I’m home.  I’m okay and happy.  VERY-VERY thankful.

I thought I’d give you a little recap on how it all went.  I know many of you find it all interesting….so here goes.

Friday I took my last oral chemo pill.

I drove to Mayo Clinic and got there with perfect timing.  It was so nice to be able to go at noon and not worry about getting up early. The other days last week it was up at 5:30 am and driving to make 7:30 am appointments.

I made good time and pulled into the parking ramp hoping it was okay to park here when I knew that I would be anywhere from 1-3 overnights.  Of course, that was something I forgot to ask about.
I snapped this picture…proof to my kids I had made it.

I wasn’t in the waiting room long until I was called back and handed off to a nuclear medicine doctor who had to do a final briefing on the protocol for the procedure.

I have to carry this card around with me for the next 90 days as I might set off a security alarm.

From there I was taken to the hospital.  They have a lead walled room for patients with Radioactive Iodine…but my procedure is uncommon enough that they need the room for regular patients too.  So they cover the room in plastic.  This was my bathroom…

…my sink…

Everything I would potentially touch was covered in plastic.  Even my telephone.  This was my only real communication and I couldn’t call out.

I did have a television but the remote was covered in plasitc.

I really used the room more like a hotel room with room service.  I didn’t really need care although they did have to do vitals on me.  I had WONDERFUL nurses.  All the staff was absolutely great!!

Anything I took in the room with me, couldn’t go home with me.  So…no cross stitch.  No phone…No books or magazines unless I was willing to leave them there and they would be thrown away.  I ended up taking me 8 year old Kindle that had a cracked screen that was S-L-O-W!  At least I could message the kids on messenger as I couldn’t call out using the room phone.

I would say my BIGGEST complaint about the whole thing was the food.  Remember I have to eat low iodine?  Well, no provisions are made for that.  None.  ZERO.

From the hospital menu I could be possitive and eat the following items:
-Cheerios (no milk)
-Baked Sweet Potato

I risked an egg white omlet with mushroom, spinach and tomato.

It’s so hard with industry food.  Was the egg white a patted egg white?  If it was, there easily could have been salt already in it.  The one I did get had a piece of chicken in it.  I didn’t order chicken so how was the pan seasoned before it was cooked?  I’m not allowed to have cooking spray.  UGH.

I was miserable on the food side of things.  I ended up remembering that I could eat at Chipotles.  I contacted Kayla and she ordered food from Chipotles then Door Dash delivered it for lunch on Saturday and supper on Saturday.  That was a bit of a hassle as the nurses had to go down to pick it up because Door Dash personal aren’t allowed in the hospital.  It all worked out but was definitely a little tricky.

Each day someone from Nuclear Medicine would come up with a Geiger Counter and test me to see if I was under the limit to be able to be released to go home.  My number had to be under 7.  I started out a 19.6.  The next day I was 11.2.

On Sunday morning, I was under.  YAHOO.

I spent my time looking out the window, watching television and doing suduko puzzles.  I was bored.  Everyone always asks, “How do you get so much done?”.  The real question should be, “How can I do nothing?”.  That’s MUCH harder for me.

I pulled onto the road as I was leaving and saw the cool pattern on the Marriott transport van.  I love those T’s.  They would make a fun quilt block.  Hmmm.  My bored brain was seeing everything in a new light.

I was able to get home on Sunday around 2 pm.  I was so thankful to be home.  I couldn’t have been happier to pull in the drive.  I love home.  I love life.

Thanks so much for the gas gift cards…With them I was able to make all of my trips back and forth and didn’t pay for any of the gas on my own.  It was so appreciated.  It made the travel so much easier without the worry of how I was going to afford everything.

They did a scan on me before I left.  That will be the real test on whether this completely worked or not.  I’m hoping to get the results of that early this week.  I’ll share those when I know.

Besides that, this is all behind for the next 6 months.  I’m hopeful that then I’ll get another 6 month pass.  The Nuclear Medicine doctor I spoke with was hopeful…so I’m going to be hopeful too.

I’ve gotten questions on how I feel.  The only real complaint I have is tired and sore mouth.  Tired because they really mess with my thyroid numbers to get me to accept the Radioactive Iodine.  I am VERY hypothyroid now and that will take a week or so to fix itself.  My mouth is very sore because I have to suck on sour candies to help my salivary glands to work.  Radioactive Iodine can take out salivary glands and sucking on sour candy helps.  They make my mouth sore so I’m trying a to suck on them but not too much that my mouth is super sore.  All of this I can easily handle and are only temporary things.

Thanks for everything along this bumpy ride.  You all have really made it so much easier with your kind words, thoughts, prayers and well wishes.

48 thoughts on “Treatment”

  1. Bobbie Woodruff

    Thank the Lord for your wonderful outlook.
    Better days are ahead!
    Glad it’s over for now. The news is so promising.
    Take it easy for a little while to get your strength back.
    We are all still praying for you, doesn’t hurt to ask God for a little extra blessings.

