I really should wait until tomorrow evening to post this – BUT I CAN’T WAIT!!!
I reckon if I’m going to ride the coaster again then I wouldn’t mind some company. But if you’d rather not come along for the ride, then read no further . . .
I had my first PET scan in June on a Saturday morning, so none of The Team was there, though the doctor in charge that day told me that she knew who I was and made me feel as comfortable about the whole thing as she could. But really, it was nothing like seeing the whole Team there this morning. I didn’t feel scared or nervous at all and I even got to tell Ricardo zoomer’s awful joke (he’ll know which one I mean) and Ricardo loved it. But I digress.
Got to the hospital at 8 o’clock. Nog came with me but we had to split the ‘accompany az’ job into two shifts because he had a class at 10.30, and so Pipocas showed up at 9.15 to relieve Nog of his duties. That was kind of funny for me because Nog was there when I went in for the first scan, and Pipocas was there when I came out. And once again I felt so lucky to have such good friends willing to hang out for hours in hospital waiting rooms.
Anyhow … the usual routine with a PET scan is that you show up without having eaten anything and then they put you in a pleasant room with a comfy chair and attractive prints on the walls (I got Picasso). After that you are given some SERIOUS muscle relaxants and then they stick in the IV in order to inject the radioactive isotope. Then you sit there for an hour letting it flush through your system via a saline solution, with the lights turned down low and a comfy blanky keeping you warm. Then you get put through the machine, which takes about half an hour. After that you are told to go and have brekky while they check the results, in case they need to re-do any areas.
And so, Pipocas and I headed off to the cafetería … I was sooooooooooo relaxed after those pills that I felt in love with the entire universe. But after a very long breakfast chat and two cups of industrial strength coffee I was back in the land of those who probably have to go through the PET machine again, which turned out to be the case, though the second time round I was only in the machine for about 15 minutes.
Question – why is it that when you are in a situation in which you are not allowed to move that you suddenly get a very accute itch behind your knee???
Anyhoodle … it was finally all over with except for having a chat with Ricardo. For those who haven’t been following the story, Ricardo is the head of Nuclear Medicine as well as being my ex-student and a very trusted friend. And he has also been keeping me sane ever since one of the evil oncologists told me last month that my case was terminal.
Pipocas and I sat down in his office and he told us that he is very optimistic about my prognosis. He said that the worst case scenario is that the two spots on the peritonaea that showed up on the CT scan will end up being confirmed by the PET scan as tumours. In which case, depending on how extensive the metastasis is, surgery may or may not be an option. If not, I would be put on a course of chemo and they would hope for the best. But unlike my doom & gloom oncologist, Ricardo says that I have already responded amazingly well to the first chemo (ie. no more liver tumours) so he doesn’t see why a few more rounds of chemo couldn’t also take care of the peritoneal tumours.
The best case scenario would be that the peritoneal spots turn out to be benign fibrosis – basically scar tissue from dead cancer cells – in which case the surgeon may still want to operate in order to make sure my liver is clean by removing the surrounding tissue from the initially affected areas.
The icky bit is that both scenarios will require more chemo. But I’ll do whatever it takes if it means I get to live some more.
Ricardo says he will have the results from today’s PET scans by tomorrow afternoon/evening and he will compare them with my previous PET as well as the two previous CT scans … and then he’ll call me.
It’s gonna be a long 24 hours …