Radioactive Mama

My Cancer Journey

What can go wrong… Friday, 2 Apr 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 9:33 am

will go wrong.

I didn’t get much sleep last night.  I laid in bed for close to 2 hours last night and finally fell asleep sometime around 1:30am.  5:30am must really like me because I think I have seen it every day for a week.  After our morning hello I fell back asleep restlessly until my 7:30am wake-up call from the construction man with the hammer and the plastic tub.

Josh called me a little before 8:30am on the hunt for where there might be some extra diapers in the house.  There aren’t any.  They also are out of frozen breast milk (the rest is in Jen’s freezer) and cat food.  The cat’s are acting crazy, Bug is crying, oh and did I mention Josh couldn’t sleep last night either.

It’s at this point, when I am exhausted and ready to go home and Josh is also exhausted and at his breaking point after almost 2 weeks of caring for the girls without me (although my Mom has done an AMAZING job of caring for the girls, the house, and my hubby) that I find myself in tears.  It is amazing all that I have gone through when I really stop to think about it, and then with less than 36 hours left to go, on the phone with Josh talking about diapers (or lack there of) is when I fall apart.

Fortunately when I called my Mom she was already on her way to my house. She was going to arrive early to start laundry before Josh left for work.  Instead she went to Kroger to get diapers and cat food and to Jen’s to get breast milk.  Not sure if she will get to that laundry this morning after all.  But my prayer is that she will be able to bring some peace and stability to my home this morning (she sounded rested and in good spirits) and that Josh will be able to somehow salvage the rest of his morning and get on track before heading over to work.

I am going to get ready and head over to the hospital for my scan and try to enjoy some sunshine today.

Day 12, please ease up.  We need a less “exciting” day to end out our time apart!


Good Night Day 11 Thursday, 1 Apr 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 10:49 pm

Woo-hoo! I am going home on SATURDAY NIGHT!!! Angie came today with the Geiger counter and checked my numbers.  My stuff was clean with almost everything not even registering any radiation at all.  My neck has dropped considerably on the amount that it is radiating (which of course we knew it would.)  Interestingly enough, my hands are the “hottest” (read “radioactive”) part of me.  Even so, the readings are well within what is generally considered safe.  Also, we have already taken extra precautions by even having me gone this long, as most people are outpatient or in the case of inpatient, go home after a few days.  Ember has been the main reason for the extra precaution.  Care of her requires so much hands on time, and much of the time that I am caring for her I am holding her close to my neck, which is where most of the radiation is.  The breast-feeding expert recommended I not hold Ember for at least 11 days.

By going home Saturday night I will not see the girls until Sunday morning.  By then it will be 6 hours shy of 13 full days.  Even so, I will still be cautious in my contact with the girls.  This just means that I can’t have them snuggled up to my neck for 4 hours straight (which I can’t imagine doing anyway.)

Sooooo… 2 more nights and then home to my hubby, my girls, my own bed… I have definitely gained a new love and appreciation for my family and my home.  I think I have also learned that there are a lot of things I don’t need and can do without.  As I said once before, I really do want to streamline, simplify, and de-clutter our lives.  I’m not going to move to the middle of nowhere, sell all our worldly possessions and live off the land (although there are parts of me that want to)… but I do want to re-prioritize and make more time for the things and the people we love.

I can’t believe that I only have 2 more days here and then I will be going home.  I started packing tonight and I don’t think I have ever been more excited to pack in my life!

2 more days of blogging from here, and then we will see what happens when I go home.  For starters I am going to take a computer break as soon as I get home.

Oh, I have a full-body scan tomorrow.  It takes a picture of all of my insides and shows anywhere that is radioactive.  This is important because it will show if there any areas where the iodine has been absorbed besides in my thryoid.  If it shows other areas, this means that these are cells that have metastasized (additional cancer cells) and are now being killed by the radiation.  If they show up they are already being treated by the radiation, but it gives them a baseline to go on when they scan me again in 6 months.  This helps with the early detection of any future cancer cells – which I am believing will never happen.  Also, they are going to check my hands again tomorrow.  For my peace of mind, I would love the number to be much less than the 2 or so it was today.  1 or less would be great, so please pray that somehow, miraculously, my level drops to 1 or less by tomorrow.

Good night day 11.  Thank you for the beauty and joy you brought me along my journey.  Lookout day 12, here I come!


Beautiful Day 11!

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 10:27 am

I am on the downward slope!  I can feel the wind in my face and see my family waiting at the finish line!  I can’t wait to be home and celebrate not only my homecoming and healing but the amazing gift we have been given in the life, death, and RESURRECTION of our Lord Jesus Christ!  What an amazing day to return home – Easter!  A day to celebrate the new life we have been given through Christ and a great day to celebrate the new life He has given me in being cancer free!  It’s going to be a beautiful day today, how can it not be?!


