PET-CT Scan

It’s been a slow week, but today was more exciting.  I went into work for 2 hours this morning only because it was on my way to Grand Rapids, where I had to go to get my PET-CT scan.  First, let me say that the cancer pavilion there is a beautiful building – the lobby was like a 5 star hotel – and I approve.  It certainly makes things more comfortable.  Also, instead of being in some basement room like at Holland Hospital (where I got my CT scan a couple weeks ago), the PET-CT scanner was in a corner room on the second floor with sunlight flowing in from all angles.

I had to get there early, because apart from checking my blood sugar to make sure my forced diet of zero carbs and sugars over the past 24hrs worked, I had to get the radioactive glucose injected into me, then sit for 90 minutes while it circulated throughout my body.  I was in a private room for all of it, and had a TV with a few channels to watch (but what’s ever on at 10am anyway?) and some magazines to flip through, but it was hard to not just stare at the wall clock.  I also had to drink another chalky barium sulfate contrast solution.

By the way, the PET-CT scanner looked something like this:Not exactly the full claustrophobic tomb I was expecting, so that was nice.  It’s really just a slightly thicker “donut” than a plain old CT scanner.  Another welcome surprise was that instead of the 30-60 minutes the information packet told me I was probably going to be in the machine, I was in and out in 15 minutes.

It does a normal CT scan first, complete with the injection of whatever other contrast stuff makes your veins feel all warm, then the PET scan part, which takes about 10 minutes, and it works in sections, spending about 2 minutes scanning each section before it slides the bed further back and forth for the next section.  During the scan, the radiological specialist/DJ put in the CD I brought with me, and somehow went straight to the last track (which was secretly what I was hoping to listen to), “Impossible Soul” (from Sufjan’s The Age of Adz), because it’s a 25 minute long track that allows you to lose track of time.  Indeed, I was out of there before the track finished.

On the docket for next week: I have my first appointment with my oncologist on Monday, where I have a million questions about chemotherapy that I want answered.  Then, on Thursday, I’m scheduled to go in for surgery again to get the port installed in my chest.  We’re crossing our fingers I can start chemo on Friday, but who knows?

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