Friday, September 17, 2021

My previous PET was a different isotope.

I had a PET/CT last Friday. I HOT -- but only for about 24 hours! I have a radiation detector, and the LED that normally blinks every couple of seconds -- or less -- was solid red (I kept the sound off, it would have been a constant buzz)! I was about three or four orders of magnitude above background (I took some pictures of the readings). This isotope has about a 50 minute half-life. So a lot of people would say I was "clean" after ten half-lives -- in this case then: By dinner time.

But the best nuclear physicists I've met (and I've met dozens) prefer to speak of 20 half-lives. You could watch the numbers dropping every time I put the radiation detector up to my body in the same place. Blinking was also elevated if it was simply in the same room, but less and less the further from me the detector was placed, of course.

My previous PET, November 2020, was a different isotope: I was "hot" for about three days* because it had a half-life of about eight hours.

Last time, they wanted to see how much of the cancer was in the bones (LOTS). This time they wanted to see how much my lymph nodes would take up, a few months after chemo was over.

The answer? None!

Here's what the doctor just sent me minutes ago:

"The PET/CT confirms that you have achieved a complete remission. This is great news!"

Blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy a month or two ago had already come out negative. Next blood test is next month -- just to be sure.

Not a bad result after spending two one week visits in the hospital getting 13 or 14 (I lost count; might have been 15) units of blood during the two lengthy hospital stays, plus a dozen additional trips to complete my chemo treatments and another two dozen visits to get blood tests -- all during the worst pandemic in modern history! I only saw ONE professional medical person with her mask below her nose, and that was a year ago. the medical staff have been marvelous from start to finish.

Radiation has its benefits for mankind. Nuclear weapons and nuclear energy are not among them. (Medical isotopes can be made with at most one or two reactors in the entire world, and many isotopes can be made without a reactor (perhaps from all the Spent Nuclear Fuel lying around in hundreds of locations around the world).

Today Joe Biden announced he is giving Australia the designs for our nuclear submarines so that Australia can build at least eight nuclear submarines of their own. Says it has nothing to do with China. Uh huh.

And today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a "temporary" nuclear waste repository in Texas, that almost nobody in Texas wants -- not even the Governor, who loves nuclear power. But doesn't want to deal with the waste.

We all have a lot of work to do!

*A small addendum:

After the first PET I probably should have isolated for closer to a week, rather than just three days, in keeping with the 20 half-lives standard that the best radiation experts suggest rather than the pro-nuker's standard 10 half-lives number.

After 10 half-lives about 1 thousandth of the original amount remains.

After 20 half-lives about 1 millionth of the original amount remains.

Sometimes I think pro-nukers are just really bad at math.

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