Continuing on with my exciting blog series, Tests I Have Had Since Diagnosis….
Second post: The 24 Hour Urine Collection
Unlike the blood tests with the million acronyms this test is pretty straight forward. Yep. It’s exactly what the title states – you literally collect all your pee for 24 hours.
After my initial m-spike was found, the first hematologist I went to told me I had to do a 24 hour urine collection before my next appointment.
I think my response was something along the lines of, “Okay…um…wait, you want me to do what??” I had never heard of such a thing. I had peed into a cup at the doctors’ office but never “collected pee” during a 24 hour period of time.
A nurse presented me with a jug…
Now, if you are male this may not seem like a big deal. Begin female…. eh. Difficulties may arise! Luckily, my sister (who is a nurse) was with me at that appointment and she requested a “seat hat” for me to use. A “seat hat” fits over the toilet and makes things a little easier for the ladies…
I have had to do a 24 hour urine collection before all of my appointments at DFCI every 3-6 months over the last 3 years. Not a fun time. The worst part of the test is that the urine must be kept cold. Now, unless you want to keep it “on ice” in a cooler, the jug has to be stored in the refrigerator. YUCK. I have completely grossed out two roommates and now my OCD/germaphobe husband every time I have to collect. Typically, there are a few, “Heyyy, I made some fresh lemonade!” jokes tossed around to lighten things up. I usually try to make my appointments on a Monday so I can collect Sunday morning to Monday morning. The test for the most part causes me to be housebound. I haven’t really figured out how I could collect while working… I barely have time to go to the bathroom anyway!
Dana-Farber distributes the orange jugs in a lovely plain brown shopping bag. I’ve never really understood why the bags they give out are paper – plastic would make a little bit more sense since we are dealing with liquid after all. Anyway. The brown shopping bag can be used to transport the jug (or in my case, jugs…I drink a lot of water) back to the hospital. Occasionally, I’ll bring my orange jugs back in a jcrew shopping bag instead to jazz things up a bit. Maybe then people will think I’ve just been out shopping instead of lugging around my pee…
Here are my most recent results:
Now to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what most of this means. What I do know is there is no monocolonal protein detected, which is really the point of the test – that is what I focus on!