Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Glow little glow worm, Glimmer,Glimmer

Today was the first day for Emory's RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment. Now before I go into today .....let me tell you a little about the last 3 weeks. It has been a whirlwind for us. We just got through my dad's funeral and all the emotionality of it - then BAM! Here is the next month or so of your life and a list of all the things you need to do. We knew Emory needed treatment. We just didn't know how BAD he was going to feel. He had to become hypothyroid (I know - he doesn't even have a thyroid). The point of it - he was going to feel so tired and so foggy - but this would be great for the treatment. His diet was key to making the treatment a success. He needed to deprive his body of iodine so when he gets the RAI - any cancer or thyroid tissue left would gobble up the RAI - in hopes of killing any cancer left. We know the end of treatment is worth it and compared to so many other conditions and cancers - this will just be a small blip in our life (as quoted to us by the surgeon). We are grateful. So having said that - it still has been a lot for Emory to go through. Actually we all have gone through. The girls have just lost their grandpa and now they see their daddy really sick. And starting tomorrow they can't see him for several days.

Back to Emory's diet because it has consumed so much of my time. His diet requires no processed foods. Pretty easy you think. I think I cook from "scratch" - but in reality I don't. Anything that has an ingredient with salt - can't be used - not even chili powder! It's weird - Emory can have salt without iodine but not anything processed because it may contain salt with iodine so everything has to be made from scratch - the real way. I will say I have learned a lot - but much of it from the mistakes I made. Emory hasn't staved to death. He could have all the fresh vegetables and fruit he wanted. But he couldn't have dairy or soy. I made him homemade bread - it was actually good. The salsa was decent but I melted a spatula in hot oil making tortilla chips and ruined a whole crockpot of beans by oversalting it. We've had a lot of laughs in the midst of all this. We always like to see the dark, funny side of it. Like today - Emory said he should've walked around the airport setting off the alarms because of his RAI. Emory has felt so bad that he hasn't blogged or even sat and watched much of any TV! I joked with him he definitely doesn't over think things because he doesn't think much. Ha! This is how exhausted and foggy he is - he said I could drive to the hospital today. Emory DETESTS my driving! So you know how low things have sunk. One funny thing that happened last week - at least it's funny now because he's alive - is one morning I woke up and took my arm to hug him and his skin was COLD to the touch! I will say it really scared me but when I saw he was breathing I felt a little better but definitely creeped out. I knew he would feel cold but not actually cold to the touch. He has been sleeping in long johns, 2 shirts and wool socks. Plus he puts a fleece blanket close to his body and THEN all the covers on top! If you want to know something funny - ask Emory about the fly incident.

Back to today. We get escorted back to radiology by a man in a white lab coat. He reminded me of Jerry Lewis in the Nutty Professor. Anyways he was a little kooky but he made me laugh. Emory was sitting in a position where he couldn't see them get the RAI but I could. The workers were careful to stand behind the special shield so they would't be exposed to radation. They bring out a vial of the pills, carefully open it and then pour the pills into Emory's hand because they don't want to touch it. The pills looked like something out of a movie - they were bright blue and red. Emory took a sip of water and down they went. Now todays dose only has a half life of 13 hours so he can still be around us. Tomorrow is the BIGGY.

This is just a snipet of what's been going on. We've been joking if the cancer doesn't kill him the treatment will. It's been rough and he still has a ways to go. The doctor said that he might be feeling better by Memorial Day. We'll know more tomorrow - if he "Lights Up" on his scan- it will tell us whether he has any more cancer and the posibility of additional surgery.

To be continued............


tmm said...

I am thinking of you guys.

I told Steve if he had o rely on me to cook w/o processed food~~he would be in TROUBLE:)

I hope all goes well.

We'll plan a trip as soon as Emory isn't toxic anymore!!

Love ya'

Pam said...

Oh, my goodness, Shelly! First, thanks for taking the time to blog and keep us informed. Second, a gold medal to you for cooking with unprocessed ingredients! Third, how interesting that the treatment will make Emory so radioactive that people can't be around him. Do they keep him in the hospital while the Biggy wears down (if that is the right description of what happens). And, is the 13 hour dose and the Biggy all the RAI that will be required?

I am sorry to hear about your Dad. Whether it was expected or unexpected, it is always difficult when someone has to leave us. My sympathies and condolences to you in your loss.

Thanks again for keeping us in the loop. Hugs to Emory (when you are allowed to get close to him again!)