I had my first post-starting-chemo scans today! I started at 8:30 this morning (ugh) and finished around 4:30 this afternoon... kind of like having the crappiest job ever.
I got in a little early and was taken back to radiology for all of the pre-PET shenanigans (IV, contrast, sedation so I lay still enough while the contrast settles...)
watching a movie while I wait...
contrast! (time to lay still...)
into the PET machine...
PET's over... waiting for the CT lady to bring more contrast (this time it's drinkable)
it looks like I'm drinking medicine, but really I'm drinking red contrast mixed with fruit punch (the first of two bottles...)
MORE contrast for the CT (this time it's jungle-themed...)
in Clinic with Debbie (my nurse) and Dr. Adams (my oncologist) - they're SO MUCH FUN!
in a cube for the Pulmonary Function Test (I promise it's not a phone booth...)
Now, the PET and the CT are pretty self explanatory - the PET lights up Lymphoma (and other cancer, but obviously mine is looking for Hodgkin's) and the CT scans bones, soft tissue, and the vascular system - it's kind of like a much more detailed x-ray.
The Pulmonary Function Test, however, is unlike anything I've ever had to do. I sit in that tiny glass box and do all kinds of weird breathing things into a tube while wearing a really attractive blue nose clamp (I know you guys are all wishing that I took a picture with the clamp). I do regular breathing, really deep breaths in and out (out is the worst because I have to keep blowing out for a set amount of time and usually I feel like I'm about to wet my pants towards the end...), panting like a dog... all sorts of weird things. I'm also pretty sure I do it while they pump different air combinations into the glass box, so sometimes it's a little harder to breathe than others. Then, they compare all of them to see how well my lungs are working. I guess it's times like that when being a singer comes in handy (although I've always had issues with my breathing while I sing!)
I hate getting scans done - the worst part is that I'm not allowed to eat until after the CT, which today ended at about noon. Generally, I don't even eat until 11 or so, but that's when I get up at 9 or 10! Getting up at 6 and not being allowed to eat until noon is terrible! I get headaches and get really cranky (just ask my mom...) The good thing is that Children's actually has a fantastic cafeteria, so lunch was totally worth the wait!
Finally after all of my scans were done, I met with Dr. Adams to get the results. I wasn't particularly nervous since I could physically feel that the chemo had been working - I'd had a pretty sizable lump under my collarbone, and it's been gone since the middle of my first cycle. Dr. Adams had fantastic news - all of my scans look normal and my lymph nodes have shrunk down to normal size (2mm or less). Now, this doesn't mean that the cancer is officially "gone" yet, but it's definitely exactly what I want to be hearing at this point! I'm so happy that I can head out to Cleveland tomorrow with such good news!
In other news, I'll be in Columbus/Berea/Oberlin TOMORROW! (Well, maybe not Oberlin tomorrow - but definitely this week) and I can't wait to see EVERYONE!
Lots of Love,