Have you had a PET scan? I would describe it as one of the least invasive of advanced diagnostic tests; as long as you don’t mind getting an IV and spending half your day hanging around. For those of you that are unfamiliar with PETs, here’s a quick primer.
You can’t eat or drink anything except water after midnight. A tech starts an IV and injects you with radioactive glucose–not my breakfast of choice! You wait a couple of hours for an anticlimactic pass-through, lying in a large white tube similar to an MRI, but not as tight or noisy.
That’s it! A week from today I’ll learn if there were any “hot spots” on the films; glowing orbs of light that indicate there may be cancerous activity there.
My myeloma markers have been relatively stable, but my right hip has become more and more painful, so that could be a warning sight. As a bonus, a few rogue plasmacytomas might be lurking somewhere in my bone or muscle, but I’m not overly concerned.
I haven’t had one of these for over two years. My myeloma specialist, Dr. Melissa Alsina, ordered one as a precaution. I thought it was a good idea at the time. But right now my blood sugar is so low, the hunger gods might not agree!
I have been writing about Total Therapy and the Myeloma Institute in Arkansas a lot lately. My notes–and a lot of reader comment and debate–have centered on treatment philosophies. But I should have also pointed-out differences in testing protocols between TT and many other cancer centers as well. There is a significant difference in the way docs in Arkansas test and monitor their patients, and the direction my doctors and I have decided to go.
But the techs are ready to take me back for my scan so I’d better continue this tomorrow. Not a bad idea, because broaching technical topics after taking oxycodone on an empty stomach–while my blood sugar is so low–has left me feeling loopy. Nice! Maybe that’s why they keep checking everyone’s armbands so often; to keep teenagers from sneaking in, hanging out and getting high!
In the meantime, how ’bout sharing a little positive energy to help make any of those frightening, bright and glowing spots go away? But for now, no worries!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat