I’m looking at my CT and PET/CT scans. The Disclosures Office provided two CDs with them on, and I’ve found some software for the Mac to view them.
It’s quite an experience seeing yourself in 3D. There’s a surface rendering of me as a hollow man, a torso I can spin and rotate and move through. There are some ghostly pencil-like renderings of my body, an idea of my body and it’s organs again rotatable in space but made of dots. There are a couple of very fine X-ray type images of my skeleton which are quite extraordinary in their detail and clarity, white lines on black and grey. And there are a series of scans composed of cross section slices of me that can be run as a short film or stepped through in sequence. The clearest starts with two roundels which are my arms extended above my head, and as the animation runs the top of my head, my brain, jaw, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and thighs appear and disappear as two more roundels. I’ll put these up another time.
The X-ray skeleton haunts me. I hadn’t expected that. It’s more than a skeleton as there’s flesh too, shadowed in front and back and showing both at the same time. Shiny nuggets of fillings in my jaw. Fine lines of bone, sockets, joints. What a remarkable thing this is to see. What science. What art. What life. What a time to be living. Flesh and bone and blood, where the soul and spirit.
The serious side of the scans is to show the spread of cancer in the body. Dr Kruger pointed them out to me, so I kind of know what I’m looking at. I have my second PET/CT scan in three weeks time and we hope to see a reduction.
I am checking the pH of my urine again, just first thing in the morning. Today, like the last session, three days on from the chemo shot my urine is cloudy. Left to settle, a white deposit forms at the bottom of the glass. Reading about the effects of Brentuximab it appears that this is the detritus of dead cancer cells, destroyed by the new drug at a fast rate following injection. Too rapid a rate of cancer cell destruction can cause problems for the kidneys, but in the meantime I take it as a good sign.