Had to get up early Tuesday to go to my PET scan, wasn't allowed breakfast so that made getting ready all the more easy! The PET scanning unit was a relatively new department in the hospital. Had to answer a few questions before they took me through, just went over some details and they checked I was healthy enough for the PET scan. Then I was taken through to the scanning bays, had to go on my own because they don’t like you to mix with people as you are radioactive!
Had to get changed into a gown (attractive), be weighed and measured and then I was taken to a bay. Had my blood sugar levels checked and then was given the injection of radioactive stuff that was in a metal syringe!
I then had to sit for an hour and a half and try to relax so the radioactive stuff could work around my body! I had to remain as still as possible in order to get a reliable reading as possible. The time actually didn’t go too slowly as I had plenty of magazines to read. When the time was up the nurse came to get me, had to empty my bladder and then it was off to the scanning room. The scanner looks really similar to a CT scanner, it is a large tube like structure with a bed coming out of it that moves in and out, it is quite spacious so I didn't feel claustrophobic. It was a bit cold so they got some blankets to wrap around me once I was lying on the scanner. Had to have my arms above my head and was told to shut my eyes because of the bright lights in the scanner. They did a CT scan first and then the PET scan. The PET scan lasted 28 minutes, at first it felt like a life time, but once I relaxed it didn’t seem to take to long and before I knew it they were lowering me out the machine, I was opening my eyes and trying to adjust to the bright lights! Some music to listen too would have made the time go faster, but you can't have everything!
Saw my consultant afterwards and he did the usual chest checks and said he was happy to proceed with chemotherapy tomorrow. He said he would ring with results of the scan when he knew. Started to feel a bit sick while I was talking to him.
The car journey home wasn't fun, started to feel very sick and had to stop several times, must have been the radiation they gave me. Spent the whole evening feeling queasy.
Chemotherapy didn't go as straight forward as usual on Wednesday, they had real trouble getting my cannula in. It took two nurses, numerous attempts and a lot of patience before it was in! They said this was a real concern as my veins weren't likely to put up with this much more and they wouldn't get any better if we persisted. That is when the nurse suggested I have a port fitted. As soon as she mentioned it all sorts of thoughts started running through my head, 'I don't want something permanently under my skin', 'its alien'. The nurse sat and told me more about it and also showed me another lady who had one, it was very inconspicuous but still felt wrong to me. To be honest though it is the best option, can't have another day like today, not only did it take ages to find a suitable vein, the number of attempts had made my arm sore and the chemotherapy had to be administered really really slowly cause the veins were irritated and it was painful. The first time chemotherapy has been a real struggle. Came away feeling quite dishearted as I would have to go back next week to have this port fitted, should have been more chuffed at possibly completeing the half way point.
ABVD Cycle 4 - Day 1 - DONE! (not soon enough!)
It was twenty (minus fifteen) years ago today…
4 months ago