05/15/2018 – CT Scan @ MD Anderson

Another trip to Houston, however the PET/CT scans are over, just CT scans now to monitor the size of the locations of where the active tumors were.  If they grow or change size then a PET scan will be ordered to.

06:00:  Up I am.

06:30: To the airport.

06:45: At the airport.

06:55: Through security.

07:00: At gate C4.

08:30: Boarding begins.

09:10:  Take Off

09:59: Touch Down.

10:06: Off the plane, up through the skyway, and over to concourse C.

10:35: Waiting on the Express 102 Bus from the airport to the downtown transit center.

10:50:  On the Express 102 Bus heading to downtown Houston

11:50:  At the downtown transit center.  We hop off the bus, walk the block to the light rail system, and wait for the light rail.

12:00:  On the light rail heading to the TMC Transit Center.

12:15:  Off the light rail at the TMC Transit Center, walking to the Mays Clinic, as the Duncan Building entrance has some construction going on.

12:25:  Walking the skybridge between the Mays Clinic and the Main building.  I have a bloodwork schedules first and second then a scan after that.

12:45:  I check in at the 1st floor location, this is for my research bloodwork, but they tell me they can also pull the bloodwork for my doctor visit as well.

13:30:  I check in again with the first floor, they said that from the time I check in, someone should be there in 30 minutes to take my blood, but the 30 minutes have come and gone. They said they will check again.

14:00:  I finally get called for my bloodwork.  I go into the back and I don’t have an armband because the checkin in counter failed to check for one.  They bring me an armband, which the person drawing the blood needed to scan to see what bloodwork I needed for my doctor visit.  Then after she scans it, she realizes she needs a printer to print up the labels, so after finding a printer, she comes back and takes the 3 tubes of blood.  After that is done, Dee and I head upstairs to the third floor to check in for my scan.

14:15:  I am all checked in upstairs, no line to wait in.  I pick crystal light lemonade as my flavor drink for my.  We sit down and wait.  I pull out my laptop and catch up on some work.

14:30:  My drink is ready, and I get to start drinking my wonderful flavored drink for the CT Scan.  I ask them if they will be accessing my port for the CT scan, they tell me if I have one, if it has been accessed and tested by MD Anderson and is a powerport then yes they will be accessing it.  I tell them good to know, I will be putting on my numbing cream.  So I go put my drink down by Dee and grab my numbing cream and saran wrap, and head to the restroom.  I put a nice nickle side dab of numbing cream to cover the whole area, and then I put saran wrap on top of it to help it adsorb faster, but also helps keeps the shirt clean as well…

15:30:  Still waiting…  Sipping my drink…

16:30:  Still waiting… Drink just about done.

17:00:  I get pulled into the back by the nurse, and we go to the area to start IVs and Port Access.  She access my port.  It hurt a bit.  She can push, but can’t pull back blood.  She tries to find the nurse who usually accesses the ports, but can’t.  She decides to try accessing my port again and I agree. She takes out the needle and preps a new access kit.  She then accesses my port again.  She pushes it in, no pain this time.  She is then able to push the saline and pull back blood through the port.  She said this time she was more on center than last time, so it is possible it was sliding down the port wall and not going into the base of the port correctly.  Also because of the bad position that the needle was going in and possibly tearing some skin was the painful part of the previous needle stick, this needle stick I practically felt nothing.

17:30:  I am lead to a small single chair waiting room in the back until a scanner is ready.

17:45:  The technician comes and gets me.  He has me put on a scrub top with no buttons, since my shirt has buttons, and buttons shouldn’t be on the scan he tells me, as CT scans are a little different than the PET/CT scans I usually get.  He has me lay down on the platform and then positions a foam knee prop under my needs and then he hooks me up to the iodine contrast.  He tells me to listen to the instructions on the machine on when to hold my breath and breathe.  He walks out the room and the scan starts.  It does a full pass, then I can feel the warm rush throughout my body of the iodine contrast flushing through my body.  Hot all over…  A few breathe in and hold its and then breath again.

18:15:  I am all done with the scan.  I put my shirt back on, and he leads me out to a row of chairs to wait for the nurse to flush my port with heparin to prevent any clots in the line.  The nurse orders the heparin.

18:25:  The nurse goes and grabs the heparin from Pharmacy.

18:27:  She comes back, flushes my port, deaccesses me, and I am on my way, no more appointments for today.

18:30:  I am back out in the lobby, Dee, my mom and dad are waiting.  I pack my laptop up, and we head over the other skybridge to the hotel.  I check in.  Room 818 this time.  We go up the elevator to the 8th floor and unpack.  We are going to head to Frank’s Pizza for supper, so back out to the skybridge’s to the Mays clinic down to the street level and walk to the TMC Transit center, when I get there, I realize that I forgot my day pass to get me to downtown.

19:08: My mom and dad head out ahead of us, Dee walks back with me, but stays at the Mays clinic while I speed walk to the hotel room.  I get the card, and back downstairs.  Seeing that some of the doors were locked on my way to the hotel.  I take the elevator down to the first floor, out the backdoor access, and I walk through parking lots back to the sidewalk back to the Mays clinic.  I call Dee and she meets me downstairs by the Mays clinic, we walk to the rail station.

19:41. We get on the light rail.  We take it downtown.  Dee needs to pick up somethings at CVS, so we stop at CVS, then back on the light rail for 2 more stops, then off as the Preston station.  We take a different way this time to Frank’s as the construction is done on this side of the street now.  Everything is shaping up nicely as far as construction in the Houston Downtown area, messy while working, but nice afterwards.

20:22: I get myself a slice of pizza, some chicken wings, and some onion rings.  Everything here is baked through the pizza oven and has great flavor.

21:40:  All done eating, and all of us are back on the light rail.  Houston at night does have a homeless issue, and many beggars hanging out at the light rail stations.  It is better to travel in groups after dark.

22:02:  We are back at the TMC Transit Center light rail station.

22:10:  We are back inside the Mays clinic and walk the skybridge back to the Picken’s Tower entrance.  However the door is closed, so we pick up the phone to alert security to open the door for us to walk through to the hotel.  Otherwise we have to walk close to an additional half mile or more throughout the skybridge, through the main building, uphill on the other skybridge, back to the hotel.  The security guard shows up and guides us through the various doors unlocking them with his cards as needbe.

22:30:  We are back at the hotel. Dee and I head down to the Business Center.  I scan in all my receipts for the past visit for reimbursement purposes, and create the spreadsheet.  I can’t find one receipt, and I figure I left it at home.  I have everything ready otherwise.  I’ll just file these for reimbursement with this trip when I return again on the next trip.  If I return, depending on the ability for MD Anderson to get the insurance approvals and payments, and not process everything out of network and charging me with the balance, but that is another story for another time.

23:30:  Dee and I head back up to the hotel room and drop off the paperwork that I was working on.  We then head back downstairs and over the skybridge to the main building to the park, where it is open 24 hours for a snack before midnight.

23:40:  We arrive at the park.  I have a lasagna and a 7 layer thing they have.

23:59:  Finishing that lasagna…  Another day done.

© Craig