Friday I went in for my RAI (radiation) treatment. Once the Nuclear Medicine came, my family was asked to leave. I was given a pile of garbage bags and some signs that I would use as a makeshift sorting system for discarding waste in a safe manner. She quickly explained to me how to use the system. She explained theat I might feel quite ill, but encouraged me NOT to throw up if I could avoid it. Vomiting would result in a top up dose of radiation. Then I was brought a cast iron pot containing radioactive pills to swallow. My dose was 200mci (relatively high). As soon as I swallowed it they left, sealing me in my room alone for the duration of my isolation. Mostly I felt very ill as I was warned. I tried to sleep through it as much as I could.
My meals consisted of:
Roast Beef slices, a fruit (only apples or bananas)rice cakes, horrible fruity juices, and black coffee.
This was what was brought to me for 3 meals a day for al lthe days I was there. After it was actually brought to me for BREAKFAST of day two I started declining the meal trays with one exception, the fruit. Fruit was the only thing I could stomach and only small bites of them. I now have a huge aversion to roast beef.
My room was like a fishbowl. People were constantly looking in at me to see what my room was on lockdown with radioactivity signs plastered to the window. My view was of the hospitals bleak roof, not a person could be seen from it. That was hard because I am, by nature, a people watcher.
WHile I asked for friends and family to call me to keep me from getting lonely, I didn’t hear from many of the people I expected to hear from and that was disappointing, but the people who did call were willing to spend lots of time talking with me and encouraging me to stay positive.
I watched TV and read a bit, but I lacked the focus to commit to anything that require real attention. In an effort to ensure my release from the hospital ASAP I really stuck with drinking the water and eating the sour candies. Monday morning the Nuc Med team came back and took my readings- finally I was good to go home.
It was a horrible experience and I pray I don’t have to do it again.
My Christmas spirit is still MIA……