Thursday, November 03, 2005

Much ado. . .about one thing

The three-phase bone scan was tonight. First phase: injection of radiopharmaceutical and scan of the ankles. Second phase: immediate scan of the blood pooling. Third phase: total body bone scan three hours after injection.

Technologically speaking, it's a pretty impressive event.

The radiopharmaceutical isotope gathers in areas of bone activity; in children that means the growth plates light up, providing a pretty intense overall view. We wondered if the hospital could blow up the pictures of her skeleton large enough for us to use as lawn decorations next Halloween.

No such luck.

Also not so lucky: the tumor lit up, indicating growth activity. At first the test facilitator and I didn't see it and thought that was a good sign. However, when she zoomed the picture in above the ankle growth plate, there it was.

I'm not sure what it indicates beyond growth activity and possible malignancy. Guess we shall find out when meeting with the orthopaedic doctor next week. He said that if the scan showed activity, an MRI would be next and possibly a bone aspiration to view the cells.

She wants to know what all of this means. So do I. Unfortunately, she still believes I have the answers to most everything. If only she were 14 and sure I know absolutely nothing. It would be easier than being asked to guess about something I wish not to think about in the first place. Or try and pretend there aren't twenty different thoughts and emotions running through me, none of them worth sharing or capable of making even the slightest difference.

Like a grouping of television sets at a department store tuned to many different channels they drown one another out leaving nothing but a meaningless cacaphony.

Did you know all skeletons smile, underneath, all the time?

It's only an intricate covering of skin and muscles working together that cause us not to spend our entire lives grinning at everything. And nothing. Both in the same inexorable, inalterable fashion.

Sort of the opposite of what we've always been told: what's happening on the surface sometimes does serve to adequately hide what's happening underneath, and that's not always a bad thing.
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