Breast Cancer Entry Eleven

I went to the hospital today to have a PET Scan (whatever that is…) to see if this cancer has traveled around my body. They are looking for “hot spots”. I had to take everything off on top and put on a hospital gown that tied in the back. Then they asked me to wait in a small waiting room where there were men and women. I am sure some of the people were waiting for people that were having tests because they didn’t have gowns on. It was embarrassing – humiliating actually, to sit there in a thin veil of tattered cotton with no bra on while trying to keep from exposing my bare back to perfect strangers. The two men in the room politely looked away. It was uncomfortable for them also. There was a younger woman waiting and she was even more nervous than I. She seemed totally devastated by the public situation. I couldn’t believe the insensitivity of the environment.

When I got home I called the patient care advocate at the hospital and told her how humiliating it was and that I would NEVER go back to their hospital if I could help it. She was caring but said it was a space issue and sorry….yeah right.

The test was awful. I had to sit in a room alone because they put a radio isotope in my veins and they didn’t want anyone to be exposed to it – What about me?!!!! Then I was taken to the scanner room and asked to drink two cups of thick goop with more dye in it. I lay on the scanner for 40 minutes and they took pictures of my whole body. I was shivering the whole time. Even though it was uncomfortable and scary, I felt a great calm most of the time. I don’t know where it came from, but I just knew the test would be OK. Still, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was demoralized by the lack of dignity I felt. Those hospital personnel might be used to this, but I’m not!

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