BRCA Journey | Things are moving along | CT scan for DIEP flap

Hi, friends! How are you doing? I visited the hospital today and had the CT scan on my abdomen to determine if my belly is a suitable donor for reconstruction surgery. Another step in the BRCA journey – complete ✔️

Despite having had numerous MRI scans, as part of the annual high risk monitoring programme, I definitely felt more anxious about getting the CT scan today. I think it’s because I’ve decided I want the DIEP flap reconstruction, instead of implants, and I’m just really hoping that the results are what they need to be for it to be possible.

I arrived at the hospital an hour before the appointment time and was trying to get comfortable knowing that I’ll probably be waiting for quite some time before being called. (More time to let myself get worked up yay!) But what actually happened is that after about 10-15 minutes my name was called, along with a few others.

We were lead into the scan areas, other people were sent to different spaces and I was told to get changed into the glorious hospital gown. The male nurse showed me into the changing room and really made me chuckle when he whispered to me to *remove e v e r y t h i n g*! Love that he was trying to be discreet. 😛

Once changed I sat in the waiting area for another 5 minutes and I was then called into a room to have a cannula inserted for the dye that’s required for the CT scan. That was quite something! When you have your abdomen scanned, you can’t have the cannula on your arm by the elbow, because you need to bend your arms across your chest during the scan.

So the poor nurse was searching far and wide for a good vein where to insert the small plastic tube for the dye. Oh this was for sure the most uncomfortable experience. Not to get too graphic, but he really did struggle and had to poke around a few times before he said it’s done. The longest 5 minutes of my life. Hands down!

I returned to my seat in the waiting area and struck a conversations with a gentleman waiting for his wife to come back from her scan to take her out for lunch. CUTE! And not long after that I was called for my scan.

I was asked to lay down and the staff were checking the cannula by flushing it with some saline. AND OMG IT HURT SO BAD! The poor bloke tried a few times and eventually asked his colleague to double check it. Not sure what she did, but after a quick pull and some more pain – she fixed it. No pain and the saline was flushing through perfectly.  I was finally ready for the scan.

The first five or so minutes they take some images without the dye and then they pump it in and take more images. Before the scan the radiographer warned me that the dye can cause metallic taste in my mouth, and it may make me feel like I want to pee and it makes me feel hot. Thought I was prepared. I was not! As soon as I felt the dye go in, the feeling is almost indescribable, the effects were immediate and I was 100% convinced I had just peed myself during the scan. Luckily I hadn’t lol. I didn’t notice the metallic taste, but gosh did I feel the warmth. Weirdest experience ever! Luckily the side effects disappeared as quickly as they arrived and the scan was done.

Now all I have to do is wait for my appointment with the Plastics Team in September to go over the results and fingers crossed we get good news!

Everything, touch wood, has been going so smoothly so far. From asking for a referral earlier in the year I really feel that it’s being pushed along way quicker than I excepted. I have another appointment with the breast surgeon in October and am still waiting for the psychologist appointment, but as it stands we are moving at a good speed 🙂

I really cannot wait to be able to call myself a previvor and no longer have to have the annual anxiety that comes with the yearly high risk scans.

For now, that’s all, but I will certainly keep you informed when we have another update.

Kat x



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