Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Injection of radioactive isotope to detect sentinel lymph node in axilla

I had a radioactive isotope injected into my right breast this afternoon so Dr Carol Benn (my breast surgeon) can identify my sentinel lymph node during the lymph node removal and biopsy surgery tomorrow.  

This lymph node is the main lymph node that the breast's lymph vessels drain into. If any cancer cells escape the breast, they mostly likely end up in this node. If it is clear, it means that the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. RESULTS WILL SHOW IT IS CLEAR!

Over the last nearly 5 years, I began to limit my intake of food additives and non-organic food, and started eating a high raw food diet. This year, I started eating a vegan, mostly raw food diet. 

To lie in the nuclear medicine department of a hospital and let someone inject a radioactive isotope into my breast areola (area around nipple) was quite torturous. I want to run, scream, cry.

The injecting of the isotope lasted about 30 secs and burned as it went in. The staff tried to reassure me that it was a very low dose of radioactive substance and it only had a half life (time in your body before it is excreted by kidneys) of 6 hours. 6 hours!! Dr Benn will still be able to find the node using a scanning probe tomorrow morning.

I then had to lie under a gamma camera (looked similar to MRI machine) for 20 minutes as the radioactive substance moved towards my sentinel lymph node.
After this time, photos were taken to locate the node. The staff then drew with black marker pen on my skin to mark the position of the node for Dr Benn.

I felt slightly nauseous afterwards. I lay down for 10 mins (that’s all Grace allowed me to) when I got home and felt better after that. My right arm is slightly sore in places.
Glenn sat with me all the time. He has been so supportive since this started. I am so grateful to him! He has even allowed me to rant a little more than usual about raw food and Caroline Myss! He took the pics of me in nuclear medicine.