So the day has finally arrived for the iodine radiation pill. I’m glowing with anticipation. After 18 days of the LID (Low-Iodine Diet), my remaining thyroid tissue/cells are starving for some iodine. It has been hard to stick to the LID, but I did it!
Before Dr. Ladenson came in, we met with his Assistant, Marge and discussed my questions. So I cannot be within 3 feet of anyone for 3 days. (Frown) I can have visitors over, but they just have to stay at least 3 feet away. Well that is good to know! Marge went on to let me know that I might set off some radiactive detector alarms. What? No way! She gave me a letter that I need to carry with me for the next month just in case an alarm goes off. These alarms are in airports, government buildings and other buildings. Check out the JH Radiation Letter for the interesting details.
And now for the big moment. I was in the room with my Mom and in walks Dr. Ladenson and his 5 interns. He explained that once I took the pill with the iodine radiation, it would make me radioactive for a few days. The radiation will kill any remaining thyroid cancer cells and reduce the remaining layer of thyroid tissue. It will go through my digestive system and come out in my urine, saliva and persperation. (That is why I’m supposed to flush twice and put the toilet seat down, which made me think that some men might have a tough time remembering to put the seat down.)The actual thyroid area will be radioactive for a few months, but it will not be harmful. (Um, okay?) Some of the radiactive iodine will go into my saliva glands which may cause soreness over the next few days, so sucking on hard candies is recommended to keep the saliva flowing. (Very interesting – huh.)
The room got very quiet. Dr. Ladenson looked at me and asked, “Are you ready?” I said “Yes I am.” A few silent seconds went by as the intern was getting the pill out of the container. Yes, a container that was within a container. This is radioactive stuff and so that one little capsule of radioactive iodine was housed in layers of containers. See the pic below…
I then said, “It is so quiet in here. We need some music for this.” Within a half a second my Mom’s (bless her soul) cell phone started ringing in the form of a song. Perfect timing Mom! So she jumped up and left the roon to answer the call.
The intern brought over the capsule with a cup of water and gave it to me. Everyone watched as I took the capsule. Down it goes! Then my Mom came back in. She missed the big moment. And just like that I became radioactive. Let the 3 feet for 3 days begin.