Hello everyone. I've been away for a little while. Busy, but not; exhausted, but energetic. I was actually just taking some selfish "me" time by going on an amazing cruise! I went to St Thomas and St. Maarten Islands, which I recommend, and since my return, I have been working and napping and playing with my dogs, and so on.
I went in and had a PET Scan on Friday. I've had some issues with lymph nodes in my arm where the cancer was, and it is painful. My shoulder gives me a fit occasionally, but this was different, so the doc is investigating. Safety - I prefer that. As a TN, I'm keeping my fingers crossed because June will be that three year critical point I need to reach being NED. I believe I remain cancer free and so I hope to hear that from the doctor today.
Regarding PET Scans, I thought I may be able to re-share/refresh the information on them. What they can do. PET Scans provide critical information to help physicians locate and determine size of a cancer, distinguish benign from malignant, determine aggression or invasion (has the cancer spread?), type of treatment, and follow up / recurrences.
Some one million new cancers will be diagnosed in 2012 - this includes most cancers.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 570,000 Americans are expected
to die of cancer this year, more than 1,560 people per day. Through the use of the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) imaging, doctors can detect and evaluate the extent of cancer.
So now that you know what it CAN do, just how is it done? I will do my best to explain in words I understand it to be. If I am wrong, please feel free to correct me as I want everyone to have the best information.
Well, it can be time consuming, but it really isn't a difficult test. Upon arrival at the imaging center or hospital, you will have an injection that contains minute radioactive glucose particles designed to "make the cancer glow" if you will. For some reason, the cancer is attracted to the sugary substance of it. The hardest part of the test comes in two parts. The first part is in remaining very still and quiet. You know how it is, as soon as you are requested not to move or don't have a free hand - your nose itches. Guaranteed every time, right? The second hardest part is the waiting on the results. The specialists that review the tests know how important it is to get your results right the first time, so you can expect to wait three days. And, if you are like me, five days as my test was on a Friday. Patience is a plus. Anyway, my therapy in waiting comes in my writing this for you and booking my next cruise to the western Caribbean with my son (yayness!).
If you can sit down and look at your results, good or bad, with your doctor, you get a fine opportunity to learn a little more about your body. How cool is that? Have an awesome week, and a very blessed Easter.