Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14 - Evening

As I mentioned earlier today (does anyone else think that maybe I blog too often?), I have a PET scan tomorrow.

This is big news, people. The PET is the official cancer-patient scan. Ooh-la-la. I feel so fancy.

I'd done a little PET research last week (I get claustrophobic in an MRI chamber, so I wanted to see what a PET looked like to know if I'd need to dope up prior to going in), but that online research was nothing compared  to the info I got this afternoon from the PET tech who called to confirm my scan tomorrow.

Get this.

I am soooo getting injected with radioactive material tomorrow morning.

Awesome, right?!

This is how the conversation with Dave the PET Guy went...

Dave: Have you ever had a PET scan before?

Me: I sure haven't!

Dave: Well, let me tell you how this will work tomorrow. You'll check in downstairs at 7:30 for your lab work, and then head straight to the second floor when you're done. We'll take you back, and set you up in a recliner in a room by yourself.

.... Insert moment of me thinking. "A room by myself?"

Dave continues: We have a lot of warm blankets and we'll make sure you're nice and comfortable, and then we'll give you an injection. You'll be in that room for about an hour while the tracer goes into effect, and then we'll take you in to do the scan, which will take about 25 minutes.

Dave pauses to breathe, and I interject.

Me: I'll be in a room by myself?

Dave: Yes.

Me: ... Because I'll be radioactive?

Dave: Well... yes.

Me: So, you're putting me in a room because I'll be radioactive? ... Seriously?!

Dave: (sounding concerned, like maybe I'm freaking out about the radioactive-ness) But not for long. It only has a two hour life, and the more you drink, the sooner it will leave your system.


Me: Oh, I'm not worried. Please. I'm a cancer patient. Like I've never had radiation shot at my body before? ... I just haven't ever had THIS test before, so I'm curious. ... Really, I'll be radioactive?  

Dave: It's a low dose. Much lower than you've probably had before.  

Me: I'm seriously not worried about it. I'm just curious. ... So, you're putting me in a room by myself while the radioactive material activates or something?  

Dave: Yes. It takes about an hour for the tracer to set in.  

Me: And I have to be by myself? Like, I can't be with anyone? (See, Jo? I tried to see if I could worm you into my solitary treatment so we could hang out and you could take pics again. It didn't fly.)  

Dave: No. We want you to be alone. We don't want you to exert any energy, talking or laughing. (It's like the man read my mind with wanting to bring a friend along. ... It's like he knows that we like to talk and laugh. ... Crazy!)  

I'd like to point out that the man doesn't want me to exert any energy. ... As in, maybe he doesn't want me to get angry. ("You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." - Hulk.) I know what happens when radioactive materials and anger get together. Muscles bulge. Clothes rip. People turn green. (The good news is I'll be in a hospital gown if and when this goes down, so it's not like I'll be busting the seams of my own clothes when I go green.)  

I'm totally gonna be radioactive for up to two hours tomorrow. Suh-weet! (I haven't been radioactive for over two years. It's been a while. I'm sure you can appreciate why I'm stoked about this.)

The scan will be "eyes to thighs", so a slightly larger area than my prior chest/abdomen CT. I think this is pretty great. (I figure, the cost of the PET is probably the same whether they just shoot pics of my tummy, or 2/3 of my bod. Let's go for the greater gonga and get as much of me in there as we can!)  

My earlier research taught me that PETs can see things that don't show on MRIs or CTs (like, on a cellular level, instead of having to wait for a tumor to form so it can be seen/seen).   I'm pretty excited to see exactly what this scan shows or doesn't show.  

*Fingers crossed that the entire left side of my stomach is as hot as it was the day I came out of surgery. Slim and trim with absolutely no excess tissue in there.*