If all goes well in about 19 hours I will be walking out of here with a bag full of stuff to hide in our storage locker for 3 weeks while its half-life expires, and a plan to eat a maximum-iodine dinner (oh how I love to transgress). Today was largely uneventful. I received many wonderful emails which helped distract me, and I also spent many hours reading offline–some magazines, some newspapers, and the manuscript of a book I promised to blurb (I figured I can toss the ms as I’ll get the book). I’ve still got the dry mouth and eyes, but as per my instructions I started on the sour candies around 2pm. the very mild nausea after meals seems to have subsided. You’re supposed to have sour lemon drops after 24 hours but I had no luck searching in my neighborhood, around the Jewish General, and in Westmount (near my doctor’s office). Must be a Quebec thing, or maybe I need a specialty candy store. So I bought these sour gummy-things. And I ate some and thought “these aren’t really that sour.” Then I stopped eating and continued drooling so I guess they are doing what they’re supposed to do–stimulate the salivary glands.
In other ways, I’m feeling great. it could be the time of day, as in my new body, mornings are slow and later afternoon is strong (this is the opposite of how I’ve been my entire adult life). it could be the prednisone, as one of the side effects is euphoria (and of course depression when you stop it. between that and the post-RAI depression I’m supposed to expect, I’ll be doing Pink Floyd and Bauhaus covers in my living room and brooding like Marvin the Depressed Robot in two weeks–I promise not to turn this blog into a whine-fest though–I will simply make my friends suffer me in person). Also I’m sitting here doing nothing and taking afternoon naps, so it’s easy to feel like I have all the energy in the world. I will try not to be an idiot when I get out tomorrow (as I was last time I got out of jail) but there is a way I can feel a return to my life, or at least parts of it, is just beyond my fingertips, and I want to reach out for it. That begins with taco nite tomorrow night, because I have calculated that our vegetarian tacos violate the tenets of the low-iodine diet in the largest number of simultaneous directions–soy protein, cheese, yogurt, bottled hot sauce (Valentina!) and beans with iodized salt. Now I just need something with red dye #3 in it to complete the collection (if I ate fish or seafood, that would be the other natural place to go).
Of course, I’m not done with cancer. Thyroid cancer is considered a chronic illness. It’s something that will be with me for the rest of my life and certainly in the near future. There are follow-up tests starting next week. There could well be another course of radioactive iodine. There will likely be external beam radiation, which can be a month of pain and debilitation. And I was given a 33% chance of needing another surgery within 10 years (now that I dread after the last one, and i know my surgeons do too). But all that is in the future. Other than the tests, we’re talking about a few months’ time or a few years’ time. Not next week, not even next month. So I will have a chance to recover now, which is good.
I’ve had lots of time over the past few months to evaluate my life. It’s about time. I am ending an unplanned 5-year stint as an administrator as of June, a lot of people just spent a lot of energy saving my life and my voice (or some part of my voice anyway), a lot of other people just put a lot of energy into providing me with all sorts of personal and emotional support (you’re not done yet! sorry.), and I turn 40 in August, and which means it’s about halftime if I’m lucky (looking at lifespans in my family). The time alone in here has actually been helpful for that as well, though of course it’s also been great to be in touch with the outside world. Speaking of which, I have some emails to reply to before settling in for a little bad prime-time TV. The rest I’ll do tomorrow morning, as I’m sure I’ll be antsy while waiting for the resident to show up with his Geiger counter. I’m not kidding. I was 96 microsieverts per hour at 2 meters on Wednesday right after the pills went down.