Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Test Results

I neglected to tell you the results of the aforementioned scan.  Just to keep you in suspense, I'll mention something else first.

My port, the bionic vein, was removed last week because I don't need it anymore.  This was the device through which the chemotherapy was infused.  I call it "bionic," but it didn't give me any superhuman powers, except, maybe, the ability to easily take i.v. drugs: Higher than a bird, higher than a plane, shakier than the San Andreas fault, it's JunkieMan!
I also had a doctor's appointment, the first one in over six weeks.  I haven't gone that long without an appointment in a year.  He went over the results of my recent CT scan and blood tests.
Here's where I delay again, to build more suspense.  The U9 soccer team is doing well through three games.  We're 2-0-1 (14 GF, 7 GA).  That's 7 points, and if we were in the World Cup, we would have won our group and moved to the round of 16.
Where was I?  Oh yeah, test results.

CT scan?  Clear
CEA levels? Normal
El Oncologistador hasn't made an official proclamation or given me a certificate or anything, but I'll go ahead and say it:
Re-Mission Accomplished

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Barium (Ba, atomic number 56).  It is used as an insoluble heavy mud-like paste when drilling oil wells. Soluble barium compounds are poisonous due to release of the soluble barium ion, and have been used as rodenticides.  When heated with nitrogen and carbon, it forms the cyanide. (Source: Wikipedia)

What the f***?  We're supposed to drink this?

No.  I'm not Readi.
As you may have guessed, I have a CT scan coming up and have to drink barium sulfate (BaSO4) to provide contrast in my gastrointestinal tract. Some call it a "smoothie" while others call it a "shake."  It's not smooth and nothing like a milkshake, but one does have to shake it to suspend the gritty BaSO4.  I have to down one of these (450 mL) the night before the scan, another the morning of, and then some more at the radiology center right before the scan.

If you've ever had to drink this sludge, you know how awful it tastes (watch Becca).  Those clever makers of barium sludgies regularly come up with new flavors to make us think that this crap is palatable.  They've got a bunch of fruit flavors, like strawberry, citrus, and banana (that's why Dan does this).  The bottom line is, no amount of artificial flavoring will make you say "Bari-yummm!"  To .make a palatable, even delicious barium drink, we need the most creative culinary minds in America - a Top Chef Challenge!

Top Chef challenge: Create new flavors for barium drinks.
Barium Depth Charge
  • Barium Depth Charge (Boilermaker): Drop a shot of BaSO4 into a glass of beer (a shot glass doesn't hold much, so you'll have to repeat this - a lot).
  • Bari-Tini: Add gin and dry vermouth.  Shake and garnish with an olive.
  • BariRum and Coke: Do I really have to describe this?
  • Bari-shnikov: Add Russian vodka.  Stir by doing pirouettes.
  • Bari-sta: Steam the BaSO4 and add a shot of expresso. Only comes in venti.
  • Big Sandy: Add Kentucky bourbon.
  • Strawbari Letter 23: Strawberry flavored with a funky base and served in a Johnson Brothers china cup to people over 40 (too obscure?).
  • Bari Bonds: Add "nutritional supplements" from BALCO, then deny drinking it.
  • Marion Barium: Add crushed marionberries, serve in a cracked glass set up by a bitch.
BariRum and Coke
Big Sandy