We are back a couple of days from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa where they, of course, do not give you cancer but instead inject liquid radiation into your veins if you join their clinical trial. Let me give you a brief tour of what this experience was like:
This is a shot from Norway. My vial of Alpharadin is raised up (middle right side) and ready for delivery. Shortly after this picture was taken, they sealed it and threw it into the sea for the current to carry it slowly to Florida (see previous post). “Why didn’t you just bring it back yourself?” you might be asking.
Perhaps it was the fact that this warning label was wrapped around the vial that gave me pause. Yes, friends, Alpharadin is radioactive. This really shouldn’t be an issue, however, as long as you handle it with care and FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T INJECT IT INTO YOUR BODY!
The photo above is, of course, my doctor injecting Alpharadin into my body. I never said I was smart. It’s just that I want to keep on living for a while longer. Notice the protective blue gloves my physician is wearing. These are described on the box as “high risk latex exam gloves designed to provide superior chemical resistance”.
Notice, too, the lead-lined syringe he is using as he injects the radiation into me. He seems to be taking every precaution. I am the one on the left with my bare skin completely exposed and the long needle stuck in me sending radiation coursing through my veins.
Once my two-minute injection was finished and everyone was heading for the detox showers, a man who called himself “the physicist” stepped forward with a geiger counter, waved it over me, listened to the clicking, and mumbled something about my being “nominal.”
Here he is again with his partner in the parking lot at Moffitt checking for any remaining traces of me after I had left. This was after the fire department washed down the pavement.
With all of this radiation in me (killing my cancer, I hope!), you might be wondering about Betsy and Martha. They have been amazingly calm, brave, and unafraid. Above is a recent picture of them both. They only have to wear the suits for a week after each of my treatments, so no big deal.
Oh, I almost forgot. We left with a sheet of interesting things not to do and to do while any of the leftover radiation works its way out of my body. For reasons of decorum, I will only mention a couple:
- Do not, under any circumstances, barf, throw up, upchuck or empty the contents of your stomach on any other human being or animal.
- Do not “splatter” when using the toilet and, as an added bonus for a guy, always use said toilet sitting down. Since I am also on hormonal therapy that is turning me into “a menopausal woman,” I have been wondering when the sitting down to use the toilet thing would kick in. Now I know.
“Are you feeling better?” is the question everyone is asking me. “Not really,” is my response. “My bones still feel like they want to explode.” But it has only been 3 days and the doctor said it would take a week or two before I would notice any difference. So waiting is once again what I am being invited into. I hate it.
Someone else asked innocently, “Why would you allow someone to put radiation into you?” “Heck,” I replied, “I would allow them to put Brussels Sprouts in me if I thought it would help fight my cancer!” And I really don’t like Brussels Sprouts.
Do I like any of this? Not a bit. But it is the path God has given me to walk. Do I have days when I don’t want to keep walking? Most certainly. Let me count. Last week I think I had seven. But I believe I am walking towards life, not death, and that my real life has not yet even begun.
Much love to you all,
P.S. If you are a client of MacPro Services and don’t know who to call on my staff because you “don’t want to bother Ed” please continue to call 850.228.5276. I would love to talk with you and I am still answering the phones! You will keep me off the streets and I have a great team of people standing by to help you with your Mac, iPhone, iPad or PC.