Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everyone loves to be tucked in!

My 6 mos PET scan and brain MRI are coming up next Friday the 28th. I'm dreading them because of not being able to eat or drink beforehand. I am diabetic too, so I need a drink with me all the time and without food I can get a wicked headache. Well, we all know how much noise those machines make, especially the MRI machine, banging away like a few jackhammers trying to get inside your skull. I have my PET scan at 9:30am and my MRI 3 hours later. I know by the time I'm done, I'll be starving, thirsty as hell, and I'll probably have a headache to rival all headaches. That's why I'm having the parentals take me. As soon as I get out of the MRI, I'll be grabbing a drink and some pain pills ASAP and there's no way I could drive home.

The thing I'm looking forward to probably sounds silly to others. Once I get to the PET scan, they inject me with some highly radioactive material, then place me in a dark room to rest for an hour. This is so the material can travel throughout my body, but I have to remain very relaxed. They let you lay back in these huge recliners that they use for the chemo infusion people, and they have these blankets that they keep in blanket warmers, so they lay you back, place these warm snuggy blankets over you, and tuck you in. Granted, they also hand you some nasty stuff you have to drink during your time there, too, but getting to relax and being tucked in is just so nice. Yeah, I know... I would actually look forward to chemo if I ever had it, right? Not the after effects, no. In a way it's almost like I get to just relax and concentrate on myself for a whole day. Since I'm a full time caregiver for my sister, it's the little things that I have to take pleasure in when I find them.

I usually load up some special movie or shows on my iPod and sit there and just relax for the hour until they come to get me. Once they get me and bring me back and tuck me into the scan table (again, nice blankets and foam thingies to prop your legs on), that's when it starts to get noisy, and I start to actively participate. I'm not a person to meditate because I'll just fall asleep, and falling asleep in these machines is impossible. Instead, I try to concentrate on getting great scan results. I imagine all the different parts of my body under the scanner responding perfectly to the injection, and if there is anything unusual at all, I imagine it lighting up like a christmas tree. If there's something bad there, I WANT to know. But of course I pray the whole time for clean results. Clean, clean, clean. It takes about 45 mins to an hour. After that I will have an hour or more before my MRI and that part WILL suck. Still no water - no food.

Once I get in the MRI, the real suckage starts with all the banging. But at least I'll know I'm almost over the worst.

Or course after that it's all waiting until I meet with my oncologist a few days later to find out the results. I really do feel like I'll be clear, but I know having anxiety over it is normal. The week after I meet with my oncologist, I'll have another appt with my dermatologist. I guess what they say is right... Once a melanoma patient, always a melanoma patient.

I have a black melanoma awareness bracelet that a wonderful melanoma warrior's mom sent me. I will never take it off. I will always wear it proudly.


  1. perfect timing becca! i just found out i am going to have a PET & MRI brain scans... then my dr will know stage and come up with a treatment plan... i was wondering what to expect, then i saw your newest entry and you answered my questions... thanks!!!

  2. Becca, best wishes on your scans. I've done a whole bunch of MRIs and they've never told me I can't eat or drink beforehand. Maybe you can eat and drink after the PET and before the MRI? Please ask for clarification from the docs. Take care, Rich

  3. You have an interesting and "to the point" blog. I've enjoyed reading your posts. Then I saw that you follow mine: Dodged a Bullet - Fight Against Melanoma. What a coincidence. Keep posting. Keep fighting. I will pray you have good test results. Keep us informed.

  4. Thanks everyone. I can't figure out how to respond to individual comments. How lame am I??

  5. Becca,
    Thank you for sharing your blog with others who are fighting Skin cancer. I myself am a skin cancer survivor ,all thou I will fight this the rest of my life. Please come visit all my blogs and join by following me. Its important that we share our story's so we can help others.

  6. Great post! I?m just starting out in community management/marketing media and trying to learn how to do it well - resources like this article are incredibly helpful. As our company is based in the US, it?s all a bit new to us. The example above is something that I worry about as well, how to show your own genuine enthusiasm and share the fact that your product is useful in that case

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