It’s radioactive Friday. Iodine tastes better than a pre-colonoscopy beverage.
FB, Twitter and the email world have shown me love and healing I never dreamed. I wish I could hug Steve Jobs and that Zuckerberg dude directly. Wow- thank you to the now hundreds of notes and stories, prayers and eHugs that have come my way. And check out the jpgs at the end of this post..priceless….
I am officially radioactive but no superpowers yet. Go to your window and look for the glow. It might be an early Mardi Gras bead being thrown high in the air of STL parties, but it could just be me. (They said superpowers take a few weeks to kick in. At that point, look for a pink sparkle cape and a big smile.)
Today was the (first) treatment. It’s called radioiodine therapy*, and it is specifically used to treat Thyroid Cancer. The anxiety is much worse than the actual beverage. It’s small and doesn’t taste much more than a little aluminum foil mixed with warm tap water that has been sitting on the kitchen sink too long. So, really, in the big picture, not a big deal and oh sooooo much better than that which you drink before a colonoscopy.
I love however that the nurse in the room puts on all these clothing protectors and big rubber gloves, but they put a small white paper cloth over my chest (with tape in the back no less) and I sit in my skinny jeans and pink sweater waiting to start. Not even glasses. Seriously? Oh well, I guess drinking it is much worse than losing a pair of my favorite Dansko shoes.
Course, we are talking about radiation in a contained lead package that has to be ordered from another facility and isn’t housed in the hospital for safety reasons. Literally. They have to order it once the patient has the consultation to ensure they will go through with it because it is so expensive and well, you know…radioactive.
They also actually measure my radioactivity before I leave AND after I set off an actual Geiger counter. For real! She takes out a human size ruler, stands far away, students are watching, a loud buzzer is going off, and they are watching a Geiger counter score the success of the treatment in my body. Freak’n science, incredible! (Mr. Gattung at OTHS would be so proud of me. And I only remembered his “vette” (meaning chevet). I should really get that A now.) (Thank goodness my brother, HJ, is a PhD radiochemist to explain what I ingested to my parents in a way that doesn’t scare more than necessary.)
Regardless, we go back Tuesday for a total body scan to determine if the tumors have spread beyond the right (and to my surprise, also left) thyroid lobe. All were in fact papillary so if “you are going to have thyroid cancer, this is the best you can have”. Comforting.
I will know partial results after that scan and on that day. There will be blood work in six weeks and six months, plus any additional treatments pending next Tuesday’s total body scan, meaning more scans every one to five years for the rest of my life depending on what we find.
This on top of my every three-year colonoscopy. Bazinga!
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