The life of a cancer patient is often riddled with tests and scans in between normal visits and treatments, and I’m certainly no different. We are headed to Penn today for a PET scan. I think most people who have had one would agree with me that they’re pretty unpleasant – especially the 6 HOURS of fasting…
So I think the spectrum goes from, “X-ray?? Alright!!” to “CAT scan! Score!” to “Aww man, a PET scan” to “NOOO!!! An MRI!!”. Or, at least, that’s how I categorize them. And I have my brain MRI next week. Score.
The PET scan process isn’t too bad, besides the part where the nurse books it out of the room and a machine pumps radioactive material into your IV. Yes, seriously. I figure I’m about one away from starting to develop my super powers, still deciding on what my hero name should be. Cancer Kim? Thigh Face?? Eh, I’ll figure something out and let you guys know what I decide.
So anyway, after that you have to drink 2 huge cups of this barium stuff within a few minutes (looks like milk, tastes slightly better than death) and then you have to sit and wait for an hour or more to let all that junk do it’s thang. They usually recommend you sleep during this time because you aren’t supposed to move much, if at all, during that period. But since I’m a rebel, I do crossword puzzles. YOLO!!
So then the nice nurse comes to get you and take you to the machine and you lay down and then the sweet girl straps you down to the stinkin table. With like huge velcro straps, like you ain’t goin nowhere. I always worry the building will catch fire and they’ll all run out and leave me there. That makes for a super fun hour during the test!
And then it’s all over and I’m free to go! The way it works, based on my very scientific and mathematical approach to understanding it is that the cancer lights up on the scan. Haha, yeah that’s all I got. It’s pretty wild actually, I’ve seen some images of my previous ones.
So this will tell us what’s up. My last one, if you remember, was really good. None of my known mets (brain, lungs, hip bone) lit up. That’s phenomenal, but doesn’t leave any room for improvement, which freaks me out. My drug is so new that they don’t know why it works in some people and not others, why it works better in some than others, and for how long it will work (if it works at all). My oncologist explained it to me in something along the lines of “this drug sort of works…until it doesn’t”
So, I guess it’s safe to say I’m scared. Once things start popping up again, we don’t really have anything to fight it. I’m trying to stay neutral, I don’t want to get my hopes up for another awesome scan, but at the same time, I’m not someone who likes living in a fearful place. So if you are a praying person and feel led to pray for me today, I would appreciate it very much. Also, if you have any suggestions for a good super hero name, I am currently accepting those too.