Call me a dinosaur (my son does), but I don’t like or understand tattoos. I thought, briefly, about getting something small and significant (a quill pen and inkwell? A typewriter?), and ultimately nixed the idea. Too expensive, too permanent, and who wants an indistinguishable pen on their arm/shoulder/leg when their skin is old and wrinkled? That quill pen might turn into an Indian chief’s headdress.
So imagine my surprise when I was told I would be getting tattooed as part of my treatment process.
Shannon, the chief radiology therapist, took me into her x-ray room for my trial run. Her room houses a normal CT scanner. I lay on the table and let her situate me. Using all of my merged CT scans, PET scans, and whatever other info they had on me, her machine circled around me with laser beams indicating my three “spots.” She X’d them with a green magic marker – one on each hip and one in the middle (each one just low enough so I’m not inclined to drop my drawers to show them off). The actual tattoos will be about the size of a pin head. But I can still claim them as the genuine article. 🙂
Shannon told me she had one patient who was so flipped out about the tattoos, that she got one on her arm to show the woman how unnoticeable they really are. That’s a dedicated medical professional in my book. She gave me a mini-lesson in radiology. The table I’ll be on is “radiolucent” – it has a clear plastic covering (like a cell phone screen cover) over a plastic grid, so when the machine spins around me, it can zap from the bottom as well as the sides and top. Other “normal” x-ray tables have “radiopaque” surfaces. Someday those two words will end up in a book of mine, along with Shannon, the self-professed x-ray geek. She is truly a wealth of information.
Then, as a bonus, I found out her son was headed to Chicago for Navy boot camp and would be going to Charleston, SC for nuclear power training. My son is a nuke, down there working/teaching on the prototype training platform. So eventually they’ll run into each other.
I headed from there into the world of radiation, chemotherapy, and more – stay tuned! I’ll have pictures (NOT of my tatts!!) in upcoming posts.
Meanwhile, I get to tell my kids “Hey! Yo Momma gots tatts!”