Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday, March 9th, 2008 - Daylight Savings begins

Hiya Bloggy,

Well, here we are, the first day of Daylight Savings.... which is 4 weeks earlier than normal this year. For the life of me, I do not understand the reasoning for this. Actually, I don't really understand the need for changing from Daylight Savings to Standard time, back to Daylight Savings, etc. I understand back in the war, it was a big deal, but nowadays, it really doesn't make sense to me. I have read that, by starting DST 4 weeks early, the amount of barrels of oil that will be saved by businesses will be in the millions. But, personally, I just don't buy that argument. Businesses are still operating their business hours, whether it's light or dark outside... so how that one hour for 4 weeks is going to make any difference is beyond me. If businesses were to shorten their business hours by one hour each day, then that would make sense... but the fact it is or isn't light for that hour... hello? Anywho... today is the first day of DST and all I find it does is confuses the poor body :)

Well, I think I'm just going to babble here for a bit because... well, it's Sunday, it's been a week since my last entry, and, well, because I can! :) It's my blog so I can write whatever I want in it, right? And that means any of you stopping by to read it have to put up with my babbling. Muhahahahaha!! A captive audience!! :)

First things first... entertainment. In this past week I've been to a Birthday party for an old friend, Audrey Wills... and of course all of us who know her. This birthday was held at a wonderful Chinese restaurant, "Sun Sui Wah" at Main and E. 23rd Ave. What a fabulous restaurant... I highly recommend it to anyone who is tired of the usual okay Chinese food... the food at this restaurant is fabulous! There's nothing really around so I'm not sure why you would ever find yourself at Main and 23rd... but hey, it's worth the drive there just for the food!! And they certainly could cater to large groups. We had a private room off the main room and there were about 50 of us. Great time was had by all!

Last night, I was with Greg and Maddalena and we saw the movie "The Other Boleyn Girl". Wow! Fabulous movie!! I was in the mood to see a nice romantic, historical period film and this was far outdid my expectations. Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson were both fantastic in their roles. Only Eric Bana, as King Henry, was a little weak in my opinion... but his character needed a little more time to develop since, even for those times, I don't think he would have gotten away with how quickly he changed women. Yes, he did.. but in the movie it happened just a little too quickly. But, I highly recommend anyone to go see this film!

Now, entertainment aside, I went for my PET scan on Thursday. I'm going to put some info here about the PET scan that I have learned since it actually affects me. Amazing how you just take things for granted... until you need them, or they impact your life in some way.

A PET scan stands for Positron Emission Tomography. The PET scan procedure takes 2-3 hours in total. A PET scan is a powerful diagnostic test that is having a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Because disease is a biological process, and a PET scan is a biological imaging examination, PET scans can detect and stage most cancers, often before they are evident through other tests. PET scans can also give physicians important early information about heart disease and many neurological disorders, like Alzheimer's.

A PET scan examines the body's chemistry. Most common medical tests, like CT and MR scans, only show details about the structure of the body. A PET scan is different as it provides information about function. With a single PET scan procedure, physicians can collect images of function throughout the entire body, uncovering abnormalities that might otherwise go undetected.

For example, a PET scan is the most accurate, non-invasive way to tell whether or not a tumour is benign or malignant, sparing patients the often painful diagnostic surgeries and suggesting treatment options earlier in the course of the disease. And although cancer spreads silently in the body, a PET scan can inspect most organs of the body for cancer in a single examination!

Now... here's an interesting bit of trivia. I'm not exactly sure when this "clinical trial" for the PET scan machine at the Cancer Agency began, but I know back in 2003/2004 when Kimberley was going through her cancer journey, the only PET scan machine in Vancouver was out at the University of BC Research dept. It was not covered under the medical plan so when it was suggested this might be beneficial for Kimberley, she had to pay out of her own pocket... $2500. Dr. Gill referred me to the "Centre of Excellence for Functional Cancer Imaging", which is right there at the Cancer Agency (although it is a separate department).

Here is part of what the form was that I had signed (which made me eligible for BC Medical to pay the $2500 cost):

"You are being invited to participate in this clinical trial because you are either diagnosed with or suspected of having cancer and your doctor has determind that you require a scan to provide additional information. If you agree to participate with this clinical trial, you will undergo a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, using a radio-labeled tracer called F-Fluro-Deoxy-GLucose (or F-FDG). An F-FDG PET scan combines both a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan and a PET scan done on the same machine during one procedure. For the purposes of the rest of this consent form, we will refer to this combined scan (PET and CT using the F-FDG radio-labeled tracer) as an F-FDG PET scan.

Cancer treatment and outcomes depend largely on accurate diagnosis and staging of the disease. F-FDG PET scanning may more accurately characterize disease, or determine the stage and sites of recurrent disease in many cancer types compared with conventional scanning techniques (such as CT or Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MR(). The accurate functional information that is obtained from the F-FDG PET can have a significant impact on the management of some patients with cancer. F-FDG PET is used to provide accurate pre-treatment staging of tumors, to aid in planning therapy, to monitor the response to therapy and to provide assessment of restaging/recurrence after curative therapy. PET scanning is not considered an experimental technique, but is in a clinical trial for public funding by Canada Health and BC Medical."

So, there you have it... that is what the PET scan is all about and I will know the results of it on Friday. I have to go for more blood work on Friday, with one of the tests being my CEA levels to see if they are still elevated and if so, how high. Then the PET scan will have the results if there is any recurring cancer of any kind.

My friend, Jo, will be coming with me for that visit with Dr. Gill. As far as I'm concerned, the PET scan will come back clear and then we will also be able to breathe a sigh of relief that the "slightly elevated" CEA levels are really just normal levels for me. On the other hand, if it does find anything, then thank goodness for accurate PET scans because treatment could start immediately rather than wait until the cancer produces symptoms.

Ok... this has gone on way too long for one blog entry, but hey... I thought it was interesting stuff and hope anyone who is reading it will find it interesting as well. But now, with Daylight Savings, it is after 11:30pm. I didn't sleep all that well last night, so I think it's time for me to take Bridget out to the back lane and then we both are going to go to bed. She's already in bed... so I have to wake her up, take her out, then she can go back to bed :D

Ta ta for now!



Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, yes, verrrrrrry interesting, as Colonel Klink would say, lol. Good luck with the results, Cher... as always, I'm thinking of you! *hugs* Mel

Anonymous said...

Well you've completely answered my questions about pet scans.
Good luck Friday, good thoughts only.

Hugs, Maryann