Today is my final punch in this fight. In about an hour I will be heading back to the nuclear medicine department for my whole body scan and then radiation treatment. We are all expecting some residual thyroid cells to appear on the scan, but hoping not many. Even an “undetectable scan” is not necessarily a “cancer free” scan….though it may mean so. It could also mean that the remaining cells are too sparse to be detected by the scanner, or worse, that they did not uptake the iodine I ingested yesterday – in which case the larger dose I take today could not be effective as well. If my body is producing antibodies or the cells have mutated and are no longer capable of iodine uptake, then our major arsenal is dry. At that point there’s not much to do except continue to scan for tumors and remove them as they get large enough to do so. So fingers crossed for uptake and then ablation.
On my end I’ve done all I can up until this point. I followed the low-iodine diet strictly, went off my medication, and am fasting once again. I then have protocols to follow for the first 24 hours, next 24 hours, and remainder of 2 weeks. But by far the hardest part of the day was having to say goodbye to my kids with “modified hugs” since I still can’t properly hug/kiss them because of residual pain and swelling in my neck and face from my second surgery. I told them it was “only 2 weeks” but I know they have no idea just how long that is or how eternal it’s going to feel (esp. in kindergarten time). Or in “mom time” when I’ll be “here” and yet not allowed to participate in all the activities they have planned….holiday lunches, shows, parties, lights. I’ll be missing their entire holiday break from school, when I usually take a week off and we spend each day doing the fun week day activities only accessible to stay-at-home parents. It will all have to wait another year (as most if not all of my vacation time for next year will likely be booked by medical appointments).
On the bright side, just 2.5 more days until I can eat normally again! I’m REALLY hoping to avoid problems with my salivary glands, which are fairly common after the radiation therapy. I want to be able to TASTE something, something good!
Keep sending those well wishes – I know they’re working so far!