Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Well, I'm back from my overnight at Mass General. The results of the scan I had last Thursday did not show concentration of the radioactive iodine on the left side of where my thyroid used to be, so the doctor split the difference on the dose and gave me 125 millicuries of radiation.

The whole experience was actually pretty boring. A. and arrived at the hospital around 1:00 and I got sent right up to my special lead-lined room. Everything I was likely to touch in the room was covered in plastic sheeting except the bed. An intern came in and gave me some tests. A. left around 3 to get the kids from camp, then the radiation safety guy dropped by and instructed me in what to do at home and when he would be able to let me go home. Basically, the more I drank and the more radiation I urinated out, the quicker I would go home. So I sucked down lots of apple juice and spring water. The doctor stopped by at around 5 with the dose and I drank down the radioactive iodine mixed with strawberry Kool-Aid.

Then I was essentially locked in the room, with only the nurse dropping by occassionally to see how I was doing. I had a bit of an upset stomach and I'm even more tired than usual, but other than that I'm fine.

The radiation safety guy stopped by this morning, scanned me with a Geiger counter, and told me I was safe to go home. I'm once again exiled to the basement until the kids get home from camp Friday afternoon, but he told me that I was already 75% less radioactive this morning than I had been the previous afternoon when I had taken the drink. I've already downed another 2 liters or so of water since I got home, so I'm assuming this number is even higher now.

Tomorrow I get to start taking my new thyroid replacement (175 mg as compared to 50mg before the radiation - no wonder I was tired!) I'm also off the diet! I'm looking forward to a bagel with margarine for breakfast and pizza for dinner. I haven't figured out lunch yet, but it will be something cheesy. There will be some ice cream mixed in there as well during the day. The radiation safety guy told me that the top three things people want after being on the diet are seafood, pizza and ice cream. I'm not a big seafood lover, but I'm there on the other two items.

Next up is a follow up scan on Monday. A. is going to come in with me so we can discuss what the next step is with the doctor. The choices are either to go in and biopsy the suspicious area now, or wait two months, let the radiation do it's thing and do another ultrasound. My inclination is to give the radiation a chance rather than do more surgery, but I need to better understand the risks of doing that before making a decision. I'm glad A. is coming with me, since her medical background helps her to ask questions I won't necessarily think of right off the bat.


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