Friday, June 23, 2006

PET scan

I arrived at the North Center about 30 minutes early. Last time, on Monday, I was early and they got me in and out before my actual scheduled time. Today I saw one of my best friends parents, it was the first "they know I have it, what should I say?" meeting. It went well. She hugged me and they went on their way to MRI-ville and I went down the hallway marked CANCER. It was a long hallway and there were framed professional portraits along the wall of men, women, and children who had survived cancer. It was beautiful, I can't believe I had never seen this before. The waiting room was empty. It smelled of coffee and cookies and it was a good smell, perhaps because I had not eaten anything since the night before. In the corner was a bookshelf and I thought to myself, "self, yesterday you waited over two hours in the waiting room, maybe a book is a good idea..." So I got down on my knees and started fingering the bindings of a couple of Stephen King novels when the Nuclear Med Lab Dude called my name. As if there was anyone else in there? We walked down another long hallway and he tried to make chit chat..."Have you ever had at PET scan before?" "Nope" I said. "Okay, well I'll let you in on the procedure when we get to a room." and we kept walking the rest of the mile-long hallway in silence. He took me to a room that had a chair that kind of looked like one in a dentist's office, and he non-chalantly says, "make yourself comfortable in the recliner" I had to look around the room to make sure he was calling this Teflon covered dentist chair a recliner, but the only other chair looked like it belonged in the auditorium with it's thousands of brothers and sisters. So I climbed up into this commercial plastic "recliner" and tried to get comfortable.
He spent the next few minutes filling me in. I am to give him a finger prick of blood for a sugar test. Give him more blood for labs through my arm, drink some nasty tasting banana fluid, be pumped (through an iv) full of radioactive fluid that he brings to the room in a lead case (YIKES), sit completely still for 45 minutes and then be scanned in the machine. No big deal, right? I asked for a sedative. I am Mrs. fiddle pants, I am always tapping my toes or fingers. "What exactly is completely still?" He looks at me like I am nuts and goes and gets me the pill and some warm blankets.
The 45 minute nap went by too quickly, and when they woke me I had a full bladder. They excused me for a moment and then into the machine I went. 35 more minutes here and I was done. Other than feeling like I had a 2 martini lunch, I felt fine. Two more appointments on Monday and none of them involve needles.
Bring it on, cancer!
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