PET Scan Adventure

Thursday was PET scan day for me.  Remember the insurance preauthorization thing that was going to take until October 2nd.  Well the clinic called me the next day and said I was approved.  This is one of the many reasons it’s important to advocate for yourself.  If I hadn’t I would be waiting until then for this to get moving along.  In reality, it was approved in less than 24 hours.

The family has been juggling schedules to try to help out but with one member of the team, Kramer, gone, it’s a little bit harder.  Kelli ended up finishing up childcare and I went to my appointment myself.

I seem to take a bit of Kramer with me though…checking crops.  Yep, the soybeans are turning color.  They are heading towards getting ready for harvest.

The good news is that I’ve been through all of this a time or two myself..and a time or two with Kramer so the scary part of this go around  isn’t as scary.  I at least know what to expect.  It is pretty sad though.  I find myself saying…”the last time I was here was with Kramer” or “Ugh, back to the East building (which is the cancer center)”.  I’m doing it though and trying really hard to do it with as much grace as possible.

I had a 1:15 appointment and went back right away.  If you haven’t had a PET scan, it’s kind of a weird thing.  They inject a sugary substance into your vein and then you have have to lay in a recliner in a dark room for an hour.  Then you get the scan.  The stress while you’re laying there to relax and let the stuff they injected to work it’s way around your body.  It’s not easy to “relax” with thoughts of cancer running through your head.  Trust me.  This is my third PET scan.

Once you get to the machine they lay you down, then strap you down.  They pack you tight.  It almost feels like you’re a mummy.  A strap goes around your belly and around your feet.  Then in the machine, which is like a tunnel, you go.  After I was in the machine for about a half hour, I was out and on my way.

If you’re ever going for one, a word to the wise is wear elastic waist pants or you might end up laying in the machine with your pants at your knees.  That also was the strangest feeling.

After the scan I headed towards home.  You might remember this is just under a 2 hour drive.  I knew the drive home might be interesting as we were predicted to have strong storms in the afternoon.  There was suppose to be torrential rain.

For the PET scan I had to eat a high protein low carb diet the day before and then no food for six hours before the test.  So I was up at 6am and ate something so by the time the test was over, I was hungry and needed gas so I stopped.  I went in my purse to get my debit card and look what I found….money in my purse.  It didn’t put it there.

Looking back, my purse was open in a tote when I was in the PET scan machine.  I’m sure the nurse and the tech put the money in my purse.  This happened to me another time when Kramer was in the hospital.  The tech and nurse put $84 in my purse.  I think employees band together and do this for patients…ones with hard circumstances like we have.

So with a smile on my face…and a thankful feeling in my heart, I headed home.  It wasn’t long and skies were angry.  Weather warnings were going off on the radio.  I tried to remember the location and which counties I was passing through.

There are two different ways to go.  One is long, less curvy and more familiar.  The other 9 miles shorter but curvy.  I opted for the shorter…then two miles before the turn the rain hit and it hit HARD.  I’ve never driven through rain like that.  It was so heavy…but thankfully the lines on the road were easy to see.

Then the radio went off with warnings again.  The tornado warning was for the direction I was going…not far from home.  I still had miles to go but I was on hyper alert.  I finally made it into Decorah.  It was still pouring.  I decided I’d stop and go to the thrift store.  I could waste time there until the tornado warning lifted.

I turned into town and the streets I was driving were flooded.  In spots 5″ of water covered the streets.  Oh my.  No.  I’m headed towards home.  This wasn’t safe either.

By then I knew by the time I got to the area where the tornado was suppose to be, it would be expired so on I went.  It poured for about 10 more miles and then the rain eased up.

When I was five miles from home, I called and said to finish the supper I had started before I left.  Kelli asked if I had seen the tornados.  No…I hadn’t.  She asked if I saw the pictures…No, I hadn’t.

Once home I pulled up my phone.  Kelli’s mother-in-law had sent these pictures. See the funnels dropping from the clouds???

