Monday, October 21, 2013

PET Scan and Dreaming About Vacation

PET scans are boring.  Really boring.

I had one today.  Here's how it went.  After I arrive and check in at the Cancer Center, I am taken back to a small private room with a reclining chair.  I'm stuck with an IV and injected with radioactive sugar.  And then I sit.... For 90 minutes....  Without moving.....  Apparently cancer loves sugar, so cancer cells will suck up as much of the sugar as it can.  Since the sugar is radioactive, the PET scan will highlight where the cancer cells are (if there are any).  Unfortunately muscle use can attract this sugar as well, so if I was to, say, wiggle my leg during that 90 minutes, those leg muscles could attract the sugar and show a "false positive" on the scan.  So I have to sit as still as possible.
Thankfully I'm allowed to use my iPad and phone during the wait, so I played a LOT of Candy Crush :)

Ok, so after 90 boring minutes they take me into the scan room.  I lay down on a hard table and they literally strap me in.  There's a strap that's about 12 inches wide that goes across my body and over my arms and one strap across my forehead.  Once I'm strapped to the table, the scan begins.  The PET scan machine is basically a 4 foot long tube.  They send me into the tube until about half of my body comes out the other side.  Then every 4 minutes, they pull me back into the tube a few inches until my whole body has been scanned.  The machine is actually pretty quiet, it just makes a humming noise.

The scan takes about 45 minutes.  No iPad, no music, just me and my thoughts.  So today I was day dreaming about vacation during my scan.

Josh and I are saving money to take a mini-vacation in December when I'm officially cancer-free and all my treatment is complete.  Our original plan was to spend a long weekend in Key West (our favorite vacation spot), but flights are crazy expensive in December (over $500 a piece!).  So I think we're going to try Marco Island or Fort Myers - or some other southern Florida city.  Still working out the details :)

Over the last several months, we've been saving up and stashing away as much money as possible so we can take this trip.  We each got small bonuses at work, so we put that money aside.  Josh has been working overtime and has also been packing his lunch instead of eating out.  We have been working very hard to make sure this trip can happen.  We also have a few hundred dollars in Cash Back from our Discover credit card that should be able to pay for a majority of a car rental and hotel room.

Is this the best use of our money?  You may not think so, but to us it definitely is.  We're a young, newly married couple who's been dealing with a crappy situation.  While this ordeal has definitely strengthened our marriage, we desperately need the time away!  We need to get away, forget about cancer, have fun, and be a married couple again.  This trip is important to us and we're very excited about it.

On Wednesday, we have an appointment with my oncologist to get the results of today's PET scan.  Assuming the scan shows my tumors are gone (which we fully expect!), I'll be officially done with chemo!  I'll meet my radiation oncologist next week to determine the amount of radiation needed, which should be between 2 and 4 weeks worth.  So if all goes as planned, I'll be done with treatment by late November and Josh and I will be on a nice little vacation in mid-December!

I appreciate all the kind words, positive thoughts, and prayers.  It'll be a LONG couple of days waiting on those results.  I hope Wednesday gets here soon!!  Our appointment is at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, so check back that evening for the results.


No comments:

Post a Comment