Went over to Jimmys for the PET scan this morning. You can’t eat for 8 hours prior to the scan so no breakfast or coffee for me. Made sure I had my fill last light before going to bed. This morning it was just bottles and bottles of water (you’re asked to tank up as apparently it helps to distribute the tracer around the body if you are well hydrated. And it’s a welcome distraction from feelings of hunger).
I think this is my 6th scan since the original diagnosis, so am well versed in the whole affair. You are first taken into a small room where the procedure is explained to you (…well, actually the guy didn’t bother with formalities today, they used to – don’t know if it was because he knew I wasn’t a newbie or if he was just having a really bad day. He was pretty grumpy!). Anyway you get fitted with a cannula and a radioactive sugar is put into your veins. You are then asked to lie still and rest for 50 or so minutes while the sugar makes its way around the body. You can’t even read as apparently that exercises the eyes too much. I put my headphones on and listed to music and dozed.
Then you’re taken into the room with the PET/CT scanner – it’s a massive machine with a hard bed that you lie on. This moves in and out of a tube. I am not claustrophobic but I can totally get how some people wouldn’t enjoy this experience. It’s all pretty tight in there. And I’m not exactly large width ways. You are asked to lie dead still with your arms up over your head. Anyway you are shipped in and out a few times. Inside the tube you occasionally see a large something spinning around the tube, deep in the guts of the machine. I guess this is some sort of electromagnet. Then the spinning sound stops and you move progressively through towards the back. I’m guessing, but might be totally wrong, that the machine first CT scans the body, then the PET info is overlayed on the CT image.
Once your head starts to poke out the other side there is a large digital display with a countdown timer, so you’re able to see how long is left. By this time my shoulders were really aching from holding my arms above my head for so long (prob. 20 minutes) …and I was desperate to move them, but you daren’t in case you screw the whole thing up and have to go through it all again. After what seems like an eternity the counter reaches zero and a voice comes over a speaker saying he’s going to pull you out and then you can relax. All over for this time. Off to the cafe to make up for lost meals and coffees!
Should be getting the results next week Tuesday at a clinic appointment. I have absolutely no idea which way this one’s going to go. I feel fine, a bit stronger every day after the last chemo, but have been positive before and had bad news …and have been negative before and had good news. So I’ll just leave it blank and live “in the now”.