Monday, January 14, 2013

I Think What This Situation Needs Is Some Irradiation

If you're not as into the whole Imagination Movers scene as we are, you can go here to catch the toe-tapping tune that inspired the title.


In fourth grade, I did a report on Marie Curie. I remember putting a lot of effort into that report and, I believe I earned a pretty good grade on it. The report was an actual book report because this was before the internet, and it was hand-written in cursive. I remember that I turned the report in in a dark pink folder featuring a lame drawing of something that was vaguely humanoid holding a test tube that was colored with yellow highlighter... because radium glows. And because the accessible printers were not yet capable of printing pictures.

Because anyone can win one Nobel Prize...
I thought about that highlighter-glow several times today as the latest new doctor talked about how many microcuries of radiation I'm going to get. *Spoiler alert: only 29!

Maybe one day, a unit of measure will be named after me... though I shudder to think of what it would quantify.

What was I-? Oh. Yes.

I have to have a smidge of radiation.

"But, Mandi," you protest. "I thought they already got all your thyroid and cancer out."

Well, yes. But here's the thing: there's a chance that a little glitterspeck or two of thyroid tissue is still in there, hiding. And there's a chance that those wee bits of thyroid could travel somewhere and start cancering again. The best way to prevent that from happening is to kill it with fire radioactive iodine. It'll also make it easier to test for cancer recurrence for a few years. So why not?

29 microcuries is not very much, not much at all. In fact, they don't even admit you to the hospital unless you have 30. So you see? No big deal.

Here's the plan:
Step 1: Today's blood work will (hopefully) show that my synthetic thyroid hormone replacement needs to be upped. That change will (hopefully) take effect tomorrow.
Step 2: Early February, I'll switch to a different synthetic thyroid... one with a much shorter half-life.
Step 3: Profit
Step 4: Mid- February, I will completely stop taking any synthetic thyroid and try to avoid eating iodine (anything with salt or preservatives). After a couple of days, the lack of thyroid hormone will make me feel, in the doctor's words, "like death warmed over". Delightful. But necessary to help my body absorb the radioactive stuff.
Step 5: A week later, I will take the radioactive pill and FINALLY gain superpowers start back on my usual synthetic thyroid pills.
Step 6: I will be quarantined in the Fortress of Solitude (AKA a hotel somewhere nearby) for a few days so that my kids and husband are not exposed to my radiant glow when it's at its peak.
Step 7: Back to life as usual and pretend it never happened.

So really, this is the best thing ever!

  • I get to be radioactive (again) for a few days. There is a very good chance that the third time will be the charm and I will finally be able to shoot webs out of the scars from that tarantula bite. (Don't think I haven't tried before.)
  • I get to find out what it's like to have no thyroid hormone in me at all... that should be interesting. And it'll give me the chance to practice my slug impression.
  • I get a few nights in a hotel. Just me and some books... and probably some business paperwork to catch up on. 

I am so stinkin' lucky that I have this option.

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."   - Maria SkÅ‚odowska-Curie


  1. Madame Curie is awesome, and so are you. I hope this cures it for good!

  2. "Step 3: Profit" - Spit out my drink at that one.