Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alone and radioactive.

Radioactive

Well, folks, it's official. I am radioactive. Today I had my radiation treatment for my thyroid cancer.

The preparation for the radiation has been hard. I had to go on a special low iodine diet for the past two weeks. Low iodine means no dairy, no egg yokes, no iodized salt, among other things. That eliminates most packaged food and any food at restaurants. Basically, I've been living on meat, fruit, and veggies. Oh, and don't forget the oatmeal. Ugh. I have tried to look at the diet as a cleanse, but it still has been very hard. But hey, I did lose about 8 pounds.

The treatment itself was very simple. I basically drank a small vile of liquid that tasted like stale water. That was it. Now I have to be isolated from the public for 5 days. I think that is going to be the hard part. But when one has to be holed up in their flat for 5 days, you need a game plan. I will be keeping myself busy with:
  • Knitting and sewing projects
  • My new Apple TV that streams Netflix
  • My Kindle filled with books to be read
  • Lonely walks/rides around the neighborhood
  • My taxes
I've had a realization during this whole Thyroid cancer/radiation thing. That I am the perfect candidate. I am single, live alone, have no kids, have no plans to get pregnant, not breast-feeding--all things that make my radiation treatment go smoothly. Plus, I am young and female, so my chances of beating this thing are very good. So I know this sounds weird but I feel lucky that my circumstances were just right so I can get treated with little disruption to my life.

When I was little, I loved the comic series, X-Men. I particularly loved the mutant, Rogue. She couldn't touch anyone with her skin because she would absorb their powers or life-force. Today I sort of feel like that. Like I have this superpower but I need to stay about 6 feet away from people for their own protection and, you know, the greater good. It's a lonely life for Rogue and me (for the next 5 days anyway). But that is the burden of being a superhero mutant.

41 comments:

Chancy said...

Man, that's harsh. Good luck and know that you're not alone online. We're all here thinking of you.

gamine said...

I was thinking just this morning about you wondering if you were getting close to your isolation! I know it will be successful and soon you will be a cancer-free superwoman! Just think of it as a mini-staycay!

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Jennifer said...

All the best Kara. I've been following your blog since your chance meeting with Dottie as mentioned on LGRAB. I love it, and you have reminded me of my child-hood knitting tendencies! I've also discovered some great British period dramas through your post on that topic (and yes, I'm British, just obviously been unaware of all the period drama goodness on our screens!). So, be well and thank you for the blog.

CassiLou said...

I'm giving you a cyber hug from miles and miles away. Love you tons! Hopefully these next few days will just whiz by.

Carolyn said...

Wow, I had no idea that they would basically put you in isolation for five days!! Who knew crafting (and tv watching and reading) would be so handy! Good luck over the next couple of days. I'll be thinking about you!

Doctor J said...

Kara, was the thyrogen injection option available to you before the RAI?
Nice picture by the way!!

margene said...

You super-power attitude will get you through! Isn't it wonderful you have so much to do, many crafts from which to choose and so many talents!? You rock.

Kara said...

Doctor J,

I did have the Thyrogen shots. I took them Monday and Tuesday, followed by my radiation today.

ali said...

good luck Kara! You should bleach a streak in your hair to commemorate it.

Michelle said...

WOW. I never considered the iodine content of my food. Interesting. I'm so amazed that your radiation was administered via vile of liquid. It seems very X-Filesesque. I hope you have a speedy recovery and get lots of knitting done!

Kat said...

I didn't realise that you had to be isolated for so long after radiation therapy. I hope it all goes well and you have a quick recovery. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Anna said...

Thinking of you!

naturallycyclingmanchester said...

You rock Kara! Sending you hugs from across the pond :) xoxo

Jacey said...

Hang in there, chickadee. You're a strong woman. Seriously.

Yaya said...

Dude. I love Rogue! She was always one of my favorites, with that cool white streak in her hair. Love her!

Hope the 5 days flys by!

Adam and Bri said...

that picture is just so perfect. made me smile.

and i LOVE the rouge mention. it sure took me back.

Sula said...

Your attitude is amazing, Kara! I hope you get to enjoy your time at home, and that you don't mind my teasing: I feel your Rogue, but personally I am a bit concerned that radiation + isolation surrounded by tons of yarn is the recipe for Spiderwoman!

Things to Do said...

I'm sending you nothing but well wishes and thoughts!

maureen said...

Sending well wishes to a super hero! Hope you find enough to knit, read, and watch to make the time pass quickly!

Keepin' up with the Jones' said...

kara, you are not alone. I am here with you. and so is MJ. GOod luck over the next 5 days. Hope the days go by very quickly. I'm praying for you and hoping all is well.

