Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Drats. Last Wednesday, my teenager had a tonsilectomy. She's done really well, but for the last two days has been complaining of a "swollen tongue." As my husband is allergic to penicillin, this was a little alarming. Plus, she's milking her recovery period for all she can get.

She's done well, and it is really less traumatic than most would be, but because of this, and other things I have on my mind (like getting the garden together, trying to sort out the house, keeping up with my book business, and finish quilts for shows) one major piece just slipped my mind.

Tomorrow, I will have a P.E.T. scan. P.E.T. stands for Positron Emission Tomography. A fancy way of saying they are going to map what is happening inside my body. It is a nuclear medicine method of seeing in three dimensions. Tomorrow, I will go in and have a radioactive form of glucose injected. After about an hour of sitting and doing NOTHING (not even reading which is a great hardship to me) I will go in and be scanned by laying on a movable bed which passed through a scanner. The glucose will be taken up more readily in areas of higher activity...such as in cancerous areas since cancer has a higher metabolic rate than other areas. Areas of healing, and other things can also be picked up.... Basically, as the radioactive particle decays, it gives off a positron...usually this involves gamma rays (and no, I'm not a Man in the Moon Marigold for anyone who remembers that book).

In order to prepare for this, you cannot do any strenuous work (well, it was a good thing I had to take the teen to the doctors today to figure out the tongue or I would have been digging and weeding the garden), shouldn't drink any caffeine for 24 hours, limit the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates (oops, I really blew that one, not so much for the sugar but most of my food today was high in carbs), and I cannot eat for 6 hours previous to the test (check, that one at least I can do).

I'm not looking forward to this. Not because I'm afraid of the results, or because I have problems with the radioactivity (hey, for a little bit I can glow), but because I don't really want to give up the time it takes. Pretty silly. I do think that they won't see anything with this....or maybe they will see old damage. Who knows? This is one more step in trying to figure out what is going on. We'll also see more when I have my blood tested next month for the tumor markers. Lets just see if this godawful expensive medication and infusion treatment I'm on is doing anything which we can positively see.


  1. How did it go? And what's up with the teen's tongue?

  2. Well...other than the fact that I got out, had "breakfast" at 12:00, then went to work in the concession stand at 2:45 p.m. and since C is in California, I had to work his shift which was supposed to be done at 7, but I didn't end up getting out of there until 8:45 pm...I was having serious low blood sugar...not as bad as I used to when I weighed my "appropriate weight" but enough so that I was pinging a bit. I don't do well on a salad only for all day! I won't have the results until I see my oncologist I think the first week of June.

    The doc berated Meg for going back to school for a half day on Tuesday (yay!), and also for not taking any pain medications (including the extra strength Tylenol in place of the acetaminophen with codeine...so she's now on Darvocet and mad at me that I won't let her drive while on it. The swollen tongue is a result of the appliance they use to prop her mouth open while doing the surgery. Since she used up the last of her steroidal stuff on Saturday, the tongue started to swell a bit...not a biggie.

    I also got a maternal smirk in because I had asked her if it was bad enough to need to go to the doctors on Monday night and she answered yes..yet when we were in the doc's office, she told the doc that I told her she "HAD" to go...I explained my reasoning to the doctor, and he turned to Meg and said...."You said the magic words to get you in here."

    I'm still bushed this morning and I wonder if it is residual from the lack of food with higher activity yesterday (I did weed for 30 minutes in addition to really hustling at the sales window at the concession stand) or my body's dealing with the radioactive goo. I just don't bounce back as fast as I used to when I was under 50. Why should a number mean my body is not responding like a 29 year old???? In my head, I'm still 29!