Yesterday I had a PET scan to check on progress following 4 months of chemo. My sister accompanied me to the hospital. She is all kinds of beautiful. We giggled our way into the hospital, it almost felt inappropriate to be smiling so much whilst preparing to be injected with radioactive material. We sauntered past the floor to ceiling water feature in the hospital entrance with the hospitals tag line 'we also treat the human spirit'. The clean hallway and sploshing sound of water along with reassuring words almost lull you into a sense of calm. That is until you register, get your arm tag and told to go down to the lower level to 'Nuclear Medicine'. That's right, 'Nuclear Medicine'. Not the most inviting department name. The lift door opens to the lower level and Louise quietens. The floors have scuff marks from shoes, beds, trolleys and there is no useful directory, map or soothing tag line. We enter the warren that is the nuclear energy department. There's no windows, just lots of small dimly lit rooms off a grid of hallways.
We check in and we take up position in the waiting room. I see Louise scanning the small space. The walls are a tan colour, there's about 8 chairs seated around the edge of the room, all of which are taken by people either watching the muffle of the tv or flicking through crinkly old magazine pages.
'They really need to change the colour of the walls, something with more of a relaxing tone' says Louise. I agree.
We move onto the name 'Nuclear Medicine'. We both agree that whilst an accurate description of the department, it is a little terrifying. Louise, being the scientist that she is, comes of with the brilliant suggestion to rename the department to 'Positron Medicine'. This has the benefit of being factually correct whilst also sounding positive. We agree her genius suggestion could be rolled out around all the hospitals in America and are just planning our glorious rollout when I get called in.
At this point I was injected with radioactive sugar - even cancer can't resist a little sugar. I was then taken to an 'isolated' waiting room to wait for an hour before the scan. I was isolated as I was literally radiating. The hour passes with me, myself and my grumbly stomach. The scan itself was effortless; I was maneuvered back and forth through two rings which do their work silently for 17 mins. For a nuclear warren, this department really does house the best staff. They are chatty, smiley and down to earth.
I walk back to find Louise is loaded with sweeties from a man who took kindly to her in the waiting room. Sucking our mints we escape the nuclear warren and breath a sigh of relief. We will not get the results from the test until tomorrow (Wednesday) so we decide to deviate a plan to keep my mind off the impending results.
We opt for a reindeer night. When we were little, our Mum had a bizarre habit of dressing all THREE of us in matching ensembles. Naturally the outfit would be obscene - red snowman jumpers and full on floral dresses. The change happened slowly but suddenly I also feel that urge. I can't explain it but seeing the girls in identical outfits is like watching cat videos on you tube, it's adorable and addictive. Louise started in the summer with cute matching summer dresses and somehow we've ended up with FOUR reindeer onesies. So we all wore our onesies, ate roast chicken and watched a movie. How civilized.
Which brings me back to now. I'm now pondering whether to get my results dressed as a reindeer. It really is hard to imagine receiving bad results dressed like this?!