Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Lit Up"

Today has been a long day. We spent 3 hours at the hospital, not including driving time. We received a lot of information today. Dr. Estrada, the nuclear medicine physician, thought Emory's cancer was "interesting". So far we have "oddball" and "interesting". I don't think it's the right kind of interesting though. One thing that hit me was he said "A cancer diagnosis is for the rest of your life." Emory will continue to have follow up treatment. We'll always be on the look out for it. I really don't like it hanging over our heads. But we have faith that if we stay the course the doctors set- things will work out.

Emory didn't feel well during the scan. He had to lie very still for a half hour while they scanned and took pictures. He only "lit up" where his thyroid was so that means the cancer hasn't spread at this time. This isn't a guarantee it won't in the future but hopefully with the RAI - it will be wiped out. We met with Bob Anger (no joke on the name) who was the radiation safety specialist to go over all the precautions. After that it was time for the radioactive iodine. We all walked into the "Hot room" as they called it. Gerald, the nuclear medicine lab technician (aka Jerry Lewis from yesterday) brought the RAI out in a lead container (to protect us) with a tube in it of the RAI. Emory had to drink the poison up through a straw. It was all surreal and fast. As we stood up to go - he set off the radioactive alarm. They said "yup - you're putting off radiation."

Finally Emory is able to eat regular food! He was so excited to have some milk. It will be tons easier to fix food now. He goes back for a scan next Friday. And then in a year he has to do this all over again. In the meantime he will be seeing Dr. Meacham - the endocrinologist - regularly for blood work and check ups - about every 6 to 8 weeks. We also learned it will take 6 to 8 weeks for the thyroid replacement medication to be at an optimal level - so it will be awhile before he feels better. He is now in his 3 day seclusion from everyone. He then still has 4 more days after that to stay out of the public. He has to be careful in the next 40 days. If he went to the airport - he could set off the radioactive alarms there or they told us to carry a paper about his treatment because some police have radiation detectors in their cars and have pulled over people who have gone through treatment. Now that would be something to explain!

The girls are sad and miss their daddy. This morning they cried when we left because they knew they wouldn't get to see Emory for at least 3 or more days. They are staying with my family until they can come home. The good news it is only for a short time. I think this is enough info for now. I think I could go to sleep.

1 comment:

Tom Miles said...

I'd have to guess "regular food" beats radioactive iodine any day! Hope you're feeling a little better now . . . .