Yesterday I visited the Tucson Medical Center for an all day out patient “mapping” procedure. Eighteen months ago the massive tumor in my colon and one small liver tumor were surgically removed at this hospital. In ten days I am hopeful that I will return to TMC for the procedure that will obliterate the remaining large gnarly liver tumor.
Bravely, or perhaps foolishly, I ignored these omens and proceeded with my medical adventure. They rolled me into a room reminiscent of the futuristic operating room where Leeloo found herself in the movie The Fifth Element. Music was blaring in the room as machines and masked beings busily assembled their devices. I was strapped down, my hands were cuffed as they politely asked me if I was comfortable. They tightened the straps. Then the maestro appeared, known as Dr. Z. They gave me some “happy” juice, but just enough to take the edge off, eupuhismically called conscious sedation. I wouldn’t want to miss the excitement, now would I? I had to stay awake to stop breathing upon command as moble scanning devices were taking their images. They inserted a catheter into the femoral artery in my groin area and worked its way to my liver to have a look see (angiogram). While there Dr.Z sealed all exits from the tumor area (embolization) to prevent radiation leak out which would result collateral damage to healthy tissue in other organs. Dr. Z then inserted a small dollop of radioactive “test” beads into the tumor area. I was then whisked away for a nuclear scan to test for leakage. What a fun morning!
Dr. Z gave Lee the good news that my liver looked great (the power of fine red wine?) with the exception of the targeted tumor. The isolated location of the tumor and the condition of the rest of the liver is such that she plans on delivering a DOUBLE DOSE of radioactive isotopes to make certain the tumor goes bye bye. A final decision will be made after nuclear scan results.