It was the perfect start to my day!

My mum walked in to see if I was awake and was shocked that I was.
"What are you doing up?"
I told her about my back and how I was a little anxious about what was ahead. She told me to get ready to go and I was like fine. I threw on my VS cropped sweats, a lulu top and my Lady Gaga zip up hoodie. I was like there's no point in a bra because I'll have to take it off anyway. Tuxx was snuggled on my bed, and I so would have rather just crawled under my *new* covers and hid with him. But, it was go time. I grabbed my book and purse and normally a water bottle, but was forced to continue being parched... so I walked. It was like walking the plank on a pirate ship... those slow dragging your feet steps, to your demise.

We got in the car and were off. It was one of those, I just want to talk about boys kind of days. So I did and it was great, because the car ride flew by. J, my mum's partner in crime, who came with us had some great guy advice.
"I would go with *, he seems like a genuinely good guy."
We went over the pros and cons and it was actually really fun to discuss it with someone who wasn't a chick.
"It's not even really like it matters right now, I'm currently not exactly in the dating pool."
In fact if I were to fully jump in, I'd probably drown. Of course when I was healthy, the pool was empty, but now that I'm sick again, its just been cleaned, refilled, the ph is perfect and its sunny with a chance of hotties, lots of them.

As we were driving to the hospital we got a call around 7:44am. (We had left the house at 7, and it takes about an hour to get there.) It was the booking lady from Interventional Radiology. (My moms phone goes through the blue tooth in her car so we could all hear.)
"Hi, this is L from I.R., we were just wondering where you were because Courtney is supposed to be on the table at 8 and you were supposed to be here at 7:30"
My mom extremely agitated said,
"I thought so, but we got a call last night after 6pm from K and she said that it had been moved to 8:30 and that we didn't need to be there until 8."
The lady got a little more agitated and was like
"Well we don't have a K in our department so I don't know who called you. We gave you your paperwork and it said 7:30. How long do you think you'll be?"
We told her we were getting there as fast as we could. Never a dull moment with us. My mum being in the medical field was exceptionally frustrated because we were just doing what we were told. How were we supposed to know that this rando person was calling us with misinformation, even after my mom questioned it to her. Later in pre op, the nurses told us not to worry because this isn't the first time this has happened so I felt a lot better. The rest of the car ride however, we boogied.

I got a little antsy by this call. Now I was just thinking to myself
"Great, they're going to be rushed and mess something up."
As if I wasn't already nervous. We took a new route which we loved, Thank you Dr. D2. When we got there my mum had me jump out and run to admissions to register. She and J valeted the car. I went in and explained the situation and was like
"LOOK, I'm kinda in a rush because there was a miscommunication, so I know you need me to sign the sheet, wait my turn and stuff, but they need me up there now."
She looked at me, with absolutely no expression in her face (obviously one of those people who LOVED their job) and said
"Sign the sheet, we'll call you when its your turn."
So I did. My mum came in and I explained. I had gotten even antsier after about 4 minutes of waiting, so I said
"I'm just going to go upstairs to the unit, you wait, and I'll let them know I'm here but that they're taking their sweet @$$ time down here."
It was go time. On my way out, there was this huge piano, I wanted to go belt out a round of heart and soul so badly, but the sign said I wasn't allowed. It was a good thing I was running late or anything could have happened.

I got to the floor and the girls were SO nice. It was different then the outpatient surgery unit I had been on for my EUA. I had my own private room, with a tv and a closet. It was nice that my mum could wait there instead of a generic waiting room with infomercials. I was fascinated that they left a love note on the toilet.
"Sanitized for your protection."
I was like well thank you for thinking of my tush!

My mum and J left admissions because they were still taking too long. I got undressed into the sexiest that hospital wear has to offer. After they put in my iv, I had a mini photo shoot. When I get nervous, I do whatever I can to take my mind off of it. Be funny, or at least try, talk, dance sing whatever.

The nurses went over a bunch of questions with me, since they had to register me. While they did that, I braided my hair to get it out of the way. I was getting antsy again.

We were almost ready to head to Interventional Radiology. They told me I had to pee first. All I wanted was ice chips of some sort. My mouth felt like I had eaten a spoonful of flower. It was rollin time.

