Thursday, December 5, 2013

So... Scan Day

So, I thought it might be fun to do a little virtual tour of the prep for my PET scan. (Also, I happened to ask EXACTLY the right person if I could take pics today. Not only did she say yes, she purposefully posed the tube o' poison, for your optimum enjoyment.)

I apologize upfront that I neglected to snap a pic of the super cozy "recliner" where I get to nap for an hour after being injected with the tracer. I also didn't think to snap a pic of the PET machine. My bad(s). Next time.

Okay, so... this is the Injection Room. AKA: The Radiation Chamber (if you read my fb posts). This is the room where they inject me with radioactive matter, and then leave me in solitary to brew for a good hour or so before they put me in the PET chamber.

Once I get into the room, there is this HUGE glaring caution sign. (Good news I'm NEVER pregnant when I go in for my PET.)

I did ask, once, what would happen  if I was pregnant. Answer: the PET would not happen. There are too many risks to the fetus. The hospital may still do a diagnositc test, once the pregnant woman knows the risks, but the techs at MD have the right to refuse. And Dave the PET Guy will always refuse. (I like Dave.)

This is the locked container that my radioactive tracer comes in. Note the hazmat signs all over the box. (I love my life.)

And this, my lovelies, is the tracer itself. The push this radioactive matter (see the yellow hazmat sign at the top of the canister) through an IV, and then wrap me up in blankets, turn down the lights, and leave me to marinate in radioactive juices before actually running the scan. (I'd like to report that I only got stuck twice today. Mind you, the stick that took was in my wrist and HURT LIKE THE DEVIL - be looking forward to pictures of the bruise, it's gonna be a beaut! - but at least I only got stuck twice.)

This is the trash can that the waste goes into. Pretty crazy, no?

After an hour of sitting very still/sleeping in solitary, they come and wake me up and take me for the PET itself. But first... we make a pit stop.

That's right. At the HOT restroom. ... How special is it that there's a restroom set aside solely for the use of those of us who're packing radiation in our bowels/bladders.

Once the pit stop is over, the PET room is the next stop. I walk down the hall, seeing all kinds of signs like this:

And I thank my lucky stars that there are people who know more than I do about stuff like cancer, and radiation, and the need for hot restrooms, and how to read a PET scan.

As much as I am a silly girl who likes to have as much fun with the cancer as I possibly can... I'm so incredibly grateful for the staff at MD Anderson. From the receptionists to the nurses to the techs to the doctors... they are fabulous. I am still here because of them. ... Them AND their radioactive injections.

After it was all said and done, I went downstairs to get a muffin in the little cafe. (Best. Pumpkin. Muffins. E-ver.) and I tied a grey ribbon on the Tree of Hope for Mark. It's not much, but it was all I could do for him - for them - today.

As always, a day spent at MD Anderson is a day spent with a grateful heart. I am still tired, but I'm not anxious anymore. (What's done is done. Now all I need are results. And those will come soon enough.)

Life is good. ... Life is EVEN BETTER when you can take pics of stuff with biohazard warnings all over them.

This is my life, kids. ... And it is AWESOME!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

We had radioactive cat once, okay...twice. Two of my cats had thyroid tumors and the best treatment was a radioactive iodine treatment. The vet didn't want the 2nd cat to come home -- wanted to keep him an extra week -- because I was pregnant. My Dr. said that unless the cat was dead from the radiation, it wasn't going to affect me or the baby. Radiation is interesting stuff. Glad scan is waiting for your results! Hoping for the very best outcome! <3