Thursday, July 1, 2010

If it's Thursday it must be Time for the Debut Authors Who Get Thyroid Cancer Update

Let me preface this post by saying that if you are reading this and are shamefully not a regular reader, you might want to read about the earlier part of the "cancer sucks" journey here.

Well, the radioactive iodine treatment is over now. It's just a matter of getting Mr. Metabolism back to where he needs to be and moving forward from there. As treatments go, this one doesn't totally suck. Okay, the low iodine diet wasn't the most varied thing in the world - when you remove dairy, fish, legumes, iodized salt, food additives, processed baked goods, and soy, and have to limit meat to five ounces a day, there's a bit of a challenge involved. Co-hosted a bridal shower where the only thing I could consume was a fruit skewer, but in the larger spectrum, I didn't need the cupcakes, cheese stuffed tomatoes or chicken salad anyway. Plus alcohol - that was on the okay list. Now, I don't recommend downing that entire bottle of chardonnay without a metabolism, but hey, I already have cancer. Who's going to comment about my excesses?

But the body scans and the RAI 131 pill - not so horribly bad. They scan you, calculate how much radioactive iodine you need to burn out any remaining rogue thyroid cells (in my case, three dots where the thyroid used to be connected to me), stick you in a little room, bring you the pill in a huge safety bottle. Then the nurse double gloved, gave me a glove, let the pill out of the bottle, shoved it in my gloved hand and yelled at me to swallow fast. She whipped out a yard stick, backed up the three feet, and - seriously - clicked on the geiger counter to check my uptake. Then she got the hell out of Dodge, leaving me to the Cash Cab marathon on Discovery, my two gigantic cups of water I needed to drink and a blanket. There was a brief brouhaha when I asked for magazines and was thrown The Economist and Texas Highways. "Seriously?" I asked the nurse. "You looked at me and this is what you thought I'd like? I must look shittier than I thought." A few minutes later, I was tossed Star and Entertainment Weekly. At least we had established that if I had to spend two hours cooking in radioactivity and peeing it out (remembering to flush twice each time) I would be better served by Snookie and RPatz gossip than by an article on the failing housing market or RV tips for that trip through Big Bend.

Eventually, they kicked me to the curb, which required riding home in the back seat on the passenger side of the Altima (which we'd brought instead of the Pruis, in the foolish hopes that somehow this would solve the "stay six feet away from her" issue.) The extra reminders not to swap spit or other bodily fluids were a bit easier to manage. (are there really people out there jonesing to get busy with their radioactive wives? Not in this house)

Luckily, I'd had a brilliant surgical team back in March. So I really didn't have to stay isolated for too long; 36 hours later I was reintegrated fully into the herd. At 24 hours I got back my lattes. Husband placed the tall non fat chai latte on the stair case; I scurried down like a semi-radioactive rat and grabbed it and went back to my lair on the second floor. I think I licked the lid it was that damn good.

And now here I am - back on the Synthroid, able to zip about like regular old me again. Okay, I wasn't thrilled about the sudden five pound weight gain, but it's starting to whittle off as meds build in my system. I'm writing and hanging out and kicking the Bravo channel addiction I developed as best I can. What can I say? Bethenny Getting Married? is damn fine television. Episode three where only a handful of people come to her book signing at Costco? Brilliant stuff.

Beyond that - it's the usual, dear readers. Waiting on round two of HAUNTED revisions. Hoping to see that ARC by August. I am soooo excited! Working on some other super secrety kind of stuff. Maybe some of it will pan out and I can talk about it. Maybe not. But that's the journey, isn't it?

As for me - today's our anniversary. I am one thankful girl that I can spend the day writing and blogging and possibly even going to Super Walmart and then go out to dinner with the guy who's hung in there with me through all this - certainly not something he probably thought he'd be doing when we were having our first date back in college - bowling and ice cream. Yes, I know. Oh. So. Sweet.

So it's on that note that I will end this. Here's your question for today: If you've got a significant other in your life right now, what was your first date? I would love to hear.

Til next time...


Janet Fox said...

I just want to say you are my model for weathering the storms of life. I laughed till I cried.

And thanks for hosting me here, Joy!

First date...when he stopped me in the middle of my latest rant about my then sig other and said, "I really can't comment because I'm feeling too involved." Whap. Eyes opened...heavens opened...never looked back.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, wow, Joy -- you've had a really rough time of it. I really admire the fact that you can write about this experience with such humor and verve.

Congratulations on weathering through the the radioactive treatment, and congratulations on the progress of Haunted! ARCs by August? That would be awesome!

Vonna said...

It's terrific of you to blog about this stuff, Joy. Really, people need to hear it. My son and I joined a few other family members to cheer for our eleven-year-old cousin who had his last radiation treatment for brain cancer this morning. Brave little guy still has a full year of chemo to go.

Happy anniversary! My hubby and I had our first date 33 years ago when we were in high school. I had been following him like a puppy for months, then finally got up the nerve to ask him to go to a concert with me-- out of town! So bold.

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh my goodness...a friend of a friend had to go through the same thing and I had no idea! We're thinking about you and hoping you never have to go through anything like this again. But, your outlook is SO refreshing and admirable.

Happy Anniversary!

Joy said...

Best to your cousin, Vonna!
And I'm enjoying the first date stories... keep 'em coming! :)

Rosanne Parry said...

Way to hang in there Joy! I've been thinking about you and rooting for your cancer free body to emerge from this glowing (and not in the radio-active sense either :-)

First Date: Bill asked me to the Charity Ball in college. We'd met only once before. He was the perfect gentleman--EXCEPT half way through the dance he went off and danced with wild abandon with a very pretty girl. And she was pointing at me and laughing. Humph! Then he was back, as gentlemanly as ever. But he did the same thing twice more with two other girls. I was feeling a little crabby about this until I saw the three girls dancing together and noticed that they looked A LOT like each other.

I later learned they were 3 of Bill's 8 sisters and they were laughing at him because he'd never asked a girl out before.

Jeanne said...

Hi Joy,
Jeff asked me out for coffee on our first date. I hadn't eaten all day so I ordered lasagna and told him, when I finished, I had to go walk the dog. She was waiting for me in my truck.
Jeff invited himself along and we tramped through the woods, past wild irises and Sandhill Cranes. The dog chased the cranes into the air and somewhere in there or afterwards Jeff and I and Sally the dog fell irrevocably in love.
Always nice to have someone see you through the hard times. Thank you for another excellent post.

Sydney Salter said...

Love your sense of humor! On our first date we saw the movie Aliens. We still manage to get to the movies almost every week : )