Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm home yay!(sorry this is a damn novel)

I thought I would have to stay until at least Thursday but I was able to leave Wednesday, just a little over 24 hours from when I got there. So here's how it went:

I arrived at about 2pm and of course it took a little while to sign all the paperwork then they brought me to this room. If only I had thought about taking a picture of the view; a large concrete courtyard--no trees or even a random bird but I got the evening sun since it faced the west. I think that's bad Feng Shui though(not that I practice it I just read a book about it once). But I wasn't there to give decorating advice so I kept that to myself.

I noticed that everything I would be touching was covered in latex or paper. So as not to spread my radioactive germs. I did wonder why they didn't cover up the phone. I wanted so badly to get a quick pix of the faucet fixtures because they were covered in latex gloves too and I laughed everytime I went in there because they looked like they were giving the middle finger! My nurse came in though and told me to change into a gown. Don't you love how they call those things gowns? As if you're going to a gala or something?

Does this look like the face a brave person? I mean really! They brought in this thick metal pod about the size of a fist. They used tongs to carry it and inside was the radioiodine pill that they made my husband leave the room before they would even twist it open because of the radiation it contained and I'm expected to just swallow it without freaking out-thus the twisted face I'm making here. At least my gown matched the paint on the wall and had that sexy little cut out to accentuate my shoulders.

So we kissed goodbye and he left the room and we were told he wasn't allowed to visit. He could bring me food/toiletries if I wanted something and hand it to me from the doorway but we couldn't leave the door open for longer than a few seconds so visiting was out of the question.

Then I was given my mission. After swallowing the pill I had to wait for the Nuclear Guy, his name was Joe(but I called him the Nuclear Guy because it made me happy) and his job was to point a microphone shaped instrument at me and measure my number which would be 55 at the highest. I wasn't allowed to use the bathroom until after the first time he came. After he came and measured me and all around my room he told me that the number I'm aiming for in order to be safe enough to go home was 30. The best way to get there quickly was to drink a lot of liquids and pee a lot. Also to take at least two showers a day. I asked how long this usually takes he says most people take 2 days but every once in a while he'll get someone who can do it in one day. He said it's rare but possible; he'll does the rounds twice a day-beginning at 9am and again at 4:30pm. I said to watch me I'll get the f- out of here tomorow night. In my mind I thought to myself these people don't know me- all I drink is water, even when I'm not thirsty so my kidney and bladder team are extremely clean and superman fast, and shower twice day? huh.. I'll do 3-4 showers. He said, "It's been done. If I come in the afternoon and you're really close, we'll put in a call to wait an hour and check you again at 7 and if you're at a safe level, you get to go home." So I had a goal in that decrepid room. Well it wasn't decrepid but let's face it, it's a hospital room, not exactly the funnest(is that a word?) place to be.

Here's a pic of the outside of the door I wasn't allowed to open. There was girl in the room next to mine who was in for the same treatment as me and since it was Halloween she wore a prisoner costume which was pretty funny. I never got to speak to her though. I did hear her singing in the shower once. That night I didn't eat much because the food was pretty nasty-stuffed pork chops which, in actuality looked like a pork chop that someone puked on(apologies to the easily grossed out). I decided to eat the putrid green beans and some crackers that I brought on my own. I did take an extra shower and maybe around 11 began to feel pretty naseous. They told me it was a possible side affect along with slight cramps, sore salivary glands, dry mouth and fatigue. I fell asleep for probably an hour and then my nurse came in to check my temperature and pulse. I sort of had a mini-inner-panic moment when she came in because I was asleep and when I woke up I forgot where I was and why I was there and in she walks in full scrubs and a surgical mask and I guess so as not to scare me she stayed quiet for a second and just looked at me. The fact that it was Halloween didn't help. For a split second I thought maybe she was a serial killer who snuck into the hospital on Halloween night and decided to make me the first victim. Anyway she was actually very sweet. I slept pretty decent that night considering my paranoia and nausea that seemed to get worse as the hours passed-the nausea not the paranoia.

