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First PET Scan

Landranger25's picture
Landranger25
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

I have my first post treatment PET scan this Wednesday. Have never had one before and was wondering how long they take. Before my treatment I had 2 CAT scans with contrast that were done pretty quick. (Head and neck area only) This PET is supposed to go from my knees to the top of my head. Also, I have a prescription to take xanax 1 hour before the scan. Do I really need this? I am not bothered by claustrophobia and handled "the mask" durings rads well. Also, saw a comment from someone whose Doctor wanted them to wait for their PET so they wouldn't get any add'l radiation at this time. Should I be concerned with the amount of radiation I'll be getting considering what I've already received this year? Thanks in advance for any comments.

Mike

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

I've had two PS. First, they will shoot the radioactive stuff in you, followed by 40-45 minutes of "quiet time," when the lights get turned-down and you just lay there in the recliner, relaxing as the stuff works it's way thru your body; then, you go into the room with the open PS machine, and it gets done. Mine was upper-thigh to the top of my spine, and took about 45 minutes. Not a big deal. Like radiation, one is not supposed to move- but one only gets strapped (not mask-clamped) into place. Drove myself to and from, each.

As for Xanax before- likely won't be needed, but what the heck- it wouldn't hurt to take it before.

I, too, wonder about the radioactive stuff. I also was given a Cat Scan immediately after the PS, in the same building. Not sure why. In my life, now, I've had two PS and six Cat Scans, and today on Chicago News Radio it comes out that a number of Drs. have expressed concern about the safety of Cat Scans! Does make one wonder. They will bring the radioactive stuff into the room in a metal container, and handle it with care as they load the syringe. Thing is, my Rad Dr. says it's cool to have a PS every 6-months. Maybe it is, or maybe...The experience is easy to handle, but I do wonder about the safety, and chances of a Secondary happening as a result. From my research, we are at risk for a Secondary because of the chemo, and the PS just increases the chances of such (leukemia ?) happening. FYI.

kcass

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

MIke,

If you have no issue with C'phobia, no need for Xanax etc. I was given a small pill to relax my throat muscles. I then waited in a room, then was given the Radioactive stuff in a funky syringe, waited about 20 minutes and was taken in and put on the table (which slides into the big white donut) .

They ran my in a couple of times then gave me a small shot of the dye which makes you feel quite warm and you feel it move around your body. QUite strange. I think that is the Glucose laden dye which is attracted by Cancer cells so it runs to them like bees to honey. The scanner then picks up where they hangout in your body.

Time in the tube sliding in and out is about 20 - 25 minutes usually. You'll cruise through it.

Hope you get the all clear with your results.

Cheers
Scambuster

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5670
Joined: Apr 2009

Just sit back and relax it only takes about an hour and a half and it is all over before you know it. I did not take anything before getting my PET, I drove myself to the place and drove my self back home again when it was finish. Do you want to know what is in the injection, ask they have to tell you? I found out it is a very small amount of radiation mix with sugar water. When I asked why sugar water I was told that the Cancer will feed on the sugar and because of the radiation mix with it that is what makes it show up on the scan. That is what I was told, so hope you can ask too and see if we are all getting the same info.

Take care I will keep you in prayer that you continue to come out clean.

Landranger25's picture
Landranger25
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

PET facility called yesterday with last minute instructions and to make sure I was following the special diet. Lots of proteins yeasterday and breakfast today, no sugar of any kind and then a fast all afternoon until the scan. Asked about the xanax and they said it was important in that it makes the radioactive glucose (sugar and radiation mix just like you said) work better and will help me stay still while in the tube. Go figure. I will do as asked. Want me there on time, inject marker and hang out for an hour or so to get it through my system and then into the machine for another hour to hour and a half. Wife will have to drive me because of the xanax. As always, thank-you for the info, prayers and encouragement and I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Mike

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5670
Joined: Apr 2009

How did the PET scan go and when will you see the doctor for the test report. There are a lot of us out here praying and waiting.

God bless take care my friend

lyolan1
Posts: 95
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Landranger, I have read a few of your posts. Your case and post-op are almost identical to mine. My treatments were tough but I feel good now. I hope your scan comes back cancer free. Mine is on 1/22. Good Luck and lots of positive thoughts. Alex.

Landranger25's picture
Landranger25
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Everyone, PET went pretty good yesterday. There was a little trouble with the IV but nothing big. Apparently during the PET scan portion (I had a CT scan too) which is about 45 minutes long, a blood cloit formed in the IV catheter. They start an IV first thing, inject the radioactive glucose, wait an hour for it to get through your body, walk you to the tube and lay you down,and then they pulled my arms up over my head and secured them with some velcro straps. Near the end of the first 45 minutes I could feel my arms falling asleep from being in that position so long and I think this may have contributed to the clot. For the CT scan they needed to inject the contrast solution through the IV but it wouldn't go in because of the clot. They tried to get the first one working, gave up and 2 pokes later had a new one going. CT scan went fine after that. Little over an hour in the tube for the 2 scans, maybe close to an hour before hand waiting for the radioactive stuff to get through my body before the scan. I took the xanax, didn't really feel it or think it made any difference. Next time I'll skip it. Results in 2-3 days, don't see oncologist until January 15 so I'll probably call first of next week to see what I can find out. He's been super compassionate through this whole thing and I don't think he would make me wait a month to find out what the results are. Thanks again everyone for your concern, I will keep this updated.

Mike

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