Sigrid said...

Kara ~ Don't be lonely, we are all there with you in spirit! You have the right attitude, but you are also allowed to be human and have your moments too. You have good things to keep you occupied, as well as keeping us all occupied here. :) Take care and take it easy.

Juli said...

You are my most favorite super hero EVER!

Melanie said...

I love the picture and I hope that the next 5 days fly by for you!

Nonnahs said...

You are awesome! Sending lots of big hugs, lady! xo

caknitter said...

You're online blogger friends are here for you too. :-)
I always had a feeling you had superpowers and the best part is, you use them for good and not evil. :-)

Chocolates for Breakfast said...

you are definitely a super hero...love you muchly!

Better Living said...

You're never alone with the internet! Other than glowing in the dark, I hope there are no nasty side effects!

Steph said...

I loved Xmen too - and Rogue. You just need a funky white streak in your hair, gloves and a cape with a hood.

I was thinking that if someone approaches you while you're on your walks you get to holler, "Don't come any closer! I'm radioactive!" and then run, really fast (and maybe kind of goofy) away from them.

I hope your treatment goes well and that the five days go quickly. xo

Amander said...

This is where having virtual friends comes in handy. And five days alone actually seems sort of nice :).

Don't you have to sterilize all the stuff you touch while radioactive? They made my uncle basically wash his whole bathroom down with bleach.

Jen said...

I absolutely LOVE how you are taking this all in stride. Here's to a rapid recovery! And enjoy the exile. us crafters have it much easier than the common folk ;)
- Disentangled

Stacy said...

I love the picture. Good luck with the treatment and the subsequent diet. And I think it constitutes more yarn..... just sayin'

Rachele Alpine said...

Sounds like you have a lot of good stuff to keep busy! Sending good thoughts your way!

Elisa M said...

I did this exact thing 4 years ago and it was both terrible and awesome. Terrible b/c you are alone for so long, awesome because well, you are alone for so long. I didn't have internet at my place NOR did I knit or crochet, so I mostly watched movies and slept...and dreamt about iodine filled food!
Good luck!
(did they make you leave wearing one of those masks? I had to park about 10 blocks away and walking all that way in a mask felt like some sort of leper)

Kara said...

Elisa,

A mask?!? Luckily I escaped that kind of torture. Tomorrow I can start eating normal food and I am SOOOO excited.

Cec said...

What? You only had to be on the low iodine diet for 2 weeks? I was on it for 23 days! It was really hard and completely changed my eating habits, but I was lucky and mine occurred during the summer time when there were a lot of fruits around (and I wasn't working). The very next day I had a pizza and an entire caramel apple. =)

Kimberly Ann Petersen said...

You have such an amazing attitude about all this! You make it almost sound like a GOOD thing to be all radioactive and quarantined to your apartment all week (and, knowing you, it will be). All the same, I will send good, healthy thoughts your way and will join your knitting/sewing party in spirit.

erin said...

Two weeks with no cheese?! I applaud the determination that must have taken. May you have an easy recovery, and I hope you don't glow in the dark so much that you keep yourself awake at night ;)

Nantucket Dreams said...

Radioactive? Yes...but alone? Never girl! If ever you feel alone...just flip on the computer and we are all here! You are never alone in blog world...never!

Laurel said...

if ANY of my friends could actually be a secret super hero, it would be YOU.

knitseashore said...

Kara,

I hope the time is passing quickly and you are able to make the best of it. At least it is during winter and not cutting into your riding time outdoors (if that is any small consolation). The special diet sounds awful but I know you did what you needed to do.

I find your post interesting because I first learned about the radioactive treatment when my cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. There are clinics all over the U.S. called Radiocat, and the cats have the iodine injected as a vaccine. In CT they stay isolated at the clinic for three days before they can come home, but some states it's 4-5 days (I don't know if you find any of this interesting...). It has a 99% cure rate for cats, no meds needed after the treatment. I am curious how it compares to the human treatment. I didn't realize you had to be alone too. But hey, having superhero powers sounds like it could be a great tradeoff! ((hugs))

Polly said...

Hope you are hanging in there- I know I already told you my sister had a GIANT dose of radiation- so she was in isolation for two weeks and when she was done they made her burn her sheets, the books she read- about anything that wasn't covered in plastic (she had to cover the carpet, mattress ect in plastic). Well the whole time she sat in her room she knitted baby hats. When they were cleaning out the room at the end of the two weeks her husband asked her what she wanted to do with the little pile of hats now that they were radioactive- she replied "save them for ugly babies."

So glad you are doing well. I made some iodine free homemade katsup for my sister and it was divine- about the only good thing about her diet.