That morning they woke me up early and gave me some nasty eggs that looked like someone made scrambled but chewed up then spit out onto a plate for my convenience. I forced myself to eat the banana bread which was gross too. Since I knew the Nuclear Guy was coming soon-I had already been drinking tons of water. I even changed my sheets and of course showered. I asked him what my number was he said 42. So I spent the rest of the day drinking more water and Gatorade and tried very hard not to get grossed out by the grilled ham and cheese sandwich and wierd looking shredded carrot-raison-cream concoction. MR.Pea offered to to bring me something else but at that point I so did not want any food. I did tell him to bring me something for dinner for sure so I don't die of starvation in there. At about 4:15 I took another shower just to give myself a little bit of hope but I didn't really think it would work. I just do better when I have a goal. So our Nuclear Guy came in around 5:30 and measured my number, looked at me funny and says, "how much water have you been drinking?" I said, "altogether 7 bottles, 3 last night 4 since this moring plus that one big one of Gatorade, 2 apple juice, one Sierra mist, and one orange juice." He said," do you want to know what your number is?" I said,"of course" He said,"28.9" Music started in my head and I said,"I can leave!!!!Does that mean I can go now?" He said I had to wait for my paperwork to get signed and that I needed to call someone to bring me something to wear. Well MR.Pea was already halfway to the hospital with my sandwich and we live a half hour away so I told him I would call my parents and borrow something from my mom.

It took a long time because they got lost and this is the ensemble she brought me. It was like fifty sizes too big but like I cared, right? Check out the shoes. I don't even need to post a Friday fashion don't this week- just look at my size 7 1/2 shoes on my size 5 feet. I was so damn happy to leave that room. I mean honestly, it wasn't so bad-it's not like I was even in there that long I just hated not being at home in my own "stuff". But that's why I haven't posted until today. I've been trying to get over the nausea---I'm a little better today. I have a comfortable futon, squooshy blanket, mini dvd player set up going in the guest room and bath so as not to expose the husband and Peanut to my delta and gamma rays. But I can hang out in there with them as long as I stay 5 feet away like a damn untouchable so it's been ok. Peanut keeps trying to sneak in like a little thief and lay down on all the layers of blankets and pillows just because he's not allowed. Poor Peanut had to go to the vet himself yesterday for an infection and I feel bad that I can't really baby him as he's used to. But we've always had this cool connection and it's as if he KNOWs that I'm sick because he's been so gentle towards me since my surgery. He did steal my stuffed one eyed vampire ghost my husband bought me from Starbucks yesterday and "killed it". Theif.

So here's the deal: there's a possibility I'll have to do this again. And if that's still not successful I will have to have surgery again to remove the "suspicious looking tissue behind my collar bone". I won't know whether or not this one time was good enough to kill off the rest of the cancer cells until my body scan on the 13th at 7 f-ing 30 AM. I'm crossing my fingers but I don't want to get my hopes up because either way I'll cry but I'll get over it(no choice)-I had a rough time this week getting over the nausea(which I still have) and the swollen sore glands on the sides of my face and under my chin. The fatigue is do-able, I'm sort of just used to being tired all the time now. It's annoying but not painful. I'm just doing whatever my doctor tells me. If this was good enough I'll be considered cured and can start taking my thyroid hormones again and get back to my regular life.

--*sappy moment warning*---
I never started this blog to complain about cancer or ever thought I would ever ever even be sharing this part of my life with anyone. I thought I would have this cute little blog becaue I was the youngest of 4 siblings who thought everything I did or said was funny and cute and then married a beautiful, wonderful man who thinks everything I say and do is funny and cute and that I would just continue being funny and cute in the blogosphere(I just learned that word this year so I feel cool being able to use it) but it's been a sort of 'therapy' for me to just put it out there for whoever stopped by. There have been so many good wishes sent to my email by people I don't even know; a few of whom whose blogs I ENVY like there's no tomorow. So thanks guys for the well wishes and prayers and everything. I can't stress enough how much strength I store up from all the "good lucks". I am totally humbled and have a better appreciation and understanding of what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. Like I said before this could be worse-and for that I'm SOOOO thankful. I get irritated when people cry when I talk about what's been going on because I don't like being in the position of having to be consoling to other people about all this(I'm selfish that way-but so what that's how I deal with it) or being looked at with pity,that's the last thing I need right now ya know? But I understand, you what though? I say DO NOT GET OUT THE TISSUE BOX FOR ME EVER-leave it where it is. I ain't goin' nowhere. I'm staying right here. This isn't even the killer that heart disease, breast cancer, leukemia, aids, and 100s other health problems are. But it's put me on my ass for a minute and now I'm getting up and taking my gloves off. I mean believe me I do have those moments where I'm scared and sad and maybe feel a little sorry for myself about what I'm going through but it's all such a waste of energy and much more fun to be able to say Fuck thyroid cancer, bring it on.

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