Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The ever-dreaded PET scan

I had a PET scan yesterday, the purpose of which was to see if any cancer is remaining after 6 cycles (18 weeks) of chemotherapy thus far.  I have not yet heard the results of the PET scan.  I could have scheduled a special appointment today for no other purpose than to learn the results.  However, I decided that I'd rather have a break from the clinic/hospital than to have an appointment today.  I'll be there Friday anyway for treatment, so why not wait until then?  We discussed the option of Dr. Oncologist calling me with the results, but both of us dislike the scenario where she is giving me bad news over the phone.  So, I am waiting for Friday, where she will give me the news in person.  Won't that be lovely?  Yes, good news in person on Friday.

You might be wondering, "But Heather, how on earth can you wait until Friday?  You must be on the edge of your seat!"  I assure you I am not.  I had forgotten about it entirely until coworkers asked me about it today.  (Huzzah for going to work and attempting Science!)  Here is a table explaining how it is now possible to forget about PET scan results:

                      Former Fear                                                  Current Comfort  
The breast cancer could come back!                                 Meh.  It already has.
The breast cancer could move somewhere else!               Meh.  It already has.
The results could be odd and demand a biopsy!               Whatevs. I've probably had it biopsied before.

This is how it works when you're the hbomb and you've got cancer.

My friend R was my brave accompanist to the PET scan appointment.  She walked to the coffee shop while I rested in a dark room for one hour, allowing the radioactive glucose to work its way into the most active cells in my body.  During her hour she gave my cancer cells, via the universe, a stern lecture on how they are not allowed in my body.  I think she also scolded my normal cells, telling them that they are not allowed to play practical jokes by pretending to look like cancer on the PET scan.  When R talks, you should listen, so hopefully my cells paid attention to her.  

For my part, during the hour of rest I used an imaginary yellow paintbrush to paint every cell in my body in health.  I started with my lungs, brain, and liver, and then I moved on to all of my bones and organs.  Sometimes my mind would wander, for example when the paintbrush reminded me of my daughters, which reminded me of Eleanor's upcoming birthday, which reminded me that I needed to order her present, which reminded me...and then I'd realize my wandering, stop it, and resume painting.  It seemed a bit disingenuous to be meditating for cellular health at the last minute; not unlike cramming for an exam.  However, I assure you that I have used this health paintbrush in meditations numerous times over the past 3 years, including in the weeks leading up to this PET scan.  Hopefully this last-minute meditation helped to reduce any cells that were considering presenting a false-positive result.        
I apologize for making you wait until Friday for the results!  I sense that many of you harbor the anxiety that I lack.  Do try to push your fears out of your mind and enjoy these lovely summer days.  They really are lovely.


  1. Wonder if there is a correlation between not needing to know the gender of your unborn children (h didn't need to know, I did!) and not needing to know the results of your latest pet scan. Then that comparison just brought to mind hilarious pet scan "reveal" baked goods. Teehee :) I'm seriously cracking myself up right now!

    Can't wait to see what all you accomplish in the next two days!

  2. As always, however you choose to distribute the information is your choice and we respect that. Calvin and I are sending healing energy your way. Lots of baby smiles and coos should help! We love you and are in this together! Xoxo

  3. Lots of people you have not even met are wishing you the very best and have been painting with you the whole way.