Little Miss Radioactive has some EXCELLENT news!

Yes, I am radioactive for the next 12 hours.  More on that in a bit.

I’m going straight to the excellent news.  I’ve been waiting for some tests to come back from the biopsy and to get the readings from my PET/CT scan I had this morning.   My doctor called me this evening to give me the good news:

1.  My cancer is Estrogen and Progesterone based!!!  That means that I have way more treatment options.

2.  The cancer HAS NOT SPREAD anywhere!!!!  The only cancer that shows up is the mass in my left breast.  There are two lymph nodes that show a bit of activity but not enough to worry about until they can be removed.  HURRAH!!!

They will have to test the tumor surgically but she is guessing that, due to the tumor size, I’m either super late Stage 1 or early Stage 2.

Basically, these are the best possible circumstances for treatment.  I’m overjoyed!

Lots of crying and hugging going on around here this evening!

And a lot of this:


In daily news, I had a PET/CT scan today.

This was quite nerve wracking for me as a) the range of results that I could have were overwhelming and b) I’m very very claustrophobic.   Just the mention of an MRI can put me into a panic attack.  I can’t even have blankets or sheets tucked close around me as I feel too closed in.

I had an echo stress test quite a few years ago…I was scared but the CT machine was open and was only around my chest area.  I relaxed and closed my eyes but decided, in my control freak kind of way, to check out what was happening.  Of course the machine was partly over my neck and I completely panicked.  Have you ever seen a 5’2″ little girl bust through arm restraints and kick themselves out of a CT scanner?  The techs at USC did that day!

When I was told about the PET/CT last week, I had no idea what it even was.  I googled it while waiting for my scheduler to finish with patient in front of me.   It’s not a big tube like an MRI, its more like a wider MRI tube that is about 2-3x bigger.   It looked like a small nightmare to me but way easier to handle than an MRI.

I got to my appointment this morning (STARVING) and they asked me all the usual pre-test crap and made me drink a 26-32 oz glass of barium.  It was a pleasant smooth vanilla with a metal aftertaste.  NOT my idea of breakfast.  I managed to get it down and then they injected the radioactive glucose into me.  After that I had to lie (lay?) down for an hour.  I was so relaxed and comfortable that I fell asleep.  Easy breezy!

Then they led me into the room.   I knew what to expect thanks to google but they explained everything to me and arranged me on the slider in a way that would make me less claustrophobic.

The machine itself is about 8 feet by 8 feet square , 2-3 feet wide with a big hole in the middle.  Where the patient lies is on a slider that goes in and out of the donut.   To get onto the slider, you need a step stool and then they raise the slider about another foot in the air.

Like this:



The first part of the test are two xrays – lungs and chest.  They slide you into the donut hole (head is inside) and you hold your breath for about 10 seconds for the lung picture then the chest picture just happens.

This is where it all went wrong.

I had my eyes closed and was relaxed ready to just “get er done” when I sensed darkness.  Of course, history repeated itself and I opened my eyes.  Immediately I felt like I was choking and couldn’t breathe.  I know I yelled “Get me the HELL out of here” and I’m pretty sure there were other choice phrases.  After realizing that I was about to melt down, they wisely slid me out of the machine so the donut was behind me.   The tech there, Kristin, was amazing and basically told me that I had to do this test to get the best possible care and to put my big girl panties on and take control of the situation.  She let me get my bearings  for a minute and then told me that she was going to stay with me through the entire test.

And I got it done.  I was still nervous during the xrays when I was fully in the tube but I dealt and it was over.  Major claustrophobia issue semi-conquered!

Although when they started the PET scan part, my head wasn’t completely out of the donut and this is what it looked like to me:


I’m happy that is over with.

Afterwards, mom & I went to Pasadena for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and then to LUSH for some retail therapy.

Now I’m just dealing with the after effects of the Barium breakfast.  Some people tolerate it just fine.

I am not one of those people.   You do not want details!

Fight On!






12 Comments on “Little Miss Radioactive has some EXCELLENT news!”

  1. Karen Stember says:

    Sounds like good results came from some torturous testings. Congrats on this good news…..defintely worth some Lush shopping. I know you will keep fighting on.


  2. Sue. says:

    That’s good new Pam. And I could really appreciate some of what you wrote as I had an MRI and a CT this year, and will have another MRI tomorrow. The contrast that was injected for the first MRI was tolerated, but even that meant “interesting bowel movements”. I was pretty anxious about the contrast injection which went into my hip joint, and was prescribed a Xanax. But I forgot to pick up the prescription before the pharmacy closed. Anyway, if you know this about yourself, perhaps take something for the clausterphobia next time?


    • Pam says:

      I took an Ativan the night before and I think that was the reason I only had a small panic attack. If I have to do more tests, I’m totally getting something stronger!!! I hope your MRI goes well tomorrow!

      “interesting bowel movements” – that is one way to put it! LOL


  3. Lori Lewis says:

    I hope you continue blogging after you beat your cancer because OMG you are so good at it! Excellent illustrations!

    And most excellent results of those scans & tests. So, SO happy!!!!!


  4. Aimee says:

    Whoo hoo! That is good news. Love the drawings! Will have more for you later today!


  5. Teresa says:

    So glad that the news came back with positives. You can be sure we are all praying for you. Pam, I love you like a cousin😄


  6. Barbara DiCarlo says:

    Hi Pam, so happy to hear the GREAT news. Believe me I know how those machines can turn a good day bad. So proud you put your big girl panties on and dealt with it. Faith can place a candle in the darkest light. “This little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine!” I will sing it for you next time I see you.Ha Ciao Bella, Barbara


  7. Estelle says:

    I am so happy to hear the good news and I loved reading your blog. Keep them coming 🙂


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