  2. Jo, I guess I’m the only one up at this time so get to be your first “Welcome Home.” So glad it went well. In the grand scheme of things, a couple days of down time are easy to take compared to the extra life it gives you. Hope you continue to do well and that your test results are super good. Thanks for the extra posts you did ahead. Looking forward to seeing you get back into your regular routine. I love your Bitcoin.
    Polly in Florida

  3. We have been praying for you so glad it went well. Just relax in your home now. I always buy Jolly Rancher Lemon drops for my husband. Have you tried those yet? I could send some if they work. Plus he has eaten cranberries for almost 30 years.

  4. Welcome back Jo! It’s good to hear from you. I love how you saw a prospective quilt pattern as soon as you left the hospital *lol. Take care x

  5. I just woke up (wee hours) and my first thought was you, so I had to check your blog before I went back to sleep. So glad you are home! Whew. Thank you for the recap on the experience. I wondered about that. Glad you had the Chipotle respite. I have been thinking about something you said a few days ago. You mentioned the relief you felt when you got the “go ahead” for your radioactive treatment because your scan “lit up”….that you were afraid of letting us down. Of course we all want this to be successful and that would be the most desired goal. But just as importantly, prayers are for putting the right people around you who can make your journey better. Remember when you spoke to the technician who did your scan “i know you can’t tell me the results, but can you tell me if I am going to see you again later for my T shot?” and she said “yes!”….indicating to you that this was a “go”? And also, after y’all met with the nurse about the results and she didn’t give you much info and didn’t answer questions….you mentioned it to someone else afterwards and she went and got the radioactive medicine doctor and he talked with you and gave you lots of info/answered questions? Well, to me, those are answers to prayers…that you got a nudge to speak up, to talk to the “right” person who was able to find a way to provide you with helpful info. When you realized that they were not making provisions for you diet and then remembered that you could eat at Chipotle and they deliver. Those are all examples of things that are, to me, answers to prayer. That those people were along your path and you reached out to them and they responded. It’s absolutely wonderful they all had “green lights” for you but we know this could also have gone another way, and we want you to have the peace and the presence of mind to ask the right questions and get the best info. I hope this makes a little sense. Just know that the prayers are also for clarity of mind for everyone involved with your care. (Gosh, I hope this makes sense.)

    1. Judith Fairchild

      That makes perfect sense! God uses people to answer prayer a lot of times. After all the church is called the body of Christ Jesus. I love being His hands and feet

  6. Thank you for posting about your experience, I’ve never had to deal with something like what you’re going through, it sounded nerve wracking but I love how you write about it. It does feel like you’re writing in your journal…and the reflection about a quilt design made me laugh…I still don’t understand why things were wrapped in plastic. Congratulations on all the good news, and prayers for a quick recovery in the coming weeks.

  7. I’m so happy that you’re back home! I’m sure you are even more so. The process seemed to go well, an answer to prayer. Take it easy, rest when you need to. This is a marathon not a Sprint. I was wondering if you’d share what you can eat at Chipotle’s that does not have sodium?

  8. Carolyn Sullivan

    I am happy for you! I have been praying ang sending happy thoughts to you for weeks! Can’t wait to see that T quilt either.

  9. Very happy that you are home and treatment went well. Hope you can enjoy the next few weeks. Thanks for the update. Continued prayers.

  10. Jo I’m so happy for you. You seem to have taken all this in a very good stride! Lotsa hugs all around
    Just so you know you may want to talk to your dentist. Those who have radiation on head and/or neck shouldn’t have any teeth pulled. I wish they had pulled my wisdom teeth during my surgery. I was only 11 so they were just little nubs and would’ve been easy to remove. My dentist told me after rad. Tx the teeth decay(so does bone) and the hole/gap left behind would never close/heal thus constant gum infections and decay. But hey because I’ve survived a thousand more have too! You strive to be that person too! Enjoy the journey! Much love XOXO

  11. I know you and your family are so happy to have you back home. You have been in my thoughts and prayers all weekend. Thank you for keeping us posted on how you are, your treatments, etc. We really do appreciate it and it helps us to know how to pray for you.
    Love and prayers

  12. So, so glad things went well and you are back home again :) Take care :) Yes, what can you get at Chipotles that is no sodium?

  13. Glad you are home and you stay wasn’t too long. Lonely and boring is hard. Now to isolate home, but thats a snap with all you can be stitching by hand and machine. The newest all creatures great and small was on last night. Maybe you can stitch on that when watching that? That could be fun. Love to you Jo.

  14. Carmen Montmarquet

    So wonderful you are home! You have helped many other people who may be on a similar journey as to what to expect with this procedure! Now you need to rest up and get strong and get back to all the things you want to do! Yeah!!!

