Thursday, June 28, 2007

The (now) dreaded PET scan

Yesterday I just flat ran out of gas! The PET scan was really more of a drain than I ever could imagine. The one I had six months ago wasn’t bad at all, but this one was different. Plus I had Lady Bug from the minute I got home until her dad FINALLY decided to pick her up at 4:45. If he continues this "stuff" there is no way I can keep the new one when she arrives. But that’s another story.

Today we talk about the dreaded PET. Normally, PETs are not done on Wednesday. That put fear in my heart. I knew a change from routine would put a monkey wrench in the works. I was supposed to be there at 8:30. I am accustomed to being there about 9 since the lab is just across from the oncologist. I was concerned about traffic, so I got there 15 minutes early so I wouldn’t make things harder for the tech. I waited in the lobby and went to the door at 8:30. Closed, locked and no lights. Well . . .

I walked back to radiology. The sweet receptionist began calling around for me. About 9, she told me they were there. I went over. The new development was that the lights were on. The door was still locked.

I knocked, knowing all the while Lisa (the tech) could not hear me. Just as I was getting ready to go back to radiology, she came in to open the door.

All the things to get ready were the same, except this time I had to wear a hospital
gown that was made to fit Paris. I should have run right then. Things were about to take a turn south.

Lisa said I could sit on the table while she got one of the therapists from "over there" to come over. When she arrived, she came with the set up I was on when they took the measurements for radiation.

Part of this set up is an arm rest. That consists of two stirrup looking things that are supposed to cradle the upper and lower arm. There was no way that set up was going through that tube, and sure enough it wasn’t.

Then they began repositioning my body on the "bed." I am not a small woman. I could only be considered small if I were an Amazon. To get the apparatus for the breast radiation into the tube, my body was shoved to the edge of the bed. I was afraid I was going to fall off. My left arm was off.

When they tried a "trial fit," my left arm was hitting the other side of the tube and they had to remove the stirrup that held the lower right arm. It was determined that this would work because "this doesn’t take long" (quote from the radiation therapist).

I was freaking out this time because I was crammed into that blasted tube, touching the side and the top, and they left me in the middle for what seemed an eternity before the test.
Last time was not bad. I never freaked out. This time was different. I was about to scream. I asked how long it would take, and got no answer at first. Then Lisa finally told me it would be about 30 minutes.

As it turned out, there was only about a 10 minute period of time where I was mildly frantic. My left arm rested against the side of the tube the whole time, and at this point I can only hope and pray that they don’t call me to tell me that the results are unreadable and I have to come back.
I think my tiredness was due to my emotions. I probably shouldn’t have kept Lady Bug at all, but you know how mothers and grandmothers are. We always put ourselves on the back burner. I know K wouldn’t have wanted that, but at her stage of pregnancy I don’t want her stressing about not being able to get her work done - which she will be, and is, doing.

It’s almost time for Lady Bug to be here. It is supposed to be a short day with her dad picking her up when his appointment in Beaumont is done. Let’s hope he gets her on his WAY home and not after he has been home, etc.


LeeAnn said...

I didn't have to have a PET scan but I did have those 6 weeks of radiation treatments. I hope that your facility is as wonderful as mine was. I had a set appointment and was in and out in 20 minutes. The actual treatment takes less than 5 minutes. You will have a reaction to the treatments....your skin will turn red, think of a sunburn but not painful, atleast mine didn't hurt. You will probably get tired and need a nap about 2 weeks into treatment. You can't use deodrant and will have to stop wearing an underwire bra. Your skin will start to look like an orange and then it will peel. I finished my treatments 2 months ago and my nipple is still very dark and crusty looking! My breast still has that orange peel look and is still slighly red. The trick is to use the lotion/cream or whatever they give you to use on your breast for added moisture. I had my appointment set up during the lunch hour since it made for easier parking!

Grandma K said...

Thanks for your encouragement
Lee Ann. I really am nervous about all this. I am also not happy about the Monday-Friday part, but I guess things will work out.