We got into the IR pre op area. It was nice. I met my new nurse S and the first thing I noticed was her pocket on her scrubs. It was full of syringes which I knew were full of happy medicine. I was ready and excited. At least if I was going to be scared $#!%less we could get the happy drugs flowing. Her and my mum started talking about the IV I already had. Apparently it was only a 22, and because I was going to be receiving contrast (The dye to make everything visible in the catscan) I needed at least a 20. (The smaller the number, the bigger the needle 20>22). I was most likely going to need another IV and I was not excited about that. S, however had already gotten on my mom's good side. My mum being a former nurse can tell when someone knows their $#!%. I later found out during my procedure (because yes I was akwake) that S, had a shit szu. I should have known, no wonder she and my mom were instantly on the same page.

The doctor came in and introduced himself He seemed really relaxed and like he totally knew his stuff. He went on to describe the procedure to which I stopped him.
"I'm sorry I really would rather not know what you're doing."
I put my hands over my ears and started humming like a 5 year old. I knew If I knew what was going on, I would break down into a ball of nerves. He left and the nurses continued to prep me.

After I was almost finished prepping it was time to take me to the Cat Scan procedure room. I would have to say good bye to my mum at the door. The team got me rolling and I met the other two nurses. I felt so comfortable with all three. I knew this wasn't going to be as bad as I thought but I was still nervous. As we were rolling I said
"Who has two thumbs and needs drugs- THIS GIRL!"

When we got into the procedure room the first things I saw were the cat scanner and the table. They asked if I could walk and I was like totally. I laid down and that was when it hit me. This was happening. I started shaking, and they thought I was just cold, and I might have been, but I was nervous as hell. They put warm blankets on me and started prepping me to get me into position. If they were pushing the Versaid, I didn't feel it. I felt nothing. Tears started to stream, and S knelt down beside me and started talking me through it.
"Its ok Court, you're doing absolutely great"
I kept apologizing for shaking but I couldn't help it.
"Stop apologizing, you're doing great. Just try and breathe, relax and let the drugs work."
I kept trying to breathe. I even thought for a few minutes to try my ujjayi breathing technique. Its a yoga breathing technique to generate heat and energy for flow yoga classes. I don't know how well that worked and I probably looked crazy. The nurses and doctor had to leave the room a few times for me to go into the cat scan machine. They put the second IV in and luckily the meds worked in the sense that I didn't feel it. The tears would always flow even faster during the cat scan parts because I think I felt the most alone and exposed. They came back out and placed a sticker of sorts on my tummy. It felt like a graph. C, one of the cat scan techs injected the dye and then I went back into be scanned.

After I had been scanned for what felt like the third time, the nurses came in and the doc started smearing something all over my tummy. OH great. So that part that I didn't want to hear about in pre op was about to happen. Then he said
"Tiny pinches"
. Tears were now pulsating down my cheek as if they were in a race to see who could fall the fastest. Dr. B poked me with lidocaine needles which hurt more then you would expect. "Ugh more scars for my tummy" was all I was thinking. As Dr. B was poking, S was simultaneously shooting me up with more drugs. One of the nurses was stroking my head to try and calm me down and another was holding my hand. I knew something intense must have been coming. Everything was a little blurry at this point but I remember the tears. There were so many which is why is was blurry. It was as if it was pouring rain and the windshield washers just could not keep up fast enough. I felt an odd sensation in my tummy. I could see the cold bright lights. I could hear the nurses. S,
"Breathe Court, let the meds work, you're doing awesome. We're almost done."
They sent me in to the scan again, and then Dr. B came to talk to me. He pulled out what must have been the biopsy tube and it felt like pulling a huge sliver out. I could feel the wiggly cord as it came slithering out.
"I'm very sorry Courtney, but we're not going to be able to complete the procedure. I'm not out to prove anything today and its just not safe to continue. We've been in here for about 2 hours and I don't want to risk it."
TWO HOURS? It had felt like twenty minutes. I was devastated that it had all been for nothing. This meant more radiation.

