What is a PET/CT scan? This test is very useful in determining where tumors may be within the body and also allows the doctors to see just how active the cancerous cells are. The process actually begins the day before the test with a controlled diet. I have to eliminate all sugars, breads and grains, which leaves me feeling hungry all day, but at least I get to eat something. Thank goodness they scheduled my test first thing in the morning. Bright and early the day of the test, I arrive at the cancer pavilion and get checked into my preparation suite. I hang out watching Sports Center for about an hour while the radioactive glucose they inject me with has time to circulate through my body. After that initial sixty minutes or so, they take me to the freezing cold exam room. They cover me up with several warmed blankets, get me aligned properly, and inject me with some addition contrast. The process is pretty cool. This stuff really warms your body, so you can feel it rushing through your veins. The test itself only takes about twenty minutes. How does it work? Well, keeping it very simple, any active cancer within the body will feed on this serum and literally glow on the scan like a little light bulb.
The results are in and we couldn’t be more excited. Although the scan indicates that there are still active cancer cells present each place they were originally found, the tumor has reduced significantly in size and the metabolic activity at the other sights has slowed down considerably. The two months of chemo did exactly what it was suppose to do. All glory be to God. Sure it would have been awesome to hear the doctor say that the cancer was completely gone, but getting the cancer under control and reducing the size of the tumor was really the goal of Phase 1. We are now ready to move on to Phase 2 of this process, which is radiation and daily chemotherapy.
Although I am extremely grateful for God’s mercy on me at this point, I can’t help but accept this news with a heavy heart. For the first time in this entire process, I am asking “why me.” Why is God putting me on the path to remission, but not saving others of strong faith? Don’t get me wrong, I feel so blessed and I am extremely thankful for the success that I am having, but I know others aren’t so lucky. Cancer is such a horrible disease and it can affect anybody. Over the past couple of months, my wife and I have learned about some great people around our age that are fighting cancer battles of their own. Some of them are having similar successes and I am so happy for them, but there are also some who aren’t receiving such good news from their doctors. My heart just bleeds for them and I feel so helpless. It’s hard to imagine how they keep it all together after more and more devastating news. The Lord is the ultimate physician and he is working miracles in my life, but because of the connections we’ve made, I find myself asking why he has chosen me. I am hardly out of the woods at this point and still have a long journey ahead of me with no guarantees, but right now I’m getting encouraging news with a hopeful future. This gift of life is so amazing. I have wanted to be a better man and a better Christian for a long time, but now it is so much more. I don’t only want to change myself, but I also want to find a way to bring all those who haven’t found the Lord into His awesome kingdom and forever change their lives as well. I have felt His love and His embrace, and there is nothing like it. I now pray that everybody can be so blessed, and experience His indescribable love.
So, as I move on from this PET scan, I will continue to praise God and pray that He will continue to keep me on this path to survival. I popped in my chemo pills today for the first time, so I also pray that he spares me of any heart-related side effects or any other painful side effects for that matter. As always, thank you for your amazing, continued prayers. God is answering them and I am humbled.