9. The PET scan – no dramas

So in contrast to yesterday’s excitement, today felt relatively effortless.

We rock up at hospital at 10:00, nail the necessary litre of water and within minutes the porter comes to collect me. AN: If anyone’s seen ‘’Regarding Henry’ (an AWESOME movie, much of which I’m relating to very much right now) the rehab nurse who looks after Harrison Ford’s character is called Barney, and today’s porter reminded me of him, so we’ll call him Barney 🙂

Barney takes me into a small room, to be ‘prepared’ and so far, all is as it was when I had my last PET scan two years ago, so I’m feeling fine.

First-up; check my glucose levels (too high and the scan is flawed, too low and I’m flawed!) Luckily, a small pin prick in my finger reveals that I’m bang on normal at 4.5.

Next-up; Barney inserts an IV into my arm so he can inject me with the crazy stuff. Again, having had so many IVs now, it just feels standard stuff, and within seconds I have another delightful syringe sticking out of my arm. Lovely.

He then switches on the machine to start the radioactive fluid – this will work its way around my body over the next 30-45 minutes, so when they scan me they can see better what’s going on inside.

So, radioactive liquid… what is that, exactly? “Oh don’t worry”, says Barney, “there’s zero side effects, it’s such a low dose, it’s not much more than sugar really.” Oh – I almost feel disappointed – so will my pee not be luminous afterwards? “Erm, No. And I don’t have to stand well away from people? No. Can’t I even freak people out by telling them I’m radio active? No. Gutted.

So once injected with what is apparently little more than sugar, Barney covers me in a blanket and tells me to lie as still as possible for the next 30-45 minutes and he’ll come back and get me later. Can I just go to sleep? “Sure – that’s the best thing you could do. I’ll dim the lights… sweet dreams!” And with that, I’m out like a light… zzz

When he returns 45 minutes later, Barney literally has to shake me to wake me up – I was long gone! He removes the IV from my arm, sends me off to the loo (bladder needs to be empty for the scan) then takes me through to the scan room.

I do a quick room check: no surgeons or flack jackets in sight – awesome – just a big round doughnut shaped machine with a bed ready to slide into it. Two more nurses greet me, Barney disappears, and they explain what will happen next. “Two scans: one for 20 minutes on your back, then a quick 5 minutes on your front, ok? Just hop up on the bed…” Right. So ‘hoping up’ on anything is pretty much laughable right now, with wobbly legs, no balance, one arm swinging around like a fly swat, and a torso that feels like I’ve been walloped across the back with a baseball bat! “So arms above your head isn’t going to work then?” Hahaha – you guys are so funny! They help me up onto the bed, lay me down carefully and strap me in with my arms by my side. All good so far. The doughnut starts to spin and my conveyor belt bed slides slowly inside. Unlike the MRI, this machine just whirs rather than clangs, and I soon find myself drifting back off to sleep… zzz

After 20 minutes, I emerge from the doughnut ready for scan two. “Right, on your front for this one Miss, is that OK?” Ah, this could be fun. I’m not sure what was worse – physically getting me into position, lying on a foam bolster with two cylindrical holes into which my boobs had to drop, or staying there with my chest elevated and back bent for the next 5 minutes. Either way, it wasn’t pleasant, but compared to yesterday, was nothing really. Suck it up Boxy; deal with it, it’s five minutes which will help them determine your treatment plan to kick this thing… crack on. Five minutes later, I emerge from the doughnut and we’re all done.

Outside in the corridor Kari is waiting with a bottle of water and the other half of yesterday’s banana bread, and by the time we hit the elevator, I’m happy 🙂 We swing by my local coffee bar for a cheeky cortado and some lunch, and we’re home by 2pm.

So, far less traumatic than yesterday, and despite my walking and general mobility now feeling ridiculous, I feel far happier than this time yesterday.

Tomorrow’s instalment: a 9am consultation with the Radiologist – no scans, just chat. So we’re giving my body a day’s rest, and I’m hoping to get some more info on treatment. Could be tough words, could be hopeful insight – either way, I’ll learn more and feel one more step closer to nailing this thing, so bring it on. Oh and a cheeky manicure booked in the afternoon as a treat for Nurse Kari and me 🙂

Til tomorrow folks…!


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