No Man Is an Island

imagesCA0RDBQTDealing with the preparation of the before, during and after phases from any surgery is challenging. The recovery from a complete thyroidectomy would have taken so much longer for me were it not for my sisters and brothers, parents, and my Auntie Tina.

Everyone was hugely helpful, dropping off meals, sending cards and flowers, making sure I had enough “soft” foods to eat. Getting my house ready to have three young children come to live with us after just two weeks post-op was one of the biggest chores, but family was there once again. Beds delivered and set up, kitchen cupboards reorganized for easier access, small dining room table replaced by larger farmhouse table that would seat the five of us. And the cleaning…everything was cleaned from top to bottom.

My voice was still recovering in the first couple of months after the surgery so when the grandchildren arrived, I needed help. Sisters took grandkids out on the weekends so I could have some quiet time. My folks came over on Wednesday evenings brining dinner; again giving me and Steve some extra support in managing needs and attention of three kids.

Today’s shout-out though, goes to my Auntie Tina! She’s amazing, willing to do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) if you ask. A couple of days after surgery I really needed to wash my hair. I could take a shower as long as I kept my sutures covered, but washing my hair was a different story. Auntie came over and carefully helped me to bend over the kitchen sink as she gently washed my hair for me. She dried it too, it was actually quite a treat.

Four months after the surgery I needed to undergo RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment that, if you don’t know, is designed to take care of any residual [possibly cancerous] thyroid cells in my system. It entailed, among other things, eating a very low iodine diet and taking a radioactive iodine pill; which, by the way is delivered to you by the nuclear medicine tech wearing major gloves and carrying the pill in a leaded container. A result of the treatment is the necessity to basically be quarantined for a two-week period. It meant that I could not be around the kids who now lived in my house.

So, where did I go? To Auntie Tina’s house. During the day while the kids were at school I could go home and do the housework, make sure there was a dinner made, do laundry, etc. But as soon as I heard the school bus coming down the street I had to leave and head over to Auntie’s house. Her house is peaceful, clean and comfortable. Auntie gave up her bed for me and was so accommodating. It was fun to sit and watch shows together that we both liked and to have quiet chats. It almost felt like a vacation to me.

I don’t know if the words “thank you” are ever quite enough. I love you Auntie!

thyca logoIt is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month!

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