9.11.2014

PET Me Like a Good Dog

With the premature end to my summer of chemo fun, came the grand finale; the long desired PET scan. Not desired on my part, but on the part of every oncologist, naturopath, surgeon and medical professional I'd encountered since my diagnosis. Because my tumors were initially so small, a PET scan would technically not be able to see them, and my insurance rejected any previous request submitted. But not now! Those babies have put on some weight and at least 1 should glow!

My doctor wanted to "get a good look" and make sure that cancer "wasn't anywhere we didn't know about." Comments like this hardly faze me. Like I've become callused to all that "scanxiety" or something. I knew it wasn't anywhere else. I wasn't preparing for the worst and hoping for the best this time. I just knew it wasn't. But for the sake of exposing me to even more radiation and calming him down, why not!

I had my first venture into into being a temporary glow stick last week, with a PET/CT scan. I'll let you look it up if you really want to know how it works, but I can say it made for an uninterrupted 25 minute catnap and the chance to pee in a lead-encased bathroom for "nuclear patients only."

I just envisioned myself voiding something equivalent of a yellow glow stick. If your child has ever chewed one open and illuminated the inside of their mouth, you can understand the shade of yellow. Also rest assured that if your child does this in the future, they will be perfectly fine. It also gave me 2 medically justified hours where my children were banished from my radioactive presence until I didn't set off the Geiger counter.

My anxiety over scan results isn't as intense as it used to be. I hate to think it's predicable, as I always say to never assume anything when it comes to cancer. But given the nature of my cancer and my continuous treatment, I come very close to assuming that everything but my lungs will be magically free and clear. I was not disappointed. Aside from my lungs, I was sparkly and clean from my neck to my knees.

My lungs are still having a small shindig, but one that's still relatively calm and subdued. Nothing has magically disappeared, just magically gotten a little smaller. It's hard for me to say how much smaller, as the PET scan and the subsequent report written by the radiologist doesn't exactly read in millimeter increments like a CT scan. The PET scan doesn't even pick up some of my smaller tumors because of their size. So I can't tell you the minute details of each tumor, but I can generally say that things are smaller.

My doctor even vaguely described some of my smaller tumors as being cancerous, but potentially being in a discombobulated state of confusion and non-growth. Something he can't say for certain, but it gave me a glimmer of hope that some of them might just pull a Kenny and self-implode in the future. Just some wishful speculation on my part.


2 comments:

KatolinFamily said...

I like the words "in a discombobulated state of confusion and non-growth". Good news.

Sarah DeBord said...

I'm sure it was only a hypothetical guess on his part, but it was just the little drop of hope I could use about now.