Thursday, March 6, 2014

Call it what you will

Until recently, I didn't know that quarantine and isolation had two different meanings.  Quarantine is separating healthy people who have been exposed to a disease to see if they become ill, and isolation is keeping sick people away from others so no one else becomes ill.  Fascinating!

Isolation, solitude, sequestration, matter what you call it, it's happening next week.  As of Wednesday, I am going into isolation after getting a test dose of radioactive iodine (RAI) at Northwestern.  As Lottie would say, don't freak out before I finish my sentence.  Nothing is wrong, but this is a follow-up test as I reach the second anniversary of my thyroid cancer diagnosis.  The RAI is used to see if any thyroid cells survived the total thyroidectomy; if there are any still around, we have to get rid of them so the cancer doesn't return and/or possibly spread.  No biggie, I promise.

I foolishly picked an endocrinologist in Chicago (although can you really blame me?) and so I get to put plenty of miles on my car next week driving to and from the city.  I visit my doc Monday and Tuesday mornings for injections of Thyrogen, a drug that basically makes me hypothyroid without having to skip weeks and weeks of my Synthroid.  Score!  I'm always exhausted and achy as it is, so can you imagine how I would be sans thyroid meds?  It's probably best not to think about it.  The downside to the Thyrogen is the crazy price tag.  Let's just say when the Humana representative told me how much of a co-pay I had to pony up, I found myself wishing I had a Victorian fainting couch and some smelling salts.

Me without meds

 So that brings us to Wednesday.  I have to start fasting Tuesday night at midnight; considering I got to bed around 9 most nights, that shouldn't be an issue. Then, Wednesday morning, I go to the nuclear medicine division of Northwestern Hospital to get my very small dose of radiation.  After I drink that cup of loveliness, I have to come straight home so I don't infect anyone else, and I still have to fast for two more hours after that. Me without food is maybe worse than me without meds.  I return to Northwestern Friday morning for a full-body scan that will take approximately ninety minutes.  And thus ends my visits to the big city for the week.

Due to my radioactive status, I have to go into an isolation of sorts.  I can't be around the kids from Wednesday through Sunday, and I can't be around any adults for 48 hours.  Trevor and the kidlets are going to be spending quality time at my parents' house while I fly the yellow flag from home.  I wish Godspeed to them all.  Although I often find myself longing for time alone where I'm not interrupted every six seconds by the call of "MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM," I am going to miss all of their faces so, so much.  I have mad love for the minion at Apple who invented FaceTime so I can at least give virtual kisses goodnight.

I have been selfishly and greedily hoarding books and magazines to keep me company during what I call The Incarceration.  I have loaded up my Kindle with cheap titles that I found on BookBub, and I have a certain series on Netflix that I am dying to finish.  I have grand plans to organize the storage area of our basement as well, but the books and the general sloth sound far more appealing.  However, I guarantee that I will not feel good about sitting around the house like a bump on a pickle, so it may be the perfect time for spring cleaning to begin.  Visions of uncluttered surfaces run rampant through my head...


Basically, this is just a heads-up for all y'all in the Region.  If you see me out and about on Monday, March 17, and I'm glowing or more frantic than usual, you can blame it on the radiation and The Incarceration.  However, if I'm looking suspiciously like the Incredible Hulk or Spider-Girl, back away slowly and do NOT make eye contact.  Maybe that's how you escape wolves and not superheroes, though.  In any case, I have a feeling it'll be a very happy wearin'-o'-the-green for me this year.  


  1. Good Luck KC-be thinking about you!

  2. Hi
    I think it looks amazing. I'm not sure I would have had the patience that you had though!