Goodnight Day 10! Wednesday, 31 Mar 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 10:19 pm

Well, I am going to work toward bed… but figure I won’t be asleep for a while. My Mom pointed out that I am doing MUCH less during the day than I normally do (and she would know these days!) Despite my walking and trying to make my body as physically tired as my mind says I am, sleep continues to elude me. Not having a thyroid and not knowing if I can start my medicine back (because my dr. won’t call back!) are making me more tired than I would be otherwise. Gotta remember to call that doc again tomorrow. I called Fri and they say they call back within 48hrs. Someone needs to get them a new watch.
I hope and pray for sweet sleep tonight! Tomorrow brings me one day closer to the hugs & snuggles of my family! Maybe I will find some time to scrapbook!


Day 10…

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 5:58 pm

has been good to me!

The fan didn’t block out the construction noise this morning and last night was a particularly rough one.  I went to bed early – lights out just before 10:15 but didn’t fall asleep until after 11pm.  I was very restless all night and woke up several times.  When I got up around 8:30am I saw that Josh had called me just after midnight.  Thinking there was a problem I called him right away and found out that Julia had been awake from 10:30pm-1:30pm and spent much of that time screaming and throwing a fit.  She even woke Ember up 3 times last night with all the noise. (For those of you who know her you probably are saying, “No! Not Julia!” Well if you are, then I will put your  name at the top of the list for Josh to call next time this happens (but hopefully it was a one time event!)  Needless to say he was very tired today and neither of us was very happy with Julia. So anyway, I didn’t get much sleep last night, but neither did the rest of my family.

Today was a beautiful day out!  The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the weather is warm.  Weather like this does wonders for the spirit!  I made it over to the hospital cafeteria just in time to grab breakfast this morning.  For $3.11 I got a biscuit, gravy, sausage patty, cheesy eggs, and chocolate milk.  It was even pretty good.  Afterward I walked over to Panera and met my friends Kyle & Jen and their daughter, Lily.  Jen had just passed her 2nd (pregnancy) glucose test and was craving Panera 🙂  As I mentioned in a previous post, I was not going to pay $4 for a drink I may or may not be able to taste.  So I brought my own tea bag, got a free cup of hot water, and sat and had a nice chai tea with them while they ate lunch.  It made me feel almost normal.

Afterward I walked over to Walgreens and wandered around for a long time.  It’s amazing to spend as long as I want in a store.  You can do that when you have no where to go and no one to go home to. 😦 It was really quite enjoyable though.  I picked up a few little surprises for Julia’s easter basket too! (Don’t tell her!)

When I got back I had taco salad and a brownie waiting in my fridge for me (courtesy of the wonderful staff of the Fellowship house.)  After eating my lunch I gave myself a mini-pedicure in honor of the new temps outside!  It has been a thoroughly enjoyable day, except for the elephant in the room… the fact that all of this would be much more fun with my best friend, Josh, and my 2 little princesses by my side.

I told Josh today that I wish he and the girls could just move here with me. There is something nice about the simplicity of life here.  It’s simple because its not real life.  I have no responsibilities, no appointments, and I can really do whatever I want in my day (except for the fact that I have no car and what I really want is to go home.)  I love being able to get up and go for a walk, having a cheap cafeteria right around the corner and any other food I could ever want within walking distance.  I love having time to read, tons more time to talk to God, time to paint my nails and sit and talk with friends.  Now how do I get these simple enjoyments into the day-to-day life of running a house, taking care of 2 little girls, and assisting my husband with the business when he needs it? I don’t have the answer to that, but when I go home I really want to try to streamline our lives and schedules so that we are able to spend more time doing the things we really love and enjoy, including spending time together as a couple and as a family.

I am amazed that it is 6pm on day 10.  Tomorrow I will get the ghost buster treatment again as Angie comes over with a Geiger counter and checks how much radiation I and my stuff are emitting.  Hopefully, prayerfully, the readings will be low enough I can return home late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.  I am really looking forward to Easter at home with my family.

Oh, and Julia got her stitches out today and was a real trooper.  Afterward she had banana cream pudding, which she said made her head feel all better.  If you don’t know about her stitches, you will have to stay tuned until I get to that part of the “before treatment” story.  🙂

Thanks again for your continued prayers and support.  Together we have made it 2/3 of the way through this thing, and with your love, prayers, and encouragement I know I will be able to get through the last 4 days.


Good night Day 9! Tuesday, 30 Mar 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 9:06 pm

I had a great visit with Josh today. I got what was probably one of the best hugs I have ever had and then we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Then my friend, Angie, came by to visit. She wears this little badge that measures radiation exposure and once a month they get mailed off to make sure they are not getting too much occupational exposure to radiation. So, since coming to visit me was not occupational she didn’t want to risk getting her badge to glow to much, so she had to leave it outside, which cracked me up. 🙂
I have had a bead (oops, typo – thanks DAD  – meant BAD) headache for several hours now. It starts in my shoulders and runs up through my neck and into my head… so I took some Advil and am going to call it an early night. Today flew by! I am so glad to know that when I wake up tomorrow I will be 2/3 of the way finished with this portion of the cancer-fighting process. (The time away from my family.) Tomorrow I will scrapbook! Woo-hoo!
Good night day 10!
Lord, grant me sweet, healing rest tonight and enough noise from the fan to drown out the construction workers until at least 8:30am!


Mail call

Filed under: Uncategorized — radioactivemama @ 4:02 pm

Beautiful rainbow!