  15. So glad that part is behind you! Now you can take it easy while your thyroid numbers return to a more normal range and you feel more like your busy self. There have been many answers to many prayers.

  16. So happy for you and your family everything went well and that you are home. I bet Rosie is happy too. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers. I think those t’s would make a cute quilt.

  17. I so glad you’re home. That’s a big relief. The pictures of your room made me laugh. A layer of plastic protects from radiation?! I would have never thought that lol. Have a great day being home.

  18. Soo glad you are home and the stay wasn’t too terrible, but sure the days dragged on for you. Now as you isolate somewhat at home, you can at least do some normal things. It was fun for me to see the few pictures of Rochester where I lived for 13 years and was an employee of the clinic.

  19. So glad you are home. I’m sure Rosie is very happy to see you. Please rest a lot & take care. You’re loved by all of us!

  20. Wonderful update and sharing of your journey. Keeping fingers crossed and prayers for good news from your healthcare team this week!

  21. Keeping you in my prayers for a positive outcome in 6 months. Your grateful attitude is such an inspiration for others going through trials.

  22. Home is always the best place to be! So glad your treatment is done! Too bad you couldn’t bring your own food with you since their selection was so ridiculous. Sounds like some feedback to the hospital so they could have a fridge near the nurse so you could have stuff stashed there so they could get something for you when they check on you. Less work than going to the entrance to get other food. :) Or maybe things you could bring with you that would be thrown away afterward? They really should do better! In any case, so glad you are home!

  23. Anita L Jackson

    Home never looked so beautiful I’m Sure!!! So glad to read of your progression and making it home. Continue your endeavors at self-care!

  24. So very thankful to see this post this morning. Continued prayers for you and enjoy yourself. Hope the sore mouth won’t last long and your engery will come back.
    I’m thinking you aren’t allowed to have your puppy for the next few weeks as well. That will be an adjustment.
    Take care

  25. Allison C Bayer

    Such a trooper you are!! Thank you for the update. I’m hopeful for you too! Hugs of support and love, Allison in Plano, Texas

  26. Welcome home! Rosie missed you! So glad that you are done with that part of the journey and onto better days ahead.

  27. Good news to hear you are home. It was interesting to see the plastic covering almost everything in the room. Best wishes getting through the next few weeks.

  28. There truly is no place like home!!! So glad to hear that all went well and you are back home where you can be comfortable – hang in there!! Thanks for the update and photos – it’s an education for all of us who haven’t had to travel that path.

  29. So glad you were able to come home. You will be able to rest so much better. I do have a question. How long do you have to continue with the special diet? Just curious.

  30. Happy Homecoming! First thing I thought of seeing those “T”’s on the Marriott van was “TIME”. That was your goal in this treatment. Praying that was a sign that you are getting your wish. Continued blessings to you.

  31. Susan the Farm Quilter

    That was a big bridge you crossed and one I hope you don’t have to cross again soon!! So very glad you are home – I know you are even happier about that! Now for the next bridge to cross…not seeing any littles for a while! The happy reunion when you can cuddle your grands and your daycare kids again…soon!! At least with being a home you can create beauty to your hearts content! Thanks for the update, although I’m appalled at the food the hospital gave you – sounds like someone really screwed up!

  32. So pleased you are back home in your nest, able to do what you want to and able to eat the food you have so carefully resourced. Take care, don’t be tempted to do too much too soon. God bless.

  33. HOORAY for getting out quickly!! Amazing that their kitchen doesn’t accommodate the dietary needs of *patients*! I know, I know, yours may be more unique than some but dang, you can’t possibly be the only patient who comes in requiring a more specialized diet. Just thankful that you were able to get the treatment & are able to be home sooner rather than later. Many virtual hugs.

  34. So glad to hear you were able to return home–I can “see” Rosie–how happy she had to be! Thanks for sharing your journey thus far—and I can only say “DITTO” to all the above comments.

  35. SO happy to hear you’re home and feeling better. The rest of recovery will be much better, I’m sure, after the time spent in hospital. I love hearing the many ways that God made sure your needs were taken care of. Don’t know how people don’t see His hand in their everyday life — I sure do, and it makes me feel loved & truly one of His daughters. After what you’ve been through it will be easy to look at things in a positive manner and enjoy the time at home as you are waiting for the ‘all clear’ to be able to resume your regular life. Rosie will love having you near her again — and I’m curious if she will be aware in any way of the treatment you received. Dogs are extremely perceptive! Take care, sweetie!

  36. Jo, I am so glad you are home. Thank you for explaining your medical journey with your readers. It is quite a story. I have a question about your radioactivity. What about your car? Since you had to drive home immediately after your treatment, do you have to wait a period of time before anyone else can be in your car? So glad you are doing well. A positive attitude is a great help. Love and prayers.

    1. I have never had car precautions besides that when I initially come home, people need to sit kitty-corner from me. As of today I can be around people but they need to stay out of my six foot bubble.

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