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.


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.

Power System said...

Cancer has become one of the most dreaded and the most hated word in the modern world. As incidences among both humans and their pets go up, the scramble to look for effective methods and options for treating dog cancer becomes a race.

Liver cancer(yunnan baiyao capsules) in dog can be one of the toughest situations for a pet owner to face. Not only is the likelihood of losing the pet soon a reality, probably worse is the prospect of seeing her suffer through the agonies of the disease and its treatment.

The liver is the body's filter; it's the largest organ, and the one responsible for detoxification of the body and the neutralization of toxins in the blood, among many more important functions. The sieve aspect of liver function causes toxins and carcinogens to accumulate in the liver, and eventually lead to cancer. Alternatively, cancerous cells can arrive here from other parts of the body, during the filtration process, and then take root and metastasize.

The symptoms of various kinds of cancer in the dog can vary. In liver cancer in dog, symptoms range from recurrent abdominal or gastrointestinal problems, depression and lethargy, fluid accumulation in the belly, and jaundice, to seizures, weight loss, and so on. They are generalized enough to be often misinterpreted and ignored until the diseased is far progressed. Treating dog cancer in the later stages is much more difficult, and prognosis is proportionally lower.

Diagnosis involves physical examination, scans and biopsies, and treating dog cancer is a matter of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Tumors are first identified, and the diagnosis of cancer confirmed by biopsy. The malignant tumor can then be removed by surgery, followed by radiation or chemo treatment to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells. However, this method of treating dog cancer is only effective, or recommended, in the initial stages. Later stages, where the cancer spreads to other organs, do not respond well to surgery.