These were taken near where Kelli lives.
I’m not a big believer in “radar indicated tornados”….as that’s what these were.

I’m a believer now.

Well I made it home…what a drive!!

As for the PET scan results…now we wait.  I was told 3-5 business days but I’m hopeful I’ll hear back sooner.

STOP THE PRESSES…We heard back late in the day yesterday.  The rest was written by Kalissa.

This is how we share important news in our family now! A five way video chat!

Mom had her PET scan yesterday. A PET scan checks the body to make sure the cancer has not spread or mutated somewhere else in the body which would require a different kind of treatment like chemo or radiation. We KNOW mom’s cancer IS BACK in her lymph nodes. Now we have to check the rest of the body for it.

The results came back just about an hour ago – mom’s cancer has NOT spread from her lymph nodes in her neck – it has not mutated or moved anywhere else in her body. SO this will be treated similarly to her first round of thyroid cancer in 2016!

1. They will schedule a needle biopsy. This would be a needle going into mom’s neck at several different angles and areas to sample the suspicious looking lymph nodes.

2. They will consult with surgery and she will have as many suspicious lymph nodes removed as possible.

3. Mom will have to go on her low iodine diet again after surgery to starve her cells of iodine so when she gets the radioactive iodine pill they will eat it right up and it will kill the cancer cells.

4. We monitor very closely to make sure her numbers (tumor markers) stay down!

This is good news! We’ve done this all before! We can do it again! After all we are #kramerstrong

Jo back writing… Monday I’ll call and get an appointment with Intervention Radiology.  They are the ones who do the needle biopsy.  I’m hoping we’ll do that next week depending on their schedule.  I hate getting this done..but it’s all part of the “happily ever after” so do it I must.

Kelli, Kalissa and I ended up going out for pizza after we heard the news.  We just sat down and my phone buzzed.  We got the news that Jody, my niece who had cancer,  had passed away.  (read about her here if you missed it) My world will be different…again.  What a rollercoaster of the ride this year has been…all I can say is, it’s hard, but I’m still hanging on!!


36 thoughts on “PET Scan Adventure”

  1. Jo,
    I’m so sorry for the Jodi’s passing. I’m glad you were able to visit with her and say your goodbyes. The best is knowing Kramer will be there to greet her and you have another angel looking over you. May you find peace in God’s loving hands during this difficult time.

    As for the cancer you got this girl. PET’s are strange but you explained it very well. The worst part is the hour waiting for the radio active die to flow through the body and find the active cancer cells. Then waiting for the results. Now you will do the treatment to stop those boogie cancer cells. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way. Candi

  2. Jo, you are a great example of grace under fire. I know I will remember your calm explanations of all things good and bad and try to follow your example.

  3. I’m sorry to read about Jody passing away but she has Kramer to welcome her home, may her family find some comfort in this. I’m so happy to read that your cancer has not spread to other parts of your body, you got this girl!! Your hospital staff sounds amazing and what a wonderful surprise for you.

  4. Good news and sad news. Seems these go together in our walk through Life. You are fortunate to have a loving family and community to help you during the sadder times. I think One Day at a Time is important now. You’ve been through all this before and even though it’s not your choice to go through it again, you know you will come out OK. Many prayers are being said today for you and your family.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about Jody’s passing. She fought so hard. It just isn’t fair. I am so happy to know your PET scan came back the way that it did. It’s not fun, but you know what you are dealing with. I keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Your bravery and strength continues to amaze me. I’m very sorry for the loss of your niece. Y’all have so much drama in your family, lots of highs and lows with such a large family, I guess. Here’s hoping there are more highs than lows in your future!

  7. Sounds like you got the best bad news possible about your own cancer. I’m sorry you are experiencing another loss of someone close though.

