Thursday, October 15, 2015

PET Scan Pit Stop

Paige's PET scan this week provided our first real experience with scan anxiety, or scanxiety.  She has received multiple scans over the course of our journey--from x-ray to CT to MRI.  However, this one had us on pins and needles from start to finish.  Maybe because last week's CT scan still showed something there, and doctors needed a better look.  Maybe because we were newbies with this particular scan.  Maybe because we were just plain scared.  Whatever the reason, it was time to get those prayers going.  Peace and calm assurance were needed--STAT.

We set out for the hospital before dawn that day with a car so loaded there was barely room for its passengers.  The scan was scheduled first, with an office visit and chemo admission to follow.  We were directed to the nuclear radiology area, where they led us to our 'holding cell,' a room with a lead door controlled by a wall panel.  After Paige's port was accessed, radioactive glucose was infused through the line--yes, radioactive.  Its mission is to seek out active disease in the body, which lights up on the scan.  It was delivered in a lead box, the syringe was encased in lead--and it was being pushed into my daughter's line.  This was one of those moments where that peace thing came in really handy.

After the infusion, Paige had to lie still for about an hour to give the glucose time to work its way through her body.  Only one of us could be back there with her, so Boyce stayed in the waiting area while Paige and I hung out in our 'cell.'  A panel of lead, complete with a window, was wheeled  between us as we watched TV and waited to be taken back for the scan.  When the time came, I was allowed in that room with Paige as well--as long as I wore a lead apron for the duration of the scan.  I tried to take her mind off things as much as I could by playing music on my phone.
The noise of the machine, while not quite as loud as those used for MRIs,  still made it somewhat difficult for her to hear.  I followed her as the table moved through the machine, getting the music as close to her as I could.  That was yet another one of those times peace took over.  She likes to know I am right there--even when she can't see me.  Hmmm...that sounds really familiar.  I like to feel the peace and presence of God--even when I can't see it.  
Later that morning, as we waited for Paige's admissions paperwork to be processed, we found out the results of the scan.  It showed no evidence of disease--the chest mass is gone!  One obstacle down. Time to attack those last cancer blasts left in her bone marrow.  This is a tough journey, and peace can sometimes be hard to find.  It doesn't mean God isn't right there--He gave us His promise to never leave or forsake us.  We'll continue pressing on through those detours and pit stops, knowing there is a greater purpose.  It may not yet be in our line of sight, but we will get there.    

Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.   Deuteronomy 31:6 

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