Everything went relatively well today. My mother came with me because as she said: "She had nothing else to do." Right - who chooses to spend the morning sitting through someone's PET Scan process? A devoted mom does. It certainly helped to have her there as it is a long prep process.
First I had to be injected with the dye that would illuminate my insides. They had to call in a nurse to access my port. I wasn't about to go through another IV, this is why I got the thing in the first place. Inside my chest is a "power port" meaning that it can even suck in the chemicals needed for PET Scan illumination and draw blood. The nurse wasn't exactly Ms. Friendly Face and not exactly adept at the insertion either. But she got through it and the dye was spewed. You'd think the removal of the port needle would be the easy part but that proved to be more difficult. She said nothing as I could feel her writhing and yanking on the hooked needle as it wavered around in my port. I just closed my eyes and breathed.
They changed the needles recently, she explained: "They used to just pop right out. Now you've got to wriggle it back and forth and say a few 'Hail Marys.'"
Well thank the sweet mother of Jesus, she finally got it out.
"Ya, that didn't feel so good," I replied, so thankful for the skillful hands of my oncology nurses.
Then I was given a good, heaping dose of Barium Sulfate the "pina colada" flavored milky cocktail I fondly remembered from my first PET Scan. I was given an hour to drink it and to allow all the chemical mess to traverse my insides and light up my body like a Christmas tree. This will let the docs easily see whether there is any evidence of cancer remaining in my blood and organs.
While I sipped/choked down the mixture my mom and I played Gin Rummy and watched bad morning television. The time passed quickly and it helped to keep my mind off the importance of what was to come.
The actual PET-CT Scan lasted 25 minutes. I laid in a narrow "cradle" with my arms over my head, my body strapped in and my ankles strapped together so that I wouldn't move. On the ceiling outside the machine is a tranquil scene of backlit clouds - the last bit of peace before entering the long, narrow tunnel. Lite 100.5 played in the background - a little James Taylor, a little Whitney Houston - enough to lull me and send me into a doze while the machine whirred. Then it was over. I switched out the scrubs-large-enough-for-a-400-pound man back for my 7 jeans, donned my lucky moccasins and headed out the door.
I forgot to ask how long it will take to hear the results. Maybe I did that on purpose. I'll hear when I hear and that will be okay. Tonight I went to yoga which helped to further clear my mind about all of this, to push away the fear and know what whatever will be will be and that I can handle it. How could I not with the two loves of my life by my side always? So I'll keep going in and getting my Neupogen shots and Sammy, Craig, my huge support team, and I will wait for the call about results ... tick. tick. .... tick.