The past two days have been the first real impact that Cancer has had on my life. For two days I have not been able to play with my dogs or do 15 flights of stairs at work due to activity restrictions AND I could not eat the lunch that was provided at work due to diet restrictions - all because of my upcoming Pet Scan*. L I will just have to make sure I eat TWO supreme brownies the next time around! And Moose didn’t look like he minded having to stay on the couch last night while I watched TV J
Pet Scan is tomorrow. YAY! One step closer to diagnosis!
The prep instructions were not what I was expecting:
1. 48 hours before: Minimize exercise – absolutely nothing strenuous
2. 24 hours before: No carbs/no sweets diet. NO chewing gum or mints. No coffee. Drink lots of water.
I did a little research and it’s true.
1. Doing strenuous exercise can alter the results of a Pet Scan.
“Any type of physical activity—from tapping your feet while in the waiting room to jogging the neighborhood the day before—can affect the results of a PET scan and lead to false-positive results,” said Medhat M. Osman, M.D., ScM, Ph.D.
2. The low carb diet is to, hopefully, get the best possible results. I need to deprive my body of glucose. The cancer cells will get “hungry” so when the radioactive glucose is injected, they’ll go to it like a pig to mud.
Ok. Whatever it takes. I’ve totally got this!
A PET scan is Positron Emission Tomography. A small quantity of radioactive tracer will be injected into my arm. Cancer cells tend to go after sugars like moths to a flame, so the radioactive tracer is bound with a sugar. It takes about an hour for the radioactive tracer to zoom around my body heading for the cancer and getting eaten up. While it’s doing its thing, I have to stay as still as possible and not talk.
Once the hour is up, scanning will begin. The scanner will detect gamma rays created by positrons being emitted from the radioactive tracer. Higher concentrations light up like a Christmas tree and show the locations and size of the tumors.
Two comments about this:
1. How in the world am I going to stay as still as possible for an HOUR?!? NO TALKING?!?!? I read where they won’t even let you read because that requires that you use muscles in your hands and arms to hold the book/Kindle. Ugh. I did a lot of mindfulness exercises during my recovery from the fiasco earlier this year. Now is the time to see how well all of my practicing will pay off (Thank you Megan!). I’m really hoping they’ll at least let me listen to my “Surviving NHL” playlist. Either way, I’ll do whatever it takes to be as still as possible.
2. “Light up like a Christmas tree” was the exact term that Dr. Kritz used when he informed us of my mom’s Pet Scan result. I’m expecting the same result this time too. HOWEVER, I’m more prepared this time around! I know that by the time Lymphoma is detected, it’s usually pretty much everywhere – it is a blood cancer after all. That’s ok. Once we know where it is, we will know exactly where to target the treatments.
Light up all you want NHL.
BIG BERTHA and all the, as my friend Ann called them, little Bertha wannabes HAVE GOT TO GO.
Better to SEE them before we DESTROY them.
End of story.
One day at a time, and when it's a day when there is a procedure or a preparation for a procedure, then one hour or one moment at a time :)
I’ve totally got this!!
This was outside my window at work tonight! WOW! I think that's my sign that every little thing is gonna be alright!!
*To be totally honest about this whole thing, I would *MUCH* prefer the type of Pet Scan that I get every time I walk thru my front door. "HI MOM!"...sniff...sniff....sniff.... "WHERE YA BEEN!"...sniff....sniff....sniff...."WE'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH!"...sniff ....sniff ...sniff .....sniff ...sniff ❤