I am scheduled for another PET scan today. I have the routine down fairly well. Cut back on carbohydrates two days before the scan, and go carb “free” on the day before the scan. I am not a huge carb fan, but the moment you tell me that I can’t have carbs, that is all I want. This photo is the “good” carbs, but I am thinking any carbs would be good about now.
The PET scan uses a radioactive tracer with glucose (sugar). Once you starve your body of sugar, and then re-introduce it in the form of glucose, it happily travels to all areas of your body….particularly areas of high metabolic activity. High metabolic activity is not good. My recent scan (Sept. 5) was good, so that bodes well for today. My number one goal is to focus on getting my body back to eating well, feeling well, and exercising well. So, what’s the hitch? My latest CA levels (the markers that they use to check Cancer) have notched up a bit. Could be nothing, could be something.
So, I am waiting. No food since last night at 6 pm. I am allowed to drink watery water (not my favorite) and I’ll be to Tripler Army Medical Center in a bit. First order of business is accessing my port, and then they’ll start the radioactive tracer. One hour of complete solitude in a dark room will follow. No music, no TV, no books, no company, nothing. (I guess they don’t want my high-intellect from listening to Morrissey or watching The Walking Dead to light up the scan.) After that, the tube. I am fairly good with the claustrophobic aspect of the tube, but my hands usually fall asleep during the scan. They used to tape down my forehead and hands, but evidently, I have graduated from this (or someone complained). Now, I just have to hold them above my head.
Results? Probably in a day or two. So much of this disease is waiting and watching. I know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I thought I’d put in a plug for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Simply put, if you have had unexplained digestive issues for more than several weeks, it would be a good idea to get it check out. I urge you to go and check out the symptoms.
No, not that kind…this kind…a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan.
Tomorrow is my six month scan. We are hoping not to see any areas light up this time! Today (Thursday) is the prep day. Starving the body of sugar and focusing on low carb eating.
A day of eating this…
Tomorrow (Friday) is just watery water…Nothing else!
Then, they inject the radioactive tracer…and allow it to circulate in the bloodstream.
One hour of sitting “Quietly”…no music, books, talking, moving, etc. They really mean it when they say sit quietly. After 1 hour, the dye has had a chance to circulate through the whole body (organs and tissue) and you’re ready for the scan to begin. Any areas of hypermetabolic hungry cancer cells, will be activated and light up during the scan.
Then, the tube. It like a crystal ball to look at your innards.
And then waiting…for results…till Monday-an exercise in patience impatience. What makes you impatient? How do you cope?
Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.