One of the first lessons I learned is that your nurse can make or break any appointment. Thank goodness, today we were blessed with two compassionate, patient nurses.
This afternoon, Leah needed an IV to draw labs and to administer contrast for the CT. It’s always tricky to find a good vein in Leah’s arm, because her veins are deep. Today, the nurse had a really cool instrument that was a little thicker than a remote control and shined a red light on Leah’s arm, showing all of her veins. I mentioned that I would love to have one to carry to “poke” appointments, and she explained that it took five years of begging to get one. (Another Shark Tank idea… an affordable version of the magic red light.) After two pokes, they found a vein and drew labs. Leah did a great job breathing and keeping her cool.
Next, she had to lay on the CT table. The CT is like a giant doughnut, not a tube like the MRI. They marked her forehead, nose and chin with marker and took some images. She didn’t like that I had to leave the room, but she managed to remain still. Next, the nurses had to cover her entire face with a thick, hot, plastic mesh. Within five minutes, the mesh completely cooled, forming her mask. The mesh had tiny plastic holes that allowed her to breathe, but it was a very stressful process. One nurse grabbed her cell phone and played a little Taylor Swift to lighten the mood. And I helped by threatening to sing, if she couldn’t stay still. Ha ha. They needed to do a few more images with the mask on, but we had to take it off for a minute to let her regroup. When they put the mask back on, I’m pretty sure they snapped it to the table… It will be tough wearing the mask for treatments in the beginning, but I’m sure she’ll get used to it. Just like all the other crummy stuff she deals with.
Late afternoon, we met with a doctor (who was incredibly kind to stay late and see us on such short notice) to discuss how to treat/prevent the vomiting caused by the tumor. We may have an alternative to steroids. The doctor is going to touch base with Dr. Rush and let us know.
Despite a long day, we took a taxi to Harvard Square to have dinner and check out the area. The school buildings were like Hogwarts in the city- grand, old, brick buildings. We also picked up a Harvard souvenir for this really smart, loving, wonderful big sister that we know. 😉
A view from the Yawkey Center 8th floor.