Saturday, November 21, 2015

10/16/2015 - MRI Results & Other Shenigans

Friday 10/16, was a big day that I was nervous about, 3 big appointments.

Medical Appointment #1, MRI with Contrast (5:30am)
5:30am?! - You might say, Matt, why the hell did you choose 5:30am for an appointment?!  Well I didn't want to be there that early.  I got a little heated with the scheduling assistant after they had canceled my appointment the week or so before on a Friday at 7pm leaving me with no way to work things out with them and insurance.  So I did what any person in my situation would do, leverage resources at my disposal.  I turned loose my awesome Transplant Coordinator on them.  It's like Georgetown is a fenced in property that I cannot get in.  It just so happens, I have a Pitt Bull on the other side of the fence and I can use this to get what I need sometimes.  In this case, I got the appointment on the day I wanted....but it was at the crack of dawn (i'm sure trying to stick it back to me but no bother....)

I had an MRI with Contrast to check to see how the two tumors were doing.  This was 6 weeks out from the last TACE procedure and it would be an indication of how the tumor twins responded to the chemo.  I never know the results right away as it requires someone other than the Tech to read it and post results in the computer system.

Medical Appointment #2, MELD Score Labwork (10:30am)
This is a pretty straight forward appointment with 5 or so vials of blood drawn at my local Quest Diagnostics facility.  The only note-worthy thing here is that they drug, alcohol, and peepee test me.  Always fun to see the other winners who have to pee into cups.  Mostly in my area, BMW salesmen are rotated through all the time.  Then, there's always that hugely pregnant woman doing the glucose test who looks totally miserable.

Most notable on this trip was that for the alcohol test blood draw, he wiped my arm with alcohol before the needle stick, drew the tube, and pulled the needle out.  He then looked at me....and said...hmmm...I don't think I should have done that.  So he and I agreed, and a second stick was needed without an alcohol wipe just to be sure.  I guess I never really thought about it, but I'll blow on on my arm the next time to make sure it's dry before the next Tech jabs me.

Again, the point of all of this was to satisfy the MELD score upgrade requirement and to keep me in good standing on the transplant list.

Medical Appointment #3, My Liver Doc (3:30pm)
Tessa came with me to this appointment.  It's kinda like a state of the Union talk only less applause and an infinitely shorter duration.  They ask me how I feel, if I'm eating, if I'm exercising, etc.  Usually the Doc and PAC come in and I joke a bit, then talk serious.  Lucky for us the test results were back from the MRI that morning. (Yeah for Medical Electronic Records!!!).  I've highlighted the key points in yellow below. Basically, Tiny Tim (the smaller of the two) is likely done-zo.  The larger of the two, is still basically the same shrunk in one direction, larger in another direction, call it a wash.  But, this means no more TACE is needed and they'll re-evaluate in January sometime.

What does this all Mean?
I still have cancer, but it's not spreading.  I'll still need a transplant and I'm moving up slowly with more and more MELD points on the wait list for a new liver.  Until's waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting....

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