I expected the fact that I’ve done the radioactive iodine thing before to make the process easier.
In a lot of ways, it has. I knew to eat as much high-iodine food as possible before starting the blasted low iodine diet to cut down on cravings. (It actually kind of worked.) I knew that I’d need to take endless showers in the hospital, and that the hospital’s towels have been washed roughly 4 million times, so I brought my own along. I knew my isolation period would be boring, and that I’d need a lot of mindless movies and TV shows to keep me busy.
The 32 episodes of 30 Rock that I’ve watched in the last three days have fulfilled that last part, and I still have Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls waiting in the wings. But the many times I’ve laughed at Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin haven’t lessened the suckiness that is isolation as much as I thought they might.
It turns out that isolation in hot, sunny July, when I’d rather be at the pool or the beach, is more difficult than during cold and dreary February (when I had to do it in 2008). And in a weird way, I think my ability to have taken a good amount of leave leading up to my RAI treatment has actually made this last week tougher than it was the last time. Back then, I was a crazy person who worked into the early morning hours of the day I had to go to the hospital for my treatment. I needed the mandated break to lay in bed and watch TV for a week. This time, I knew better than to go into treatment overworked and overtired…but now I don’t need the TV watching time so much.
(I know, you’re probably all thinking just what I was back in 2008: “Forced relaxation, how awful.”)
Still, I’d like nothing more right now than to be able to go across the street to sit at the pool, or even to go to the gym. I wish I could be trying to coax Clar outside for a walk (he was shipped off to the crazy dog sitter this week). I’d especially like to be on the long-planned vacation I’m missing with great friends and their army of little boys.
The last couple of months have been a gift in many ways; they have opened my eyes to new blessings and those I had looked past for too long. But right now, in the heat of cabin fever, I’m frustrated by the boundaries cancer has set around me.