I have spent the last week cuddling and snuggling and holding and praying with these little ones who are so sick. I’ve rubbed feet that fall asleep, massaged legs that ache, kissed fiery foreheads, rocked sleeping bodies, scratched backs, snuggled under blankets, watched movies with three heads on my lap, and slept in beds with them.
Starting Monday night, I will not be able to touch them.
I am undergoing treatment next week for my thryoid cancer recurrence. Because of the nature of the treatment and the high dosage I will be receiving, I will have to be isolated from my children for 2 weeks.
Yes, you read that right, two weeks!
For the first part of my dosage (beginning next Wednesday) I will not be able to be in the same house as they are. For the second, I will not be able to have any contact with them, but I will be able to see them.
This treatment will give me a 96% chance of full recovery, as in, no recurrence again. Because of the high dosage they are giving me, I will have to go to a different hospital than here. We will spend Monday there getting labs run, scans done, consulting with the doctor and I will have a full body PET scan to be sure there is no other cancer in my body before they move forward with treatment. Monday night, because of the radioactivity of the scan, I will be sequestered from contact with my family, but I can at least be home.
Wednesday morning I will return to the hospital for another scan and then dosing. Dosing is scheduled for 1:00. I’ll swallow a pill of radioactive iodine (given to me in a shielded cup), and then most likely be admitted to the hospital for at least 2 days. I will be in a room completely isolated even from nurses. I can only bring in items that can be thrown away (e.g. paper back books that I will toss after reading). After my stay at the hospital, I will go to my parents’ house for the remainder of the first week. I will also continue to have scans periodically over the next few days.
Once at my parents’ house, I will be able to have limited contact with adults, but not children. Brian’s mom will come live with Brian and the kids to give them as much normalcy as possible in routine and life without me. I will return home for the second week, but I will basically be confined to my room away from the children.
That’s the plan as I know it right now. All of this could change if my thyroid levels are not low enough for treatment next week, so it still feels like a bit of limbo.
As you can imagine, this is breaking my heart. This forced isolation. How can I be away from this for so long? Imprisoned away from my family.
I know that it can be done. During her pregnancy, my friend, Monica, spent months in the hospital away from her daughter. She has been real with me about the agony, this emotional isolation that enjoins the physical. But she has also been real with me about the strength of Christ to get her through.
I do not want this, but I am choosing this.
I am choosing to suffer so that I might have a future with my children and husband.
(I still don’t know all the details, but if you have questions or want clarification, just leave a question in my comments. Then I’ll try to address them all in another post.)