No one really knows, especially your doctor. Miracles occur, sometimes like skilled surgery, but follow up treatment for this cancer is like Sherman marching through Georgia, scorched earth and hope we got it.
With papillary cancer, the treatment is radioactive ablation, short for try to kill the cancer cells, and hope the cure doesn’t cause other long term problems.
When you finish the treatment, you might be left with a metallic taste in your mouth. How long does it last? Well it should go away, eventually. Or your left saliva gland might not work. Will it come back, maybe. What about the soreness in my neck, up by my chin. Does that mean the cancer was up in the lymph glands there too? Not sure.
When should I come back in? Wait six weeks, get a blood test, come in for a visit then. I wait. Per my plan, this battle happens on the cellular level and I am just along for the ride, so there is not much I can do. I am eating healthily, assuming all treatments worked as expected and generally positive. After all the doctor knows, sort of.
I find that 150 millicuries ( well measured at 145 ) gives me gas, nuclear gas.
Am hydrating like crazy, my eyes are a bit dry, I will get a vaporizer setup.
I have a gentle metallic taste, probably from the heavy particles, but had a nice snack of fresh strawberries, dates, carrot salad with raisin and celery with unsalted peanut butter. Delicious and savory, left at my door by my lovely wife.
I just glow with appreciation for her.
The registration line moves quickly at Edward Hospital. I stand back a bit, arms crossed, a bit grungy in my blue hoodie and jeans. I have that dry salty smell a man gets in the gym, for I have not showered yet today.
He comes up and stands immediately behind me, like we are in line for free tickets, and the closer he gets the better the resulting seats will be. I turn and give him a knowing glance, smiling through my closely cropped grey beard.
“I wouldn’t stand this close to me.” I tell him softly.
He is in his fifties like me, clean shaven, grey glasses, unlike my IT stink, he is all Naperville executive. His eyes open and we stand man to man, my knowing glance with my slight smile, and his serious expression with wide worried eyes.
“You wouldn’t?”, he questions
Just the slightest move of my head, telling him no.
He stiffens, I can see his flesh pull away, his shoulders roll back and he slowly steps back, one, two, three until I again nod, the smallest of affirmatives and we stand at peace.