A year has passed since my last check up and it's time to visit the hospital again to see my progress. I had an appointment with the oncologist last Monday, had my mammogram and ultra sound in the afternoon. One thing good about private hospital, we get to know the result there and then. Based on the report, sadly to say, the cancer is still there, slightly bigger than the last year's.
I was scheduled for a PET/CT scan on Tuesday, reached the Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT Centre slightly before 8.00 am. The reason why I was scheduled this early is the the FDG (Fluorodeoxyglucose) or radioactive glucose that they injected in prior to a PET/CT scan has a timeline and decays every minute. When I reached there, I'm quite dissappointed to know that the FDG has not arrived yet as the delivery man was stuck in the jammed!
While waiting, I had a chat with a lady who was schedule for a PET scan, the fourth time since she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was quite curious because she doesn’t look like a smoker at all, the husband and the rest of the family don’t smoke neither and yet she got it. She said, there was no sign at all, she seldom had cough or anything with regards to the lung. It was diagnosed when she had high fever, could not walk and the doctor did every test possible until they found the cancer at her lung. She had series of chemos already and the PET scan was to see the progress of it. Pray that she will be free from it, she was such a nice lady.
Back to my story, the FDG arrived at around 9.15 am. Prior to the scan, I had my blood tested for glucose and happy to know that my fasting blood glucose was 4.2 mmol/l. Soon after, the FDG was injected, and I had to rest on bed for almost an hour to let it settled. Lasix was also given to force me to pass urine. I made 3 trips to the restroom, wondering where the urine come from as I had only a glass of plain water in the morning :-)
The low dose 64-slice PET/CT scan went smoothly in a few minutes, though I felt longer as I had to stay still with my arms stretched upward, my muscles still sore because of the weekend activity - too much of swimming at the pool in PD :-) Glad that it’s finally over and I had sandwiches and a glass of milo as a treat.
On the next day, I had the PET/CT scan result. I’m really pleased to know that the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. What a relief! It means whatever I have done to control it from spreading, works. I just need to do a little bit more of work to totally get rid of it. Certainly not another round of chemo and certainly not a surgery. I’ve seen the sufferings of friends having surgery and I cannot bear the thought of having one myself.
The PET/CT scan also detected some activity in the thyroid gland. I’m not surprised as my sisters, one is having hyperthyroid and another one is having a hypothyroid. Frankly, I don’t have the symptoms of hyper or hypo. Of course I need to go for more test to determine mine but I’m not ready to do it at this instance. I began to research on this and found out about Sea Buckthorn oil, believed to help cure many kinds of diseases. Tempting to try and the only drawback is that it comes in a softgel. I’m now contacting the manufacturer to find out what the softgel is made of and whether it is suitable for muslim’s consumption.
All in all, having a PET/CT scan is a worthwhile experience. I understand that it’s not easy to have this luxury as the procedure is quite expensive and to have it at the government hospital, of course the queue is very long. I also get to keep the report with some scanned images printed, as well as on CD. It is interesting to know what’s happening in my body. Hopefully the radiation was really low and did not harm my body...