Supporting women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer

PET scan

By ki

I had my pet scan yesterday and now have to wait 5 days for the results

It went OK I was told not to eat or drink anything other than water for 6 hours before the scan and to make sure I had at least 4 glasses of water before the scan.

I was taken through into the treatment area and they told me I'd be 2 hours. They showed me where the toilets were and said I'd be free to use them, as they did not need a full bladder for the scan, the water I had drank was to keep me hydrated due to me fasting.

I was then weighed and they measured my height. I did not have to change into a gown as I had worn a tracksuit bottom and top with no metal on and I'd removed all my jewellery, I could have the scan fully clothed.

I was then taken to a treatment room that had a bed, a chair table and sink, I was told there is a camera pointing to the bed so they can monitor me after I'd had the injection. I was told to lie down and the nurse covered me with a blanket as the room was chilly.

The nurse then went through the form I had filled in, it was mainly previous scan questions and treatment I had had in the past and any medication I take at present.

She then said she needed to take a sample of blood to check my blood glucose levels. That was followed by the injection of nuclear stuff, it felt cold as it went up my arm.

I was then left in the room on my own for a hour, I was told I couldn't read and needed to relax. They had told me I could have taken my own choice of CD to listen to, but I just chose one of theirs.

After the hour was over they came back into my room and switched the lights back on, I was told to go empty my bladder, then taken into the scanner room .

The machine looked huge but not scary, if you have had a CT it looked like a larger version.

I lay on the table with my head towards the scanner, and they covered my body with a blanket as the room was rather cold.
I had to lift my arms above my head, there was a strap to hold onto, the nurse placed a triangle shaped rest under my knees, to take the pressure off my back.

She said I'd be alone for the scan but if I needed them all I had to do was speak as they could hear me. She said I had to lie very still during the scan, but I was not tied down so did not feel uncomfortable apart from having my hands above my head.

The table was then raised up to meet the scanner and the nurse put another CD on and left the room.

The bed moved into the scanner and back out twice within a few minutes, then it moved very slowly through the scanner over my whole body.

I would say that the PET scanner was around 4 ft long but open at both ends so I did not feel claustrophobic at all, it was not very noisy either.

I am not very sure how long the scan took as I wasn't allowed any metal so no watch! I think it took around 45 minutes.

The nurse came in and lowered the bed and took me back into the treatment room. She told me to get myself together and I could leave when I wanted to.

I was given a leaflet on what to do after the scan, it said I could eat normally and to drink at least 1 + 1/2 pints of fluid, empty my bladder frequently, I was not to sit next to pregnant women for the rest of the day and avoid children too.