Monday, December 20, 2010

PET scan anyone????

Since my last treatment (November 24th) I have felt stronger with each passing day. The last few weeks have been crazy busy.

I had a PET scan on December 10th. This was not one of my finer medical moments. I had a lot of anxiety surrounding this test. All the treatment and surgery comes down to these results. My human brain can't help but wonder, is the cancer gone? did the chemo work? am I really finished? In preparation for the test I eat no carbs the day prior. I swear this gives me some kind of sugar withdrawal headache the night before the test. I of course don't take any medicine for the headache, even though they say it is okay. I personally feel like the less variables in my system the better. There is of course no medical reason for me to come to this conclusion, I try to just hydrate the headache away.

The next day I am allowed only water prior to the test. So I go strolling in the office determined to be my optimistic self. I have the scan done at the new SimonMed facility in Prescott Valley. My appointment was scheduled at 9:00 I arrived right on time. Then preceded to wait for one hour in the lobby. This flagrant abuse of patient time is something I find very frustrating. I attempt to keep my irritation at bay but it is kind of hard.

Finally around 10:00 I get called back. I am feeling rather confident in my ability to handle these medical tests like a grown up. Dan the technician is quite nice he takes me back to a holding area. First he tests my blood sugar to make sure it is within range. I take the finger prick like a champ. Next Dan locates a nice plump vein in my left arm and inserts a small butterfly. He flushes the line with a little saline, I get that nasty taste in my mouth which I get every time I have a saline flush. This is all pretty routine up to this point. I notice Dan has a little thing on his finger and I make some comment like "are zip-tie rings the latest accessory in the medical field?" He proceeds to tell me it is a radiation badge, designed to make sure that he is not exposed to to much of it, since it is harmful and all. Dan then leaves the room only to return with a giant metal syringe full of radioactive glucose that he will be injecting directly in to my veins. Somehow this situation is not comforting to me. My body decides to react with a loud ringing in my ears, I then start sweating profusely, then my vision starts to go in and out. I let nice Dan know that he needs to recline the chair and I am about to faint. I think this little episode lasts about a minute. I manage to not pass out completely. This return to my old reaction to medical treatment has me wondering if my Dr. phobia has improved at all? I start to calm down and Dan removes the butterfly and wraps my arm with some tape.

Now the next phase of the testing begins I have to sit calmly in this little dark room. I am cozied up under a blanket with my shoes off. I am supposed to sit here for about 45 minutes. I am determined to be calmer then I have ever been. This is the most important test of my life and I certainly don't want to F it up by moving to many muscles. Luckily there is a flat screen TV in the room, a little mindless TV to distract the mind could be helpful in this situation. Unfortunately it is set to TLC and "A Baby Story" marathon is on. I do not have a remote control this is not good. Now I was a fan of this show during my pregnancies. There is a time in every woman's life where a show like this could connect you to the miracle of childbirth. I however did not feel that way on this particular day. I was sure watching one woman push during delivery was causing my own pelvic region to contract. I decided to ignore the show and manage to dose off for most of the next baby story. I awoke to a brilliant young woman who had managed to carry her second child to full term without even knowing that she was pregnant. Watching someone claim such a thing really does aggravate me on some kind of primitive level. How could I possibly relax with this kind of torture?

Finally Dan comes to get me and set me up in the tube for the scan itself. This is another part of the test where I get to be absolutely still again. Only to make it more fun this time I get to lie flat on my back. To make it interesting I get to hold my hands up over my head. Lucky for me my mastectomy and expanders made all my chest muscles super tight. I feel like a spring loaded mouse trap. With out complete concentration my arms could snap up at any moment. Dan proceeds to move the platform that I am on in and out of this machine. It looks like a large block with a cylinder in the middle. The room is a cool 50 - 60 degrees. Thankfully I have blankets over me, he does however forget to cover my bald head. Time to relax this will only take about 30 minutes or so. Great, my nose starts to itch just as the test begins. Now I am really starting to enjoy myself.

So I somewhat chant my way through the test drink water and breathe, drink water and can do this..........

and it works I finish the test by about 12:30. There would be no results until I saw the Dr. the following week.

the rest of the story is coming soon.....

drink water and breathe..........

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