the PET Scan

The first scan I ever had done was last month in Colombia.  I was told to get a tomografia and had no idea what that was.  Had to be done with contrast — a dye injected into an IV and pictures taken of my neck area.  Tomografia = CAT Scan.

This time though, it’s a full body scan with contrast and radiation.  The purpose of this test is to see whether any of the cancer could have made its way to any other part of the body, i.e., lungs, liver, etc.  Therefore, for best results, it’s important to be on low carb diet the day prior, and especially low sugar.  The contrast injected reacts with sugars in the body and “lights up” any high metabolic areas, and cancer cells tend to light up with sugar (metabolic activity).

My appointment is at noon so no eating or drinking anything except water that day.  The wait for this appointment was not so bad, only 45 minutes.  Still.  I’m lead into a room where I’m given an IV set up, then injected with radiation.  Next is relaxing in another room for about one hour so that the radiation circulates through the entire body.

After the relaxation period, it’s to the CAT scan room, head taped down and now the IV is flooded with contrast dye, then the pictures begin, for about the next 25 minutes.

Overall, quite painless, the only investment being a couple of hours.  Now it’s waiting for the results.  My next big day is Friday, the simulation (whatever that is).

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