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Thyroid Cancer I-131 Treatment Questions
None ^ | January 18, 2013 | cva66snipe

Posted on 01/17/2013 11:29:59 PM PST by cva66snipe

My wife was diagnosed a few months ago with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. Cancer is never good news but I understand this cancer is the one to have in the way of recovery and cure. She had her Thyroid Gland completely removed in November and underwent I-131 treatment Wednesday morning. A low to moderate dose we were told.

She does have concerns about me which I feel are minimal risk issues but would like some help answering. First of all many if not most of the precautions she was supposed to take herself she can herself not do. She is a quadriplegic although she can use her arms and hands well aka incomplete quad. I had to drive us home and for her safety securing the wheelchair she was about 3 feet away beside me and to my back for about 25 minutes. As well I had to lift her and put her in bed when we got home. This obviously involved more exposure to her neck area. Another isue involves her being a Colostomy/Urostomy patient. IOW I handle the fluids, waste, change flanges and bags etc. She's very worried about the ill effects it could have on me short term and long term.

Plus even though our dogs are being cared for out of the home for seven days {next Wednesday afternoon} she is worried about poisoning the dogs when they come home. One is about Chihuahua size a Toy Ratty {Ten pounds} which is her companion and slept with us. Any experiences, professional experience, knowledge would be appreciated. Her prognoses is real good according to Endocrinologist, surgeon, and our doctor. Thanks.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: prayer

1 posted on 01/17/2013 11:30:05 PM PST by cva66snipe
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To: cva66snipe; Texas Termite; .30Carbine; 68 grunt; 8mmMauser; admiralsn; Aggie Mama; al_c; ...

cva, I don’t have ANY answers to your questions, but I’m taking it upon myself to ping Logan’s Prayer Warriors so we can all pray for your wife, for you, for her medical team...and for your doggy.


2 posted on 01/17/2013 11:57:54 PM PST by Bradís Gramma (Psalm 83)
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To: cva66snipe

I don’t deal with unsealed sources of radiation, so my first advice to you would be to follow the instructions given to you by the hospital. I-131 is primarily a beta emitter (radiation dose due to electron emission, short range) so the primary exposure mechanism of concern would be ingestion, i.e. physical proximity to your wife is not a significant issue. Keep bodily waste contained and dispose of as instructed. The effective half-life is about 5 days (biological and physical decay) so I would think that you would have been told to take precautions in handling wastes for a couple of weeks.


3 posted on 01/18/2013 12:05:36 AM PST by wfu_deacons
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To: Brad's Gramma

Thanks. She’s kinda had a rough go of it the past year. This was a second cancer scare and this one was positive. The other was a posible lung mass which was nothing but showed the thyroid gland issue. They had been monitoring a nodular in her thyroid for a couple of years.


4 posted on 01/18/2013 12:26:54 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

I’m glad your wife is getting the treatment she needs and has such an excellent caregiver! Best wishes for her recovery.

We had a cat that underwent thyroid radiation treatment. We were told to use gloves when we handled her litterbox, etc, and to wear gloves when petting her, and then dispose of the gloves. We weren’t allowed to have her on our laps or hold her for a few days (how many I forget now). I would think that the litterbox issues would be similar to handling her waste bags, etc.

My suggestion is: For tonight, wear gloves and try not to cuddle up. And then tomorrow bright and early, call her doctor or the hospital or both and point out that you have *special* issues because of her disability, and you need precise instructions how to handle it. The hospital probably has some sort of protocol worked out for this already, to keep their own workers from being exposed. You just need to find out what that is (and also find out if you need any special equipment).

As for the doggies, call your vet. Lots of pets undergo this thyroid treatment now, so your vet ought to have useful insight into how to protect your pets when they come home.

Best of luck!


5 posted on 01/18/2013 12:27:30 AM PST by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: wfu_deacons
OK thanks that explains the eating utensils. No problem there disposable plastic. But she does use a Nebulizer for Asthma treatment and another one for crushing a capsule she has to breath in for Asthma. I just rinse them real good that's about all I can do. They also said put her garbage, linens, and clothes away for a month then was. They will be stored then trashed.

The waste goes into a 2000 ML drainage bag then into the commode and in the septic system. The other I'll bag up and take outside if I can keep the wildlife away in the process.