I think because I was finally able to relax, or so I thought, knowing that it was over and there would be no more pain, I blacked out for a little bit. I woke up in the IR recovery room and was given some Ativan. Although I was no longer scared I was upset. I wanted my mom. She had apparently gone on a coffee run and there was a miscommunication about whether we would go to her, or she to us. I was given gingerale, or shasta. haha I don't even know, and my favorite peanut butter crackers. While I waited, S showed me pics of her shit szu, Lady. She was a little muffin. All of the nurses were ordering food, and it made me realize how hungry I really was. I started to get a little emotional because the time was really ticking by. My mum wasn't coming to us, and I knew it. Not because she didn't want too, because I knew that if she knew I wanted her there... she would have come barreling in, but because someone didn't relay to her that I was ready. S could see the despair in my eyes as the tears started welling up again. She told them,
"I'm taking Court upstairs, you guys can wait for me to order food."
She took me up and bumped the bed into the wall.
"See, I'm terrible with these things, its like bumper beds when I drive."
For a moment a smile broke through the tears and I was feeling relieved.

We got to my room and I saw my mum and it was the moment I let go. I could finally relax and actually let the drugs work. I begged the nurses to let me take my IV out. I hated letting them do it, because well, I had done it enough times and it didn't hurt when I did it to myself. I started to remove the tapes and the little nurse got nervous.
I couldn't wait to get out.
"How much longer do we have to be here? I want to go home. They said we could go at 11:30."
My mum told me the nurse said 12:30 departure time but I wasn't having it. I told my mum, how they didn't give me enough drugs, because I was told I wasn't supposed to remember anything... I remembered everything. I was given one more xanax at this point because I couldn't calm down. I was flustered and upset. I was having another panic attack. I was feeling claustrophobic and just needed to leave. The tears would come and go, and it was getting exhausting. We still had to go see Dr. D for our chemo consult.

We finally got to leave. I up and changed and was ready for Dr. D. I could finally feel myself relaxing. Everyone kept trying to put me in a wheelchair but I was on a mission, I just needed to leave and knew I could do it a lot faster on my own. I knew exactly where to go to get to Dr.D's office, even drugged. We got there and a TIME magazine was sitting right on top of the magazine pile. It said "The Childfree Life: When having it all means not having children." I was like, "well isn't this ironic." We snagged the mag, because I wanted to know who was writing a story on me, or just the fact I was too high to understand what I would be reading.

We saw Dr. D and he went over our chemo and radiation schedule. Tuesday of next week. I HAD to do chemo. These were the words I was dreading.
"Am I going to lose my hair?"
It was the one question I didn't want to have to ask. He said
"Its not likely but it is a side effect, maybe just some thinning."
I was too stoned on xanax to cry. A panic attack was trying to creep in, but the drugs were all finally taking effect. They couldn't have started working at a better time. Finally.

We left and went to valet to get the car. It was Tuesday. The only good thing about Tuesdays is Cream of chicken and wild rice soup at Paneras. I don't remember the car ride back but we stopped. When we got to the house I started inhaling pickles. I was stoned out of my mind, but I was home. I was with Dexter, I didn't feel the pain from the incisions and I LOVED my food. Lets just say there were a lot more pics hahaha, but I narrowed it down.

After I finished eating, my salad, my soup, my pickles, I went and crashed. I finally slept, a good sleep. I needed to recover. My mind was hazy from the meds and so I didn't have to worry about thinking about the reality of chemo or radiation or anything else miserable. I was content. I slept and am glad it was all over. Even though- it was really just the beginning.


  1. i can not even begin to describe how this makes me feel, except that i am in tears thinking about all you're going through. i truly wish i could make it all go away. stay strong little one, you are amazing.

  2. Just came across your blog!! You seem like an amazing and very strong young woman. Was wondering if you were a part of any private groups on Facebook for women with cervical cancer?

    Their private group:

    Their CC awareness page:

    Also Canadian ones that have been created just last year

    The Canadian CC awareness page:

    The private group for the Canadian page:

    Cervical Cancer is rarely talked about and everyone knows about pink ribbons for breast cancer but you never see teal & white ribbons for Cervical Cancer!!

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