A visit to Barts- PET & CT scans

PET scan image

Image via Wikipedia

Day dawns on our pre chemo check up appointment, due 1.30pm today. Awake early as usual ,always starts to get a bit stressful, you’d think we’d be used to it by now, hospitals are never the best place to be going on your day off.

Going in early to check out bloods, hopefully will be OK, or at least marginal, still another three days to treatment day , which gives them a bit of time to recover. Overall he is quite perky today, put on some dance tunes yesterday and had a dance around the kitchen which got the blood moving ( no prizes for content, Britains got Talent won’t be calling).

Watched Springwatch with the cats last night (their favourite programme), looking forward to making the most of summer as he starts to recover from chemo, now trying not to think about the next scan.

Quick update on the visit , asked about difference between a PET and CT scan, doctor used analogy of the stuffed white tiger that caused 4 helicopters to be scrambled recently , a CT scan would show the shape of the tiger , the PET scan would show you if its heart was beating. Apparently the latter picks up on cells that are using more energy , which show up more brightly , you drink a tagged sugar drink beforehand. As active cancer cells use more energy, they  show up more brightly – the drawback about having one in 6 weeks , is it is still within 6 months of the original surgery so the pleura etc is still healing which means they are also using more energy. making the results difficult to interpret.

Blood results hadn’t come through before we left, so fingers crossed all OK, at least had the benefit today of a really good nurse , who took the bloods with no pain at all – you’d think it was a pretty basic nursing skill , but very few have done this painlessly , most have left bruising and some have been really painful, in overall scheme of terminal cancer it may seem minor but these things do make a difference. Suggest in all this NHS reform that maybe a bit of extra training for nurses on taking blood painlessly might be useful

At this stage , CT scan booked for 29 July , but oncologist is going to check with the surgeon to discuss our case and see if he feels a PET scan is appropriate.

Also mentioned that at last chemo , they didn’t have any prescriptions for us, so he entered everything into system whilst we were there- don’t want any mix ups on Tuesday , bad enough dealing with the Unions and their strike actions on the underground.


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