Monday, June 11, 2012

PET Scan Party

All the madness that occurs.
All the highs, all the
As the room is spinning goes
We'll run riot,
We'll be glowing in the dark.
Coldplay, Charlie Brown
Mylo Xylo, 2012
A positron emission tomography, or a PET scan, is pretty similar to an MRI. From a visual standpoint, the machine looks like an MRI machine, only it's about 1/3 of the size in length. The best part about PET scans are that they barley make any noise. They're about as loud as an air conditioning unit, much quieter than the banging and knocking of an MRI machine. The biggest downside to this visit was probably all of the failed IV picks - after six attempts two were finally placed. I’d say that that is a pretty good downside for a hospital visit! The purpose of this scan was to further investigate the increase in density that was discovered in my brain tumor a few months ago, and to gain a better understanding of the cell type of the tumor so that we know what to do or what not to do next. I have a feeling that my next course of action will either be drastically new, or the brain tumor questions and probing will be put to rest..I should get the results within the next couple of days.

The last time I was at DMC Children's Hospital was in 2008. I was a patient there for a 5 day stretch that consisted of a continued EEG and sleep study. Within the first couple of hours of my day, an elderly volunteer came into my room and asked me what my favorite color was. I told him it was a close tie between blue and black..he vanished and moments later reappeared with a handmade fleece blanket! Who knew a cozy blanket could be so comforting. The downside to DMC Children's Hospital is that well, it's a children's hospital. As a 17 year old soon to be high school senior, sharing a room with a 6 month old isn't very much fun. I love little kids, but in those circumstances it would have been much more enjoyable to room with someone my age or older who can relate to procedures or common interests. I suppose that depending on the hospital, the older mentor-younger sage scale will always be teeter-tottering.

On the other hand, nurses and doctors working at a children's hospital typically outwardly express more energy, creating a warmer, friendlier environment. A particular nurse that I met on this adventure, Jane, went out of her way to make me laugh and build a patient-nurse connection. We discussed my plan to pursue a special needs education career path, and she even recommended a book to check out this summer - Musicophilia. Written by neurologist Oliver Sacks, the book explores how music affects the brain, human emotions, moods, etc. There are even documentations of how music has helped some of his epileptic and Parkinson’s stricken patients learn to thrive. I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve checked it out!

After the long day at DMC I kicked off summer with a bonfire celebration and pool party that went a little something like this..


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience... you definitely have a way with words! You're a rockstar Survivor, Miss Catherine, & your positive attitude & sense of humor never cease to amaze me. You truly kick mAss!!

    Love you,

  2. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.


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