Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Two of Four

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:08 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

By the time most of you read this, I’ll be fully irradiated and probed with God-knows-what-kind of rays.

Yes, the joy of being a recovering cancer patient is that the doctors keep close watch on you.  Today, I’m having the second of four scans I’ll get this year.  This time, it’s a PET scan, not a CT scan.  Unlike a CT scan, I don’t have to drink the barium which messes up my digestive tract for days afterward.  Instead, I’ll have an I.V. put in and get injected with a kind of mildly radioactive glucose.  Then, I get to sit quietly and contemplate my sins for an hour while the glow-in-the-dark glucose gets sucked up by my body’s tissues.  Anything that’s more metabolically active than the surrounding tissue will get a higher dose and, therefore, show up more on the scan.  The theory is that a tumor would use more of that glucose and be an easily identifiable dark spot.

And, I have to admit, the geek in me loves to see the results of this.  When I was near the end of treatment, one of my doctors showed me a side-by-side comparison of the before and after PET scans.  It was like something from the Discovery channel.  Two ghostly, skeletal images of me, in basically the same position, rotating in unison on the screen.  One with a tumor the size of a football in my lung, the other with something more like a big lime, or a kiwi.  The difference was quite startling and the pictures themselves were fairly impressive.  Sometimes I wonder at the age of technological marvels in which we live.

In any case, I’ll be fully probed and, hopefully, done by lunch.  My plan is to take my keeper for the day to a decent sushi place for lunch, since I haven’t been able to eat since midnight, the only big downside to the PET scan.  And, for a change, I’ll get the results Monday, not a whole week later, too.  Normally, I have a very long wait to find out what, if anything, they may have discovered floating around in me, so this will be a nice change.
Naturally, I’ll report the results when I get them!

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