6 posted on 01/18/2013 12:33:18 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert
Well the doctors know the circumstances involving her care & I went with her to every appointment. I've been gloving up for everything basically. I used to handle Bio-hazard medical waste at work as far as boxing it up to be sent off for burning etc but not any radiation waste or material though.

I'll see the Vet tomorrow picking up some meds so I'll see what he says. So far we've been told a week by nuclear medicine at the hospital.

7 posted on 01/18/2013 12:39:09 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

Prayers on the way for your wife, you, and your extended family. God bless.


8 posted on 01/18/2013 12:56:37 AM PST by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: cva66snipe

(dd65snipe)


9 posted on 01/18/2013 12:57:43 AM PST by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: cva66snipe

Or should that be dd945snipe?


10 posted on 01/18/2013 12:59:23 AM PST by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: Jim Robinson
Thanks for the prayers. She's a tough one and GOD's been good to us through it all over the years.

Last time I even thought about radiation exposures was on the ship in the yards with the welding X-rays going on. I forgot most of what I learned about it and NBC warfare. Forgetting made for better sleeping LOL.

11 posted on 01/18/2013 1:15:49 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Brad's Gramma

BTTT


12 posted on 01/18/2013 1:20:21 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: cva66snipe
Sorry for you and mainly your wife. Hope she is okay. My wife underwent treatment about 6 years ago.

Radical neck operation. Thyroid removed along with para thyroids, rebuilt carotid artery and jugular, 64 other nodes (mostly lymph nodes in head neck and upper body removed), they also took a large part of her voice box, and several other things. Inserted a plastic shunt so she had some speech ability.

Surgery was tough, but she is still alive and now the main problem is she is NON AVID. Which means her cancer will not uptake the radioactive Iodine to mark any Thyroid cancer in other places it may have spread to. So every year they can not get a reading if the cancer is now growing else where in her body.

she get some sort of chemo and every year needs to go back and given some sort of hormone treatment that rids her body of any traces of Thyroid hormone to get better radioactive readings of present progress (if any) of any potential flare up of the Thyroid cancer anywhere in her body.
Those show there are traces everywhere, but not enough for more aggressive chemo or nuclear treatment at this time. The surgery was at UPMC by Meyers, and her follow up is mostly at Hershey Med canter. She looked terrible after the surgery, but has generally been okay. Meyers was the surgeon who did Renquist for the same thing just a couple of months before. She lived, he died.

She is a model for all the medical students every year on follow up visits. The doctors office is usually packed with Residents, and Fellows who want to see how someone who Meyers had operated on is doing. Even at Penn State Hershey Med center for anyone who had such a radical treatment she is doing fine.

She is still alive and doing relatively well so there is much hope for a good outcome for your wife. Prayers and fingers crossed for your wife. Mine is several years (6 or 7) past what they thought when she was first diagnosed and operated on. She thanks God every day that she had Meyers as the surgeon.

Johns Hopkins first misdiagnosed her and that operation they wanted to do (carotid body tumor) would probably/certainly have killed her. We went to Meyers on a 2nd opinion type of visit just 3 days before Hopkins wanted to operate. Meyers saw her and operated in less than 36 hours. Meyers also was the one called in to do Rehnquist for the same thing only a month or two before my wife. Rehnquist died, she lived.

Her treatments are still somewhat reserved as O care is affecting the way she is treated. Hope it works out for your wife. Prayers up for her and you.
13 posted on 01/18/2013 2:01:52 AM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: JSteff
Prayers for your wife and yourself. Her path report got routed wrong initially so it was about a month before we even learned the initial biopsy report warranting surgery. The day after surgery she developed Pneumonia and that was a set back as well.

We've been blessed with good doctors and a good surgeon who did her previous colostomy and assisted in urostomy. That surgery also saved her life. Quads get many UTI's.

Twenty seven years ago the typical life expectancy for a C-5 C-6 level quad was 5-7 years after onset. She beat those odds and several very close calls along the way. We were not married when she went quad but were dating and serious. We married about half way through her six month hospital stay.

Nine years later I had some disabling issues hit. Nothing that will kill me but makes employment impossible. So we just take care of each other. She's my concentration when I'm having a bad day and I'm her brawn LOL.

We got to go back this Wednesday for a scan from head to thighs to look for hot spots. Doctor told us if they showed up not to freak the treatment would handle it in due time and some are false hot spots also.

