Monday, January 5, 2009

Upper GI With Small Bowel Follow Through

I left the house at 6:45 this morning in order to get to NIH in time to have blood taken and results come back in time for my planned Upper GI with Small Bowel follow through procedure. This was not as horrible as it sounds! It did take a while and of course I could not eat or drink anything before the exam, so I did not get to break my fast till 11:30 or something today. Ah well, it wasn't that bad.

For the test, you have to drink barium, a white chalky substance. It has been flavored and is kinda sweet. (Not anywhere near as nasty as the Go-Lightly that I had to drink for the colonoscopy!) Then you have TONS AND TONS of x-rays taken of your abdomen. The x-rays are taken while you stand up, but mostly while you are lying down--on your back, side, stomach, and slight variations of that. The radiologist looks to make sure that all your parts are in the right place and of course this time was looking for cancer. The radiologist I had was very nice, very personable. He made me feel like he cared about me as a person!

He was not able to get a clear image of the connection between my small bowel and the large intestine, but he said that because I do not have the symptoms consistent with a need to examine this connection that he would not put the burden of additional exposure on me. Apparently I had been in all the proper positions, just never got a look at that part of me. As far as results go: the radiologist told me that I have a hiatal hernia. That might explain the erosions in my esophagus...of course I will consult with the gasteroenterologist to find out more. He said could not see anything that was cancer, but of course he would look over the images again while he was writing his report. I am not surprised. This is beginning to feel like some weird wild goose chase, almost like I don't have cancer, this is all just some horrible mistake.

Meanwhile, I have a mammogram (which I am a bit frightened of) scheduled for a week from tomorrow and a meeting with the oncologist after that.

(I said it ALMOST feels that way. The truth, which I am very, very, very, very, very aware of, is that I do indeed have cancer and it is growing all the time.)

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