Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Kinda Piña Coladas You Drinkin'?

I've heard people say that PET Scans are uncomfortable, claustrophobic, tedious and exhausting. All it did was put me to sleep, which pretty much anything does these days. I had this full body scan today so that my oncologist can see if there are any other tumors, swollen nodes and masses spreading their evilness anywhere else in my body. This will help to accurately stage how far along the Hodgkin's Disease is in its course. 

I did naively think it was going to be an in-and-out procedure. I guess I didn't get the memo to carve out a couple of hours and bring some reading material. My PET Scan technician, an Al Franken glasses wearing look alike (minus the hair) talked me through the whole process. A process that I've learned I'll be going through several  more times once I start treatment and even years into remission to be sure there's no more cancer creeping in. We talked about my lymphoma and it turns out we share an oncologist and he's been in remission for two years. It was very comforting to hear his story and reassurances. "You've just got to be positive and lean on your family and friends who you really learn to appreciate more than ever," said Franken. 

He injected me with some electromagnetic craziness and had me lay on the bed for over an hour to let it course through my body to help more accurately illuminate my body during "picture taking" time as he called it. I wished I had my book, but he gave me a TV remote. Now that's something I never get in my own house. I'm surprised I knew how to use it ... I think ours is attached to my husband. I switched between Home Improvement, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (an episode about adoption, ironically), Jerry Maguire and some cheezy Keanu Reeves surfing flick. All the while I had to down a quart of this thick, milky, chalky substance that would help to illuminate my GI tract. I don't know how well it illuminated it but it certainly stirred things up and almost traveled right back out from where it came in. Franken told me that it's not medicine, it won't taste bad ... it's just like a pina colada. I don't know who's mixing his drinks, but he needs to find a new bar tender. This man does not realize that I've been on not one, but two all-inclusive honeymoons with the BOGO hurricane package, each at hotels with several swim-up bars and have become a bit of a pina colada connoisseur. Ah well, I held my nose and choked it down ... the majority of it anyway. Maybe a maraschino cherry would have helped. 

The PET Scan itself wasn't bad at all. They laid me on the mechanical bed and strapped my arms down. This is how I sleep anyway, I like to have the sheets tucked as tightly around me as physically possible. When I was little, I would line all my stuffed animals up tight along my body under the covers each night before I went to sleep. For me, the blanket and tight straps was a comfort. With Josh Groban pumping through the speakers outside the machine I fell asleep about three minutes in and woke up 30 minutes later to the tinny smile of a kind nurse with braces on her teeth. 

"That's it?"

"That's it." 

And again we wait on results. 

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