Today was my first of two outpatient visits to the hospital this week in preparation for my RAI treatment on Thursday. I did not receive a callback from nuclear medicine on Friday so I went in with the unanswered question of whether or not I would be able to hold my little ones after taking the I-123 pills this morning. So I tried to mentally prepare Dylan--and myself--in case I came home today and was no longer allowed to hug him. That conversation with my 2yr old went like this:
Me: Dylan, Mama is going into the hospital this morning to get some medicine for her boo boo.
Dylan: I want to go to the hobital, too!
Me: You get to stay here with Grampy and Kate where you'll have more fun. But I need to talk to you about something.
Me: I may or may not be able to hug you for a few days after I get my medication because I will be contagious, which means my medicine might rub off on you and you do not have a boo boo so you don't need my medicine. But that doesn't mean that Mama doesn't love you, OKay?
Me: Do you have any questions? Anything you would like to ask me?
Dylan: Yes! Trucks, Mama!
So maybe he didn't grasp the concept, nor should he, but I was feeling the gravity of it all as we drove the hour to the hospital. This morning was possibly the last time I would be able to hold my babies for a week and a half.
I didn't eat anything beforehand because I was unsure if I was supposed to fast and spent the morning dry heaving--my latest hypothyroid + LID symptom--and feeling like I would topple over. I don't own a scale but I'm sure I've lost a good amount of weight these last few weeks because I am either sick or starving.
We got lost when the navigation put us in the wrong parking garage and we had no cash to right ourselves again so we went looking for an ATM and landed only a few minutes late to the beautiful yet depressing Smilow Cancer Center. It's odd to say that I actually like going to a cancer center but I feel very at home with my doctors and surgeons here. If we hadn't been running late I probably would've stopped in to visit. The image of a little bald girl being wheeled down the hall carrying a vomit bucket quickly reminded me that this beautiful building is filled with desperate sorrow.
We checked into the Diagnostic Radiology department and chatted with a lovely nurse before the doctor came in to answer our questions.
Here is our special radiation room:
The doctor advised that this low dose of radioiodine (seven pills of 200 micro curries--about 1.4 milli curries--of I-123) normally needs no precautionary measures but since I have a two month old I have a few restrictions. I can hug the kids but cannot hold them. I can sit next to them and Kate can still sleep in her crib beside our bed. We should be back to normal levels by tomorrow and I will be able to cuddle the heck out of them all day Wednesday before I go into isolation on Thursday. Obviously this news made me very happy.
I neglected to take photos of the actual pills but they look like seven Prevacid capsules. No big deal. Here are their canisters:
Taking the pills was no problem although it's a bit hard to wrap my head around the idea that I'm swallowing radioactive medicine, and I had zero side effects.
I ate an apple and a muffin when I came home and had a hamburger for dinner with lots of water and juice in between.
Tomorrow is the scan. Another drive, another day closer to kicking cancer's ass.