Saturday, October 11, 2008
September 29th, 2008: Early on Monday morning, I jumped in a cab and watched the sun rise over the East Bay hills while driving to the UCSF Mission Bay campus. There, I was given an injection of syrupy radioactive dye. Lying on a platform with my arms cinched to my sides and head secured with towels, I was rolled into a very large machine and the PET and CT scans commenced. Fortunately, claustrophobia is not one of my talents. Although I was surrounded by tons of metal, I fell asleep. Pictures were taken of my entire body searching for out-of-pattern masses, then another round of pictures identified if these unusual masses were “active” meaning, growing. When the blood carries the sugared, radioactive dye throughout the body, tumors greedily ingest more of the syrupy goo than other organs, and so their hunger reveals them to the camera.