I wanted to give a quick update about how things have been since my radiation treatment.
First, a little background for those who don’t know what Radioactive Iodine (RAI) is used in thyroid cancer. Thyroid cells are the only cells in your body that take up iodine. This makes thyroid cancer highly treatable, since those cells can be targeted easily. Giving a patient radioactive iodine targets just my thyroid cells (in my case my thyroid cells are where the cancer is) and kills them off, thus killing the cancer. It’s also why I do the low-iodine diet beforehand to starve my body for iodine, making the treatment more effective.
I was given a dose on the higher-than-average scale because of my history. A radiologist reviews scans, bloodwork and my history and prescribes the dose (along with consulting with Dr. Goldner). He sends the prescription in and we wait about an hour and half for it be delivered. Radioactive material can’t sit on a pharmacy shelf, obviously, so it’s mixed up at a special pharmacy (there’s only one in Omaha that services the whole state), and delivered right to me in a lead container.
It’s actually quite anti-climatic taking it. No one comes in lead-lined suits or haz-mat gear. They hand my a plastic vile with two pills and with a little water, down it goes!
I had to wait for about 2 hours for my radiation levels to be safe enough to leave (yep, they use a geiger counter for this!) and we go straight back to my parents house. I couldn’t eat more than a couple servings of fruit and very little water on Friday. This is to maximize absorption. The radiologist joked that it’s the “starvation diet.” And he would be right. The side effects I had were mainly from the starvation rather than the pill.
But making it through to Saturday when I could finally eat some soup comfortably, things started to come around and I’ve been steadily feeling great ever since. We are waiting for my next scan on Friday and then I will be re-measured to see if I’m safe to go home and be around my children. Really hoping that I am!
I keep going back to the sentiments from my last post. I am technically in “isolation” but I haven’t felt alone once. My friends and family are the best. I have the best caregivers here in Omaha making sure I’m well (thank you mom, dad and sis!) and we have a whole army of friends and family who are taking care of our crew in Kenesaw (thank you Grannie, Big Guy, our church family and Kenesaw friends!). I’m truly speechless on how grateful I feel for all those who are supporting us. There truly are no words adequate for my thanks. It’s brought me to my knees in thanksgiving several times that my heavenly Father has blessed my life with beautiful people to care for me this way.
Thank you to everyone for being there for us. Love you all. Please pray that my scan looks good on Friday and that I am “safe” enough to go home and hug my precious kids and see my husband.