One more scan, less than five minutes on the table while the MRI whirrs around you. The tech is friendly, she is a cancer survivor and we compare scars. “Who’s your surgeon, Donzelli? Mine too, isn’t he just the best.” All done, then it’s off to wait.
Today a call, “We found a brain, and no masses”. If only I had this evidence of a brain when my daughters were teens. They would never have believed it.
It is six months after my surgery, about 4 months after the radiation and I just had a followup with the surgeon. Everything seems on target until January when they test again. The spots that hurt even now are just healing, and that will continue for some months more. That’s a relief.
So all things considered, life is pretty good. I have ridden my bicycle about 932 miles since January, would be a 1,000 but for a nasty cold and sinus infection I am fighting. If you have sent me good thoughts and prayers, thanks I appreciate it. And I always appreciate your stopping by.
I plan to keep working out, eating well, and continuing to get stronger.
I must admit, I don’t feel to well today. I have painful swelling in my neck, and my stomach is pretty upset. I guess this is radiation poisoning. I hope it passes soon.
The next dose is due at 1:00 pm central. Let us hope it is the last one needed.
The biggest risk from this treatment, aside from cancer somewhere else, is that it kills your salivary glands. Some people believe that you should suck hard candies to flush them immediately, and others believe that you should wait 24 hours before doing so.
After looking at some articles, it appears that the best approach is to wait the 24 hours. By clearing them earlier, it promotes more blood flow earlier, causing more exposure to the radiation.
The radioligist recommends start right away. The endocrinologist recommends wait 24 hours.
I looked at the abstracts of two studies, one from Hong Kong on the internet, and one provided by my endocrinologist.
As always, in for a dime, in for a dollar. I wait.
One last test, both blood and pee and the treatment begins on Tuesday. First a small dose of radioactive I-131, the one dose to find them, the one dose to find the deadly cells and on the image bind them. From that image, the doctors will determine the killing dose.
It turns out that the surgeon leaves a reasonable amount of thyroid tissue behind, and hence the possibility of cancer. To be more aggressive means risking damage to your vocal chord nerves, and the parathyroid glands, those four little fellows that regulate calcium and vitamin D. So surgeons get what they can, and then use radiation to kill the remnant. Sounds like a role in a bad movie, eradicate the remnant. Makes me glad it isn’t a Kurosawa movie where all the good guys die in vain.
How awkward to ask the pregnant woman a few rows down the rabbit warren of cubicles we all inhabit, where popping up like prairie dogs for news we keep no secrets, not to walk past my cube.
“Why not”, she innocently asks?
Because two heads are bad for babies, I think, but say quietly, “I will be mildly radioactive for a bit. It shouldn’t matter, but just to be safe…” She nods, a kind gentle soul, really concerned for both of us, her child and me.
But up pops a coworker nearby. “What about me?” he asks loudly.
“Think of all the money you will save on electricity when you glow in the dark”, I tell him.
I wonder if I will hear from HR on that one.
I always wanted women to think I was hot, but I never expected to be so hot they couldn’t get within twelve feet of me.