Supporting women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer


by rb

A bone scan involves injections of low level radioactive material and therefore we have to go to the Nuclear Medicine department, housed in the basement of our hospital.
A radioactive injection had already been made up for me and it was on the table in the treatment room in a small lead-lined box. Both the box and the syringe were plastered with radioactivity warning stickers!

The nurse inserted a cannula into a vein (as for a drip) and drew a small amount of blood. The blood was mixed with the radioactive injection and then injected back through the cannula. I didn't feel anything. I had to go away for 30 minutes to allow the injection to circulate through the system.

I kept my clothes on for the scan. I lay down on a table which was then raised into position. The radiographer pulled straps across my body to help me keep still (the table is very narrow), but I wasn't tied down and felt that I could escape at any time! The scanner was housed in a large box which looks very reminiscent of my Granny's old cooker extraction hood(!) This was moved into position just above me. I had to lie as still as I could while the scanner moved very slowly the length of my body from head to feet. The scanner was very close - only a couple of centimetres from the end of my nose, but it was OK, especially as I could see out at both sides of the machine.
The scan took about 20 minutes. A radiographer was in the room with me all the time.

I went home straight after. I felt quite normal. I was advised not to let small children sit on my knee for 24 hours because of the radioactivity!