Caution: Radioactive Pinhole

Radioactive pinhole camera (caution)So, I got my radioactive iodine, got some rest, and celebrated by making a camera. Actually I made the camera before I went into the hospital, but now it is actually radioactive (since I touched it).

The hospital trip and treatment was definitely interesting. The radioactive iodine arrived in a lead canister. Josh, the nuclear medicine technician who has been involved with with almost all of my testing and data collection, prepared the iodine. I drank it down and was surprised at what a neutral taste it had. It tasted a bit like burnt ozone (how would I know that?), but not that unpleasant. That was it. Josh left and I waited to throw up. That was the biggest concern everyone expressed – that I would throw up and it would have all been for nothing. And this stuff is expensive. But, I didn’t throw up. I didn’t even feel queasy.

Then, for the next 24 hours I waited in the room. The room was lead-lined, and then it was paper-lined. The lead was to keep me from radiating others and the paper was to make is easier to clean up when I left. I had books and a sketch book. Mostly I drank water and showered. I shower about 6 times in the next 24 hours and drank water constantly. They want to get this stuff out of you as fast as possible once you drink it. And that was fine with me. The next day, the nuclear safety guys came and checked me with a geiger counter and they were amazed. I was reading about half of what they had estimated. I was expected to stay in the room for 48 hours, but here I was ready to go home after 24.Its been several days now, and now it has made me a little queasy, like I stuck my head in a microwave.

radioactive pinhole photo of a radioactive guy

But all-in-all, not so bad I guess. On Friday I get a scan to see if this stuff made its way into my tumor. If it did, then it may or may not also be destroying the tumor. So it goes…

3 thoughts on “Caution: Radioactive Pinhole”

  1. WOW! I am currently in isolation- but in my own house– the Nuclear med tech even shook my hand (no glove) as i left the hospital to drive myself home. I wish i had a geiger counter. I got a pill– it was blue– but also came in a cute little 1 inch lead canister.
    So how did your scan end up? Mine is next friday.

  2. Hey. I found this through a google image search for radioactive symbols. I’m a nuclear medicine technologist and I’m interested to know what kind of cancer you have. How are you doing? Did the RAI therapy help?

  3. Hurthle cell. I’m doing pretty well, but don’t yet know if the RAI has helped. Should find out in April with an MRI. Thanks for asking. I’ve enjoying getting to know the nuclear medicine technologist here.

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