Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tests are all done, and your votes are in!

I spent all day today at UTSW getting tests.  The first was the PET scan, a test to see if my cancer has travelled anywhere outside the lymph nodes.  Blood cancer cells don't have to stay at home, they're born to travel.  It's like a biker clan which dons little motorcycle jackets, rev up their hawgs, and go rumbling throughout your system looking for places to party.  All the partying gives them a higher metabolism than regular cells, so they love sugar.  The PET scan uses a sugar/isotope combination to see where sugar is being sucked up in your body (a measure of metabolism), which picks up hard-working organs like your heart and brain, as well as any hangouts for those little partying cancer cells.

So I drank a barium mixture (now coming in five fun flavor choices), got a radioactive fluoride isotope injection, and had to lay perfectly still for over an hour while the cancer cells partied on the glucose and gave away their locations.  Then 30 minutes in the PET scanner to capture it all on film and I was done. Easy!

The afternoon, however, brought the bone marrow biopsy.  The biopsy itself wasn't bad, but the injections to deaden the bone area were - uh - interesting.  I'd rather see a Justin Bieber concert with five thousand screaming 13-year-olds and no ear plugs.  I am still hobbling and hope I don't have to repeat that one any time soon. 

Hopefully now my docs have plenty of info and can give me some answers on Friday.  In the meantime, here are the votes from friends and family on the questions I've posed:

Q:  Spend $$$ for an overdue haircut or let it stay long until it falls out?
A:  The best answer comes from Ryan, who suggested cutting it all off and making a wig of my own hair for later - intriguing.  The worst answer also came from Ryan (or at least the rest of his California family is blaming it on him):  get a Mohawk.  Again, intriguing - but a good spiky Mohawk takes way too much time and hair gel in the morning.  I'm leaving it long for now.

Q:  Get butterfly tattoos to cover up the radiation dots they'll tattoo on me?
A:  Best answer is from Nichelle C., who suggested tiny stars instead.  She also generously offered to get tattooed with me, parental permission pending.

Other FAQs:
Q: I check the blog every week but want to know when you post, can I do that?
A:  Sure, you can follow by email.  Just enter your name in the box on the upper right.  I cannot see who is following or what they enter, so if you are still not receiving emails when I post on the blog, then you probably mistyped your email address.  Just enter it again.

Q:  How do I post a comment?
A:  You don't have to click on any of the little icons or sign up for anything.  You should see "No comments" following a post;  click on "No comments" and a box should open up to leave a comment.  It will post overnight, and the next day that line will say "One comment" and anyone can click on "One comment" to read it.

Thanks to all for the kind emails, cards, prayers and well-wishes!  My next post will be Friday evening, 2/22, after the meeting with my medical team.  (I'd close with "Party on!" but those conniving little cancer cells might hear me.)

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