Got to the hospital this morning about 6:45am and headed to the now all too familiar radiology department. I have been the teensiest tiniest bit radioactive since yesterday so I was whisked away to the Nuc Med area pretty much as soon as I walked in the doors.
First up on the docket for today – the whole body scan! Basically you lay on a long plank like thing that is only about 1.5-2ft wide for 45min-1hr trying not to move while the circle (camera) passes over your entire body. Then they take you to another room, aim a telescope like camera at your neck and tell you not to move for 5 minutes, then they point it at your leg and tell you the same thing. Its all a very strange process and I realize now it is harder to be still when you are told to do so!
After the scans were done, we were taken back into the whole body scan room to meet with the Nuc Med Dr. My parents were with me and he was slightly confused as to who the patient was (kinda uncommon to get cancer so young huh?) which I found slightly amusing. He basically gave us an overview of what RAI is and it’s purpose – I felt like I was in kindergarten because my knowledge on the subject is much higher than his explanation, I let him continue for my parents. If anything he told them exactly what I've told them so that was good! (I will accept my doctorate now, thank you very much!) Then he said I would be give 200 mCi’s of RAI! Ok so 200 mCi’s is pretty much the top dose they give anyone at one time so this slightly freaked me out. Unfortunately my brain wasn’t working fast enough to get the questions out before he was gone so we headed home for a few hours to return at 1pm for my dose. (they don’t stock this on-site) So we went to my place and I took a nap, my parents ate some Wendy’s while I chowed on a plain baked potato, and we gathered up the last of my isolation “gear” before heading back to the hospital.
When I returned I was once again taken right back into a little room where they brought in a lead lined capsule that contained my tiny container of 2 radioactive iodine capsules. We then had a bit of confusion over me getting/not getting a post treatment scan so when I left I was waiting for a call back. Well because of the confusion, my Dr called me and said they saw very little thyroid remnant left in my neck (good) and no indication of metastasis (v. good) so with the large treatment dose they expect that everything will be ablated (killed) and they didn’t see any suspicious areas that would make them need a second look with the more sensitive post treatment scan. I will be followed of course, and the scans can be repeated at any time if my tumor markers go up so overall this plan feels comfortable by all.
So now I'm in my isolation location for the next 7 days so I don’t damage my kitties with radiation!