inside the PET

I spent two hours inside this machine today. This is a PET machine, a machine for Positron Emission Tomography.  After two hours inside it, this machine knows more about you than you will ever know yourself.  This is the machine that finds cancers however small and however inaccessible.

Going in through the long tube in the middle is not for people with claustrophobia.  Luckily I’m not claustrophobic.  More than anything it feels like being inside a coffin. Or perhaps you are buried alive after some terrible earthquake and the sharp drilling and hacking noises you hear throughout the test are the sounds of the rescue team trying to get you out.

Actually, I didn’t worry in the slightest.  I’ve done too many of these tests.  When the technicians wrapped me up very tightly and put me on the trolley I felt if anything like a baby being swaddled in a cradle.  I closed my eyes and, despite the noise, I fell asleep.

Now the PET machine knows if I have more cancer, whether it can be treated, and whether I’ll live or die.  Soon the doctors too will know.  And I guess, Tuesday next week, they’ll tell us.


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