Part 15 – A Look Back on my Cancer Journey – No PET scan for me

(Modified from family email updates and journal entries from August 2006.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Yesterday (8/8) was my scheduled PET scan, but due to a gigantic oversight on my part, it had to be rescheduled. I knew I had to fast for 6 hours, show up 15 minutes early, get some radioactive (sort of) glowing substance injected and wear clothes without snaps or zippers. What I failed to read (or remember from the first time) until that morning was a very important prep bullet point: “No strenuous exercise for 24 hours prior.” Ooooops. A 10 hr, 40 minute hike would probably qualify as strenuous. I called the Radiation department and told them I’d just climbed Long’s Peak the day before and the woman laughed and asked,

“Are you sore?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Well, then we need to reschedule. Sore muscles will show up on the scan like you’re full of disease.”

Wow. Good to know.  So, next Tuesday is the earliest they could reschedule. I need to be Miss Mellow for a couple of days prior to not mess up the test. Of course, this moves everything back a week and I won’t see my doctor for the final results until August 22nd. Ugh.

As for other tests, I had an internal exam last week and the surgeon said he couldn’t see where the tumor was, but could feel a little scar tissue. He thought I handled the whole treatment very well and promised to remove the chemo port whenever Dr. S gave the green light – not sooner. I guess it’ll be an outpatient hospital procedure where I might be put under briefly – 10 minutes or so.

It’s my third week back at work part time and I usually put 20 hours in over 3-4 days. My supervisor is extremely understanding and flexible, but it’s still mentally exhausting to sit at a desk and work on the computer. I’m not used to wearing my wig that long and have taken a few “hair breaks” where I’ll set it on the desk and sport my baby head of hair for awhile. The first episode caused a “prairie dog” reaction where coworkers popped up out of their cubicles to take a look at the fuzzy me. Now it’s not such a big deal anymore.

(I share the Funky Winkerbean cartoon above, because the character, Lisa, was going through cancer treatment the same time as me. My “office” was a cubicle and not at all private, but the concept is the same.)

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