PET Scan and Lumbar Puncture at Emory

Had a fun-filled day at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute today: a PET scan in the morning followed by a lumbar puncture (a.k.a. spinal tap) in the afternoon.

The PET scan was painless, an injection of radioactive glucose gunk and a large mocha-flavored inert chemical shake an hour before a 20-minute ride in a big, white camera tube. The tech was wonderful–chatty, informative, and amusing without being intrusive–and very, very kind. Also, at the end of the big, white camera tube machine, where the patient must spend a long span of time staring up at the ceiling, unable to move, the florescent overhead panels had been replaced by a triptych of decorated panels giving the illusion of springtime trees draped over a skylight, and someone had painted a flight of colorful butterflies on the ceiling itself. Made me smile. And I SO want one of those decorated florescent panels for my office.

The tech did recommend I not handle small children or go thorough airport security for a couple days until the radioactive contrast works out of my system. I’m radioactive! Awesome!

The spinal tap was far less painful than I’d feared. It was relatively fast, bit zingy-ow along the nerve a couple times but far easier than the bone marrow biopsy had been, and again performed by a top notch team who were reassuring and knew what they were doing.

Although, between the PET scan shake, the cheese quesadilla I had for lunch after the scan (I had to fast before it so was starving), the IV tranquilizer they gave me before the spinal tap, and my nervous anxiety, I got quite sick to my stomach afterward…in the elevator on the way back to the patient parking deck. Abject apologies to the poor unfortunate who had to clean up. :(

I’m still worried about getting a spinal headache tonight, so I’m pushing fluids and caffeine and am staying as prone as possible.

Barrage of tests done. Answers coming soon, along with a roadmap to treatment and finally, finally the beginning of said treatment…I hope.

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13 Responses to PET Scan and Lumbar Puncture at Emory

  1. They should put a really elaborate Where’s Waldo mural on the ceiling to give patients something to do during the PET scan…

  2. Eugie Foster says:

    That would be awesome!

  3. Teresa Bigbee says:

    I’m so glad you’re done with the tests. I know how hard it is to hurry up and wait for the tests and results. Now hopefully, you can start treatment and then begin your recovery. It’s a long road but one worth travelling. Hope you don’t get the dreaded spinal headache. Take care :)

  4. :: fires up the Hang-In-There-Eugie ray again ::

  5. Anita Allen says:

    All will be well. And a Cheese Quesadilla?? Oh Dear god that could only be worse if you added salsa! Seriously though, I am laughing here dear, it could have been SOOOOOO much worse. Sounds like things went beautifully and i am sure the results will be equally lovely. sleep well and i hope you feel fantastic and get wonderful news tomorrow. *HUGS*

  6. Janice Clark says:

    Hurdles jumped–slight setback from cheese quesadilla, but tomorrow will be better. I hope you get a good night’s sleep and can indulge yourself in yummy foods tomorrow eaten at your own pace with no rushing or starving or nasty gunk to drink.

  7. A mocha shake sounds better than a lot of options might have been.

  8. Liam Fisher says:

    The spinal tap can cause nausea. I had quite the experience with one of those overhead “outdoor” panels when I was going under propofol. I kept telling the anesthesiologist I could hear birds.

  9. Dean J Lovett says:

    Glad that is over with. I hope that the evil spinal headache fairies can’t find you. Hugs from me and warm fluffy hugs from Pippin.

  10. Nancy Knight says:

    Oh, so that was you glowing last night when I drove home. Atlanta has a beautiful new light cast over it’s horizon for Halloween. Enjoy the candy. When Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake” she forgot the candy apples. caramels, chocolate ooey-gooey stuff and, of course, the candy corn and other Halloween goodies. I, however, never forget those! Thinking of you and sending good energy. Hugs.

  11. Scott Hancock says:

    Now with the scary stuff out of the way, you can lay back and enjoy Halloween goodies and a good movie or two….

  12. E Krock says:

    Remind me to tell you my story involving a business party at a bar, the Biz Dev VP who kept buying me drinks (7 that I can recall), and getting ignominiously thrown off CalTrain after discovering that mixing Lemon Drops and beer is a really bad idea … After you’ve kicked this thing’s ass, you’ll have new material to write about alien abductiins and experiments …

  13. Amy Herring says:

    Overall, not a bad day. Glad you made it through with only one glitch & less pain than expected. I imagine the clean-up crew is accustomed to elevator mishaps, so no worries there. Treatment plan next; thanks for keeping us in the loop!

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