Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Radioactive Pablo

The nuclear kidney test didn't go down on Tuesday. Turns out the radioactive elixir that is pumped into the subject's body is in short supply nationally. We were bumped to 7:30 a.m. today.

When we arrived this morning, the nurses in the nuclear medicine department were ready for us. Walking into that lab, I felt like I was back at Milwaukee Technical High School. Or, in Prince's Paisley Park Studios, circa 1987. The gear up in there is first gen for sure—big, chunky, cool a** stuff with bolt-on meters, finger-roll dials and futuristic, sci-fi-inspired logos. This stuff predates vertically integrated electronics companies. Back in the day, the company whose name was on the gear was probably an engineering concern that used ready-made parts from tons of other vendors in their products. Same goes on today, but companies like GE Medical Systems, Apple and don't let the seams (or other people's logos) show in their slick designs.

Anyway, we had fun looking at all the medigear in there. Like this Tie Fighter style camera.

Look at that thing—I could take a whole album of that! The flip side is, to a little kid, this camera could appear menacing. Lucky for us, Pablo is a strong warrior. Although he doesn't carry a big stick, he does roll hard with another weapon of choice: his 'cheap' yellow dish washing glove (he uses it as a toy/prop/slapping device). With that darn glove, he jumped and ran his way through the hospital today. Our many CHLA doctor, nurse and staff friends who've come to know P very well, could not believe what they saw. Everyone who ran into us got a giant smile across their face, and noted how great Pablo looked.

There ain't much we can change in the cancer playbook. One thing we can do is to receive love and light from our CHLA posse, dozens of people who are around ill children for a living. When they put their hands up and tell us how surprised they are to see Pablo kicking out the jams in front of the Giraffe Elevators, in the hospital atrium, or in the culinary temple known as the CHLA Cafeteria, we b e l i e v e them. And we use that love and light as fuel for the rest of our day.

Back on October 1 2008.... Pablo's GFR test went fine. They injected the radio-juice, drew blood and had Pablo lay on a giant metal platform with some sort of nuclear device underneath (see below).

For five minutes, the machine snapped images of Pablo's body, which appeared as a mass of white stipples on the cathode ray tube screen (see below). His kidney is the glowing white mass on the left side. If he'd had this test prior to September 3 (when he had two kidneys), there would be twin orbs glowing on the screen.

I am a fan of photographic mishaps. Some of my fave shots are the accidents in between. It's easy to achieve this with the iPhone—the thing is sensitive to movement, like a photographic seismograph.

The photo below is one such accident that I want to share. The blurred vision of Pablo's body with the glow orb chem trail that we know is his kidney, the repeated word 'acquiring'—it looks like an album cover for a French avant-electro band from 1980 that only 300 people knew about.

Or something.
We are set to check in at CHLA for the the five or six day chemo vacation. In fact, we are already admitted. Problem is, 4 West didn't have any open beds this morning. So, we are waiting at home. Lucky for us we live five minutes away and we can jet over there when we get the call.

My next post will come to you from our soon-to-be awarded room at CHLA.


Jackson said...

Hi Pablo, Jackson has a few jokes for you, here goes. "Why did Tigger look in the toilet?" He was looking for Pooh !!!
"Whats black and white and red all over?" A Zebra with a rash. HA HA :)
"What did one eye say to the other?" Something between us smells!!!
OK enough jokes, talk to ya tomorrow.
Cheri and Jackson
I hope your not glowing.

Lizard Eater said...

Good luck with getting a bed! We'll be doing our last (knock wood, please God, etc. etc.) 6 day inpatient next Tuesday.