Behind the lead wall

For those of you who might be wondering about my time behind the lead wall, my room looked much like any other hospital room.IMG_3270

My Victoria’s Quilt added colour to the otherwise bland decor and a great library book, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, kept me occupied.

It wasn’t just like any other hospital room though. There’s the yellow line on the floor that I wasn’t allowed to cross, the shield that the nursing staff stood behind when they entered the room and the teeny tiny window out into the hallway.


Fortunately, the wall on the other side of the room was a bank of windows looking out over the busy street or I might have gone completely nuts. It was through those windows that I spotted my crazy and wonderful girlfriends after dark on Friday evening as they waved and danced a cancan in the parking lot for my benefit! They were in the city for our annual Christmas shopping trip which I, unfortunately, had to miss out on this year. When they took time out of their evening to come see me, here’s what they saw.

Picture 1

They also brought chocolate! That tells you both how well they know me and what good friends they really are! The care at the Cross was absolutely fabulous but the food was bad. Really bad! Chocolate helped a lot. In addition to what the girls brought, my husband and son dropped off a Dairy Queen chocolate sundae. I was indeed spoiled!

Water was the essential element in getting me out from behind the lead wall though. Immediately after my IV injection  of mIBG on Friday, my radiation level was 53 µSv/h at two metres distance. I really don’t know what that means but it had to be below 18 before I could be released. While approximately 20% of the radioactive iodine that I was injected with would hopefully adhere to my tumours and begin fighting them, the remainder needed to be flushed from my system. That’s where the water came in. While I was warned not to drink enough to make myself sick, the more I drank and the more I urinated, the sooner I’d go home. I went through several jugs of water and exactly 24 hours after my infusion began, I was down to 14 µSv/h!

I felt no immediate effects of the treatment but the doctor knew what he was talking about when he said that I’d be tired for a few days. Today I feel like I’m suffering from jet lag! Oh well, since I have to keep my distance from people anyway, my calendar is clear and I can nap as much as I need to.



14 thoughts on “Behind the lead wall

  1. So glad your friends were able to brighten your time in treatment. And yes, chocolate would certainly help!
    Continuing to pray for complete recovery and little discomfort from treatment.
    Thought about you this am in church. We had a missionary from Japan doing the service. She is with Pioneers.

  2. I hope you see as many smiling faces through your window as we see yours.May God be your comfort when you feel alone.
    Ernest Barker

  3. Hi, Elaine! Thank you so much for dropping by my small blog, I am truly honored! I read a bit about you and your battle with cancer, I pray for you and wishing you well. Drink that water, it’ll do you good. Just to let you know, over here in my household we are celebrating water too as my husband was diagnose with stone a few days back and was advice to drink plenty in order to allow the stone to pass naturally. Well 5 days and gallons of water still no signs of stone.. I guess more water? Take care and keep up that good spirit.. they say that’s the toughest to achieve and I can feel that you have plenty!

    A hug from Dubai!

    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)

  4. Pingback: How am I doing? | Following Augustine

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