  8. I just want to give you a hug Jo. Sorry to hear about your niece Jody, there are no words I know of that will ease your pain. Glad to hear the cancer hasn’t spread. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

  9. On my friend….what a roller coaster of a day for you. Your bills and valleys were all over the place.
    I’m so happy to hear it has not spread. Prayers for your upcoming days.
    More prayers for you and the family on Jody’s passing.

  10. Condolences on Jody’s passing. Good news on the thyroid cancer front. You are blessed with such a large, supportive family. I’m glad you were nowhere near the tornadoes.

  11. So sorry to hear about your niece Jody but she is at peace now without pain. You are a brave courageous lady and you will best this situation. Feel comfort in the number of people keeping you and your family in prayer!

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about Jody. I know she was special to you. Praying for strength for you as you step into this next challenge. Thankful you have such a great family to support you.

  13. What a year you have had! Just know that 2020 is around the corner for a brighter outlook. Kramer and Jody are dancing together! So sorry for your loss but happy that you have a manageable outcome for cancer treatment.

  14. so sorry for the lost of your friend and nice, Jody.

    goosebumps and tears again……..

    so happy for your prognosis.

    Wow! the gals put cash in your purse. People really are good.

  15. They say that Angels live among us. I do Believe! Health care workers may not know all of the story, but they know enough. God Bless Them for their kindness and monetary support. Not only did it fill your pocket but also your heart and ours too!
    I too, am sorry to hear of Jody’s passing. You know she delivered a big loving hug to Roger when she danced through the gates of heaven.
    We are all here to support you through this cancer treatment process. I hope that it is said and done in 2019 and you can start fresh in 2020. Big hugs to you.

  16. What a year you all have been through. Thank goodness you are all “Kramer Strong:”. Great news on tour Pet scan. You’ve got this, girl! Hugs!!!

  17. I am so sorry about your cousin. She fought a long and hard battle. My sympathies to you and to her family and friends. I’m sure Kramer will be waiting for her when she arrives at the beginning of her next journey. Hugs to you all. Oh, and great news for you.

  18. I just had my 3rd pet scan on Friday. So I empathize with you. I am waiting to hear my results. My love and prayers go out to you. Lets hang in there! Carol Benson

  19. It sounds as if you got some good news, even though it is with caution. My sympathy is with you all during your grief over Jody’s death. May she rest with peace in the arms of our God.
    -Jean ❤

  20. Hoping your guardian angel is on your shoulder and taking care of you. You’ve had a rough year. Saying prayers that things will get better.

  21. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I am so happy to hear the news of your cancer not spreading! I am so very sorry to hear about Jody’s passing. My prayers are with your family. When you look back at 2019, there will be only one set of footprints in the sand…this has been a hard year for you and your family, but you are #kramerstrong and the Lord is with you!

  22. So sad to hear of Jody’s passing. Prayers for all who knew and loved her. Praise that no other cancer was found for you Jo. Praying all the procedures go well.

  23. I was very sad to here about Jody she had such a long bout with her cancer. Prayers for her family and you. I am happy to hear that your pet scan showed that the cancer hasn’t spread past your lymph nodes and will pray all goes well for you. Blessings Sandra

  24. Sorry for your loss Jo. Hope all goes well for you and your family. I read day after day about Kramer sat and cried for you and your family. I am going thru the same thing now . My husband pasted away September 7, 2019. What keeps me going is knowing his dad came for him on the same day that he had passed away. 19 years later. September 7, 2000. Gives me comfort hes not in pain any more. I miss him dearly. Time will heal. At least that’s what they say.

  25. JO, I’m so proud of the love and generosity that health workers, blog family ( that’s what I’m assuming due to how you inspire and share) offer you, the family, kiddos, & charity groups. Your niece Jody fought the good fight with courage & grace. My heart goes out to her family and friends. Hugs to you! May all the procedures and foods zap the lymph nodes into being free of those cancer cells! Continuing thoughts, love, and prayers to you and your family. Gloria

  26. Valerie Chapman Stockwell

    You have been through so much. I’m very sorry to hear about Jody. Please take care. Sending prayers for your health.

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