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patient must spend a long span of time staring up at the ceiling, unable to move, the florescent overhead panels had been replaced by a triptych of decorated panels giving the illusion of springtime trees draped over a skylight, and someone had painted a flight of colorful butterflies on the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.