For the month of October I am bringing you a behind the scenes look into my everyday life. This past Friday I had my full scan which included blood work, PET scan, a CT scan and a Breast MRI. These tests are performed every month with the PET scan performed every three months.
The anxiety that comes with going in for these scans can be overwhelming and down right shitty. Days leading up to my scans I become quiet, introverted and at times a down right bitch to anyone in my inner circle.
I have learened some helpful tricks to calm my mind and nerves which inlcude meditation, taking a few moments before the scans to go to a place of gratitude for a positive outcome, and sometimes a good cry in the car to just get out my emotions.
For those of you who have never experienced or have only heard of these scans I wanted to shed some light on what these scans are and why they are part of my protocol.
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that allows your doctor to check for diseases in your body.
The scan uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers. These tracers are either swallowed, inhaled, or injected into a vein in your arm depending on what part of the body is being examined. Certain organs and tissues then absorb the tracer. (Mine is injected into my arm as you can see from the picture above)
When detected by a PET scanner, the tracers help your doctor to see how well your organs and tissues are working.
The tracer will collect in areas of higher chemical activity, which is helpful because certain tissues of the body, and certain diseases, have a higher level of chemical activity. These areas of disease will show up as bright spots on the PET scan.
The PET scan can measure blood flow, oxygen use, how your body uses sugar, and much more.
A PET scan is typically an outpatient procedure. This means you can go about your day after the test is finished.
You can get a CT scan on any part of your body. The procedure doesn’t take very long, and it’s painless.
They use a narrow X-ray beam that circles around one part of your body. This provides a series of images from many different angles. A computer uses this information to create a cross-sectional picture. Like one piece in a loaf of bread, this two-dimensional (2D) scan shows a “slice” of the inside of your body.
This process is repeated to produce a number of slices. The computer stacks these scans one on top of the other to create a three-dimensional (3D) image. This can give your doctor a better view of your organs, bones, or blood vessels. For example, a surgeon may use this type of scan to look at all sides of a tumor to prepare for an operation.
A breast MRI(magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the breast and surrounding tissue. It does not use radiation (x-rays). A breast MRI may be done in combination with mammography or ultrasound. It is not a replacement for mammography