Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Madigan…My new home away from home.

While I was on the plane flying to Seattle, my new Medical Oncologist called me a few times and left messages, giving me directions to arrive first thing the next morning to start my check in process at my new hospital—nothing like hitting the ground running!

My mom and I showed up bright and early, and met with my new doctor, got checked into the oncology unit, and had a tour and a brief on the chemotherapy process. I spent the rest of the day making appointments for my upcoming mammogram, PET scan, MRI and port placement surgery, which would all occur on Monday and Tuesday of the following week.

I was nervous about my PET scan…this test is to show if I had cancer anywhere else in my body. Since I had received so much bad news in the past few weeks, I just couldn’t allow myself to even think past my current situation. Metastatic cancer would be an absolutely devastating diagnosis, one that I just didn’t want to consider. My PET scan was Monday morning. I had to follow a carb-free diet for 24 hours leading up to it (no fun when watching the Seahawks game with no beer or chips on Sunday!) It was an interesting process. First, the tech injected my with a radioactive glucose isotope. Then I was required to lie very still in a dark room for an hour for the isotope to work its magic (this was a great nap, by the way!) The idea is that since cancer is a mass of rapidly dividing cells, it needs lots of energy and sucks up the glucose. Once in the scanner, the tumor, and any other cancerous cells in my body, light up nice and bright.

I had told my doctor that I didn’t want the news of the PET scan until I came in for my first chemo appointment on Wednesday. I didn’t need any bad news over the phone. He called Monday night…the PET scan showed no metastases and also revealed limited lymph node involvement! Finally, some GREAT news! I was ecstatic. I celebrated with my parents that night over champagne and oysters. It was a good night, and I knew I was in good hands.

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