Another Day, Another Trip

Hey all…it’s another day and another trip to Rochester for me.  Today I wasn’t up quite as early…thank heavens.

For those of you new, today’s post is about my thyroid cancer journey.  If you came upon this post unexpectedly, scroll back a few posts to get the whole story.

I had a much more relaxing trip today.  So much of the pressure is off.  I was trying to explain to Kalissa that there is a difficulty in being a patient that is really hard to explain.

Let me try…
As a person with a health-related problem, for the most part, there is really nothing the person can do to control what their body does.  Sure, we can take our meds.  We can listen to our doctor.  But, for the most part, our body is going to do what our body is going to do.  I can’t stop my cancer from growing.  I can’t make this treatment work.  I can’t make the tumor light up on the scan.  I know this.

In turn, all of my family, close and extended, are wanting good results.  Local friends and far-flung friends like all of you are wanting good results.  I want good results.  Many people have prayed for me, sent messages and well wishes.  There is almost a pressure (all in my head) that makes me want to control my uncontrollable cancer so I don’t let anyone down…but I can’t control it…but the pressure to perform and not let anyone down is still there.

When the tech told me yesterday that the tumor had lit up, yes, I was thankful and happy for me and my family but I was also happy to have the pressure of wanting to perform off.

I got all teary-eyed on the way home from Rochester yesterday because I was so relieved not to be holding that pressure.  I wasn’t holding it for me, for you, or for my family.  What a huge relief.

Kalissa was great about it and talked with me about it.  She’s a super daughter.  I love that she can be my daughter and be my friend.

This whole concept might be hard to understand if you or a loved one haven’t been through a serious medical event.  I know I felt this pressure when Kramer was sick as well.

Whatever it is…I feel 100 pounds lighter today.

Today I made the drive to get a shot.

Tomorrow I make the drive again.  I will check into the hospital for treatment at noon tomorrow.  I will be getting 250 units of Radioactive Iodine.

I will be staying in a special hospital room that is used for treating Radioactive Iodine patients.  Everything is covered with plastic or paper.  Everything I touch gets radioactive iodine on it.

I am told…When I check in, they put me in a gown.  I go into the room.  Anything I take into the room cannot come home with me…including my glasses.  If you wear contacts, you had to leave your contacts there as well.

It’s not a regular hospital stay…more like a hotel stay in that the nurses really don’t check me often.  I will get checked a couple of times a day and that is more or less just to do a Geiger Counter Reading on me to see if my level of radiation is below the number that allows me to go home.

They suggest that I bring a paperback book or puzzle book.  There will be a television there.  NO PHONES, NO COMPUTER, NO TABLETS as all of those things will have to be left there.

So tonight I’m packing.  I guess I really shouldn’t call it packing.  Tonight I’m grabbing.  I have a paperback book.  I have a suduko book.  I have dug around and found an old pair of my prescription glasses…two pairs older than what I currently wear.  I can leave them there.  I also am bringing an old cracked screen Kindle that is about 7 years old.  I can at least look at the internet that way.  I don’t care if I never bring that home either.  I don’t use it anymore….and that’s all I have to pack.  Ooops.  My meds.  I have them too.

Any toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, makeup, lotion…any of that has to stay at the hospital.  I’m going to rummage around and see if I have some old stuff of that too.

I also have some Jolly Ranchers packed along.  I have to suck on them as the radioactive iodine messes with salivary glands.  They’ve said I should try to suck on it as much as possible.

I’ll be drinking as much liquid as possible too…and going to the bathroom every hour during the day and at least every four hours overnight to try to keep the radioactive iodine moving out.

What an interesting treatment…right??

I don’t know how long I’m staying.  I was initially told 24-36 hours.  Then as I was leaving today, the gal said, “Bring enough medicine for a 4-day stay”.  Hmm.  I hope it isn’t that long.  I think that would be a rare case…but who knows??  My case hasn’t been typical so far.

Am I nervous about it all…NOPE.  Not a bit.  I’m thrilled that I got this far.  Any nervousness is completely negated but the sheer thankfulness of being able to take the treatment.

I’m doing this!!  I’m really doing this!!  I couldn’t be happier for the chance at more time with my family and all of you.  I’m totally not afraid to die, but I’m not afraid to live either.  I am so thankful things have worked so far.  Fingers crossed it all keeps working.

I’m signing off.  We’re having a big family supper tonight.  It’s my last night to see the grandkids until February.  I can’t hold them or have them around me for 21days.  I’ll be too radioactive.  I can be around the adult kids in about a week.  So the first thing I have scheduled is a chicken and ribs meal from the bar uptown on Wednesday.  I’ve been looking forward to that for the last month!!  It’s my favorite meal.  Karl will come and we’ll sit on opposite sides of the kitchen to eat.  It will be funny…but yummy.

As I left you in my last post…I have no idea what is happening with the blog schedule.  I can’t know as life is up in the air right now.  I worked ahead and I do have some blog posts pre-scheduled so you won’t be without a Jo’s Country Junction fix.  It just might not be my usual schedule.  Thanks for understanding.

Many thanks to you all for cheering me along.  I couldn’t have a better bunch of people on my side!!  Let’s do this!!