Thursday, April 01, 2010

There is no "I" in "Team", but there ARE a couple in "Isolation"

The next step for me with this whole thyroid cancer thing is to have radioactive iodine therapy, which begins on Monday.

Basically, as I understand it, I go to the radiological clinic, people come at me wearing those suits you see people wearing in documentaries about Chernobyl, they open up some crazy container with The Radioactive Pill within it, I swallow it, and then I'm on my merry way. Except I need avoid pets, babies/children, pregnant ladies and most other humans for 3 - 5 days because I will be RADIOACTIVE. Freaky, no? And although limited, arm's length (or more) interaction most humans is sort of okay, it's not encouraged. So, because I work in Cubeland, U.S.A., my doctor was like, "Yeah, if you can work remotely, that's the best thing for everyone."

Luckily with my job (and my boss and my team), I CAN work remotely on a limited basis. However, because I have both a small child and pets and a husband, I had to figure out where I could isolate myself and work with the minimal amount of life-disruption for all involved.

At first I thought of relocating to Dah's house for the week, but she doesn't have Wifi, and she DOES have a cat. So, no.

And then I thought of holing up at the South Austin Motel. But then I'd have to interact with the hotel staff and go out and interact with other folks for each meal, and risk infecting them with my RADIATION. Plus, that shit's exPENsive. So again: no.

Then, on a whim, I decided to look on for some sort of efficiency/studio apartment in town that I could rent for the week. But I had no luck--either the places that would work were rented out during part of the time that I needed, or they were available, but WAY too expensive (i.e., as much or more than a hotel).

I've got doctor's appointments on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, so I needed my isolation pod to be somewhere close to town. But it also needed to have wifi (for work), be reasonably priced (because the medical bills are rolling in fast and furious), and to be pleasant (for sanity's sake). So I started looking for someplace out at Lakeway, Lake Travis or Lago Vista. I finally found the PERFECT place and emailed the owner and said (basically)--Hey dude, I see you've got a vacancy, and for medical reasons I need to be isolated in a place where I can cook and do everything else for myself, but I can't afford a hotel. Would you be willing to cut me a deal that could benefit us both--you get a M-F tenant, and I get a break on the price? And guess what: he's a decent human freakin' being who not only waived the cleaning fee, but came down to $85/night for me.

So, starting Monday of next week, I'll be staying in a secluded, exclusive, fully stocked lake front condo complex with 2 pools (that I can't swim in, but still...) and a view of the lake. In fact, THIS is the view of the lake I'll have from my private balcony:
Pretty freakin' sweet, no?

For some reason, I feel like should be saying that I'm dreading the week ahead. That being alone, without direct interaction with other human beings is just going to drive me batty. But the only child in me is more like,  "OHMYGAWD this is going to be AWESOME. Like a mini vacation, but with RADIOACTIVITY. And eating off of paper plates with plastic utensils and flushing the toilet 3 times after you pee and throwing away your toothbrush and using a pillow that you throw away after your isolation period. And I'll be working remotely. But still!!"

That's what next week holds for me (including some blood tests and a full body iodine uptake scan). And then the week after that, my first work-related travel in nearly 2 years. I'M A BUSY RADIOACTIVE LADY, DAMNIT!!


Hecticmom Undone said...

This is the perfect post for - "When life hands you lemons you make lemonade."

I totally dig you and your awesome attitude.

My husband worked with a guy who went through exactly what you are going through. He was a little odd to begin with (ok, honestly, he was really really really weird) and unfortunately he did work and - every single woman he encountered he asked, "Are you pregnant? Because if you are, I can't be near you."

Yeah, as a woman - that's really what you want to hear, "Are you pregnant?"

Hahhahahaha.... weird dude...

Karla said...

My aunt had to do that as well. She did what you will...took it is a little break from the onslaught of humanity. She's great now, no problems at all.

Mags said...

I'm sorry you have to be RADIOACTIVE, but a week away? From everything? At a sah-weet lake pad with a balcony? I mean, though it's not under the best of circumstances, how cool is that going to be?

I wish you luck and rest. Can you drink wine, at least?

hotpinksox said...

It would be weird if I said I was jealous, right? I hope your treatment goes well and you enjoy your time alone. :)