An Easy Trip to The Spa

Yesterday’s Spa visit went swimmingly.  We got in quick, got hooked up, filled up and got out.  The worst problem we had was parking.  How’s that for dandy?

Chris did report to Nurse Mary about Maggie’s missing abdominal pain.  She was a little surprised.  Apparently adhesions (the main suspected cause of this pain) don’t tend to disappear.  She checked with Dr. Loukas to verify that we were still interested in getting a PET scan and he confirmed that we were.  So we’re cued up for July 3rd at 12:30.

PET scans are pretty interesting.  It’s called a Positron Emissions Tomography scan and works by measuring the amount of cellular activity in the body.  Maggie will be given a radio-active simple sugar mixture into her bloodstream.  Cells use these simple sugars as easy food and they happily eat as much as they can as fast as they can.  Think a 10-year-old on Halloween.  The most active cells will eat as much of this radio-active sugar as possible and, as a result, give off a radio-active “glow.”  Think a 10-year-old on Halloween about 20 minutes after he ate too much candy.  The PET scanning machine picks up each active cell’s radio-active glow in 3 dimensions on film that the doctor can then examine.

The end result is that the glowing areas on the film are where the cells are most active.  And, other than the brain which we know is pretty active (especially in Maggie’s case), the most active areas are cancerous areas.  This is not a scan you want to come out really colorful.  We’re hoping Maggie’s scan is pretty boring.  Veeeeeerrrrry boring, in fact.  That will meant the cancer not very active in Maggie’s body, which, need I point out, is positive.

So, July 3, here we come.  Well, the prep starts July 2nd with a carb-free diet to starve the cells so they will be really hungry when that sugar hits the system.

Ain’t medicine amazing!

On another note, a few weeks ago there was a vote here in Austin to create a fund to supply cancer research here in Texas more than $3 billion over the next 10 years (that’s a three with a Bill Gate’s number of zeros after it.)  It’s been approved by the legislator and now will be placed on the general ballot for the November 6th state-wide election.  This is our (your!) chance to make a real difference in cancer research, one vote at a time.  It’s estimated that nearly 70% of cancer research projects are held up due to lack of funding.  70%!!!  Is the cure for Maggie buried in one of these projects?

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