Friday 6 July 2012

One Week To Go

Dave has entered the final preparation phase for his cancer treatment.  He's now on his iodine-free diet.  He'll be given radioactive iodine for the scan next week, so it's important to make sure his body is completely clear of it.  Doesn't sound so bad, does it?

The problem is that iodine is good for us but doesn't occur naturally except in things like eggs and seafood.  So the FDA ordered it added to commercial salt to make sure everyone gets enough iodine in their diet.  And commercial salt is in everything.

Dave has been limited to fruits, vegetables and whatever I can make from scratch.  We have some iodine-free salt, which we've been using judiciously to add flavour and do some limited baking.  Not being able to use eggs makes things trickier.  Aside from being deprived of some of his favourite foods, he's also reaching complete exhaustion mixed with joint pain and insomnia, all common side effects of low-thyroid hormone.

He's described it as feeling like having done two all-nighters in a row.  It's beyond normal exhaustion.  Instead he feels tired but wired at the same time, the classic too-tired-to-sleep phenomena.  However, he's still doing better than some.  The websites are full of dire warnings from people who were literally bedridden for the entire three to six weeks.

His concentration and memory are definitely affected.  I came down the other night and found him watching Treehouse TV, well after both kids were in bed.  He'd sat down, turned on the TV (which automatically goes to Treehouse) and then couldn't quite muster the energy to actually pick something to watch.

But the end is in sight.  One week from today is the scan which will tell us whether or not the previous treatments have successfully destroyed the cancerous nodes they found before.  I expect it'll be a few more weeks before we actually get the results (particularly if they're negative) but the hard part will be over.

Dave will have to go through this every three to five years to make sure everything stays okay.  It won't be pleasant but it's certainly do-able.  Maybe we'll get lucky and someone will come up with a breakthrough alternative to the scan.

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