Before and After

Yesterday was my first abdominal CT scan since the tumor was removed in late September. The results were good: no sign of any tumors elsewhere.


If you’d like to hear more about the scan, there’s more beneath the fold, including not-gross before and after pictures.

(the gross pic is here)

I took the day off from work Tuesday. The plan was for me to get my CT scan, kill time and then see the doctor for a read of the scan.

CT scans are a pain in the ass. I’d choose a 45 minute noisy MRI over a CT scan any day.

Why? Barium. Part of the prep for a CT scan is drinking a  disgusting contrast “smoothie.” The smoothie serves to make your organs light up when exposed to the radiation of the CT scan.

Don’t be fooled by offers of flavors like mochaccino or berry. They’re all gross. At first sip, you might grimace a little and think “not so bad. It’s just milky.” But then you have to drink two 450 ml bottles of the stuff within thirty minutes and soon you wish for death.

In the middle of the scan, I also had to get a contrast injection via an IV. The technician warned me “this will make you feel like you peed yourself.”

Good times.

The topper is that I can count on waking up with HUGE swollen glands in my neck for two day post-scan. It’s just how bodies process barium, I’m told.

When it was all over (about two and a half hours after I arrived), I checked in with my doctor’s assistant to get a sense of how long it would be until I could see him. Then I went and ate some greasy pizza in the hospital cafeteria.

Is it any wonder I felt nauseated by the time I returned to Dr. T’s office?

I had lots of time to think about it because it was at least an hour until it was my turn. The waiting isn’t good for my brain. Waiting makes me contemplate all of the awful news Dr. T could give me. Words like chemo fill my thoughts and make my eyes well up.

But then Dr. T arrived, seeming relaxed. He hugged me (but not in a creepy way). And then he told me my scan looked clear before asking if I wanted to take pictures. Naturally I did.

“Are my organs back in place?”

“Yes, they are!”

“Did that happen naturally or did the surgeon do that?”


“How cool!”

I like talking medicine with Dr. T and I’m grateful he indulges me.

Here’s the before and after.








The angles aren’t identical so my kidneys, for example, look totally different. But the good news is that they are almost perfectly normally placed, as are my pancreas and spleen.

Perhaps this is more than you wanted to know so I’ll stop there.

Next scan is mid-April.

2 thoughts on “Before and After

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