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!!