July Update

Hey Folks…

I know it has been awhile and to tell you the truth, I’m not really sure how many are still reading this post but since I have posted significant details in the past, I will continue.

Yesterday I went down to Gainesville and had my first PET (Positron emission tomography) Scan.  As I have stated in the past, the CT or CAT (computed tomography) scan is a basic scan of your body.  A PET scan is more in-depth and is more detailed.

Anyway, I get down there around 8am, of course with just about every procedure I have been through, I cannot have anything to eat or drink past midnight the night before.  It’s pretty bad when you have to turn your car radio up to drown out the sounds of your growling stomach.

So the first thing they do is inject you with  a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide.  To quote the website…. “The radionuclide is administered into a vein through an intravenous (IV) line. Next, the PET scanner slowly moves over the part of the body being examined. Positrons are emitted by the breakdown of the radionuclide. Gamma rays are created during the emission of positrons, and the scanner then detects the gamma rays. A computer analyzes the gamma rays and uses the information to create an image map of the organ or tissue being studied. The amount of the radionuclide collected in the tissue affects how brightly the tissue appears on the image, and indicates the level of organ or tissue function.”

(Figured they could say it better than I…)

So they inject you with this radioactive stuff.. and unfortunately, you do NOT get super powers.  Then you get to drink some barium… (YUM) and SIT STILL FOR 90 MINUTES.  Anyone that knows me knows that for me, that was the hardest part of the whole day.  However, they put you in a dark room with a recliner and cover you with heated blankets so you do get pretty cozy and relaxed.  After the 90 minutes are up, they bring you in the examining room and you lie down on this very thin table and they cover you up again and for the next 45 minutes, you are scanned by a big machine and you are supposed to lie as still as possible during this procedure.  It is basically a big MRI machine if you have ever had one of those.

Scanner

 

What the image looks like….

Scanner image

After the test was over, I went to see my radiation doctor, Dr. Mendenhall.  He always looks like he just stepped out of the river while doing some fly fishing.  He poked and prodded on me… then his assistant prepared this tube that they then proceeded to stick UP MY NOSE AND DOWN MY THROAT.  This is about the 4th time I’ve had this done and I still don’t like it.  No fun at all.

Long story short… (you know I can never tell a short story)…. the test done by the doctor and the PET scan showed that I am clear of cancer.  Yay!

He confirmed that I will be battling the side effects for the next 6-12 months but I can handle that.

I will get PET scans done every four months for the near future.

So that’s the latest.  I’m not sure when I will post something else but will let you know.

Thanks to everyone out there for the well wishes and prayers.  They have been much appreciated. Thank you.

I’ll talk with you soon…..