Thursday, January 25, 2018

Weekly bloodletting and my cancer illustrated (cool images!)


I'm off in a little bit to my weekly free blood give-away to my very gentle techs at the Oncologist. Funny the things you get used to in life, really doesn't seem like a big deal and I'm usually in and out in 15 mins or less. I joke with the techs about alternating veins on a weekly basis and perhaps I will start to draw emojis near the injection sites to see if I can make them smile. Hard working boys and girls in there, let me tell you, and serious as the task at hand.
Not exactly like that anymore...whew!

The reason for the weekly blood draw is mostly to see how my white and red blood cells are tolerating my Don Quijote and Sancho Panza therapy. You see, killing cancer cells also kills other fast reproducing cells, like blood cells and hair cells. Still have all my hair with no sign so far of brittleness. And it still is rapidly graying, sigh, make that "whiting!"

Lighting up my bones

Now for the fun part. So as far as I understand it, CT scans are very sharp for precise location and diagnostics of lots of things and PET scans determine "live" stuff going on in the body but they are a bit blurry. So the combo PET/CT scan shows the active cells in the body, in my case the cancer munching away at my bones (cells actively multiplying). PET also shows "unbelievable superior intellectual activity"...oh wait, I read that report just says: "brain activity." Sigh.
Anyway, happy to find out I don't have cancer in my brain, as a subsequent CT scan showed, some on my skull, but my thinking is clear (so I say).

And through modern technology and patient access to records, I entertain myself with all these images I don't quite understand fully. But here are some cool pics of my insides, my first PET/CT showing (hopefully) maximum spread. Next such test not scheduled yet, usually comes 5-6 months after therapy begins to check for effectiveness of therapy.

Showing my spine light up like a Christmas tree
All those dots on sternum (chest bone) and ribs
also are signs of metastasis, or cancer spread

Oh hey, look at me!
Again, my bones lighting up.
Happy to report hardly any of those hurt,
usually some rib pain, maybe some hip pain,
 and at times a very tight spine.
Pain...I laugh at you, pain!

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