14 posted on 01/18/2013 2:24:45 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: JSteff
Oh yeah, because they can not get a good reading every year on the Thyroid cancer spread or cure, her blood work is not completely clear of signs of it. All the doctors and hospitals still rate her as a stage 4 cancer victim/survivor. So it is all OK in our books that she is still alive.

Oh and the added benefit is that because her neck and face were so affected by the radical neck operation three years ago they did plastic surgery and she looks great! (Trophy wife! :-)

Now, no way except for a thin line on her neck does she look like she had such an invasive operations. She looks great for 60 and much younger than her friends of the same age. Most of her friends were/are nurses of the same age, and she looks much better than them... but I am biased.

Me? I never would have had the follow-up plastic surgery. I HATE needles and hospitals in general. But she is such a trooper and a sweet person so she did. So I guess there is a silver lining to all she went through.

If you search on FR for me (JSTEFF) or Thyroid cancer you may find the long descriptions from back in 2004 or 2005 of the operation and all we went through back then. Good luck. Freepmail me if you or your wife wants to communicate about that it has all been like for my wife or me.Good luck.
15 posted on 01/18/2013 2:26:47 AM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: JSteff
Sorry, one other point. My wife was cut from just behind her left ear lobe to her right and she looks great after the cosmetic surgery. Meyers said she looked like a fish he was cleaing while being operated on.

She had dozens of staples in a railroad track layout from ear to ear. The pictures are terrifying to look at now, but she looks great. So tell your wife it will almost certainly be just a small and slight remembrance years from now when she is still alive and doing well
16 posted on 01/18/2013 2:36:12 AM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: JSteff
<<<< "cleaing" = cleaning
17 posted on 01/18/2013 2:38:02 AM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: cva66snipe
CVA...

Similar situation here. I have M.S. and two years ago had to go on SSD. The benefit to me (and slightly bothers her is that because of the MS I get no illnesses... no common flues, no colds, few if any head aches.

My wife is regularly sickened by my yearly physicals because the report is so favorable to me. The supercharged M.S. immune system also means cuts and other damage to me heals VERY quickly. The says she is amazed all the time. Even when I had my gallbladder out 2 years before her operation, she was floored by how good natured I was through the very serious operation (with complications) and the quick recovery afterwards.

We live in the Hbg PA area and normally vacation at Cape May. Almost all of our relatives are in the Philly area. So where are you located?
18 posted on 01/18/2013 2:57:33 AM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: JSteff

Yea I’ve heard some forms they really have to go in deep and very wide. It just depends on which one of the several types it is from what I’ve read and how long it’s been active. Plastic surgeons and even general surgeons now can do wonders on cosmetics even in the initial operation. Her zipper has about disappeared on it’s own. She has staples.


19 posted on 01/18/2013 3:16:54 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: JSteff
I was born with some rather strange sensory processing quirks or disorders. I did OK even being one eye functional all my life till I hit about 36 years old and it went down fast. I went about three years diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder even though I was having myoclonic seizure activity in my upper extremities. It effects my balance, mood, concentration, tolerances to certain sounds and visual stimulation and seizures is the end result.

First major attack was on the interstate at 75 MPH. I didn't know where I was, why I was there, where I was going, or how long I'd been there. It was a brain fog. My wife bless her heart saw me and screamed what's wrong? LOL. Harmless I would learn later but highly unnerving until I learned to head it of as much as possible. Like I said it won't kill me but they can't fix it but simply treat it.

Much of it is Inner Ear and from Inner ear to brain related. I have my physical strength except when I have a bad day with seizure activity and that drains me if I can't head it off soon enough. Considering what they were looking for initially in MRI, EEG, and CAT SCANS, that were all negative I consider myself lucky.

20 posted on 01/18/2013 3:30:45 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: JSteff

BTW I’m in East TN. Been through your area many times many years ago truck driving.


21 posted on 01/18/2013 3:35:30 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

Sir about 8 years ago I went through the same procedure your wife has, I certainly didn’t have the special needs she does and was lucky my wife was also a nurse. It sounds like your doing everything right and I would continue for a few more days. Papilary Cancer is one of the easiest to isolate and remove, full recovery and cancer free is the norm. her recovery should be quick and the swelling will go away quickly and expect full range of motion in a few months. Due to her condition I would suggest one thing and you may already be doing it, help her out of bed by rolling her on her side first so she can lift her head with the muscles in the back of her neck. if she tries to raise up while on her back the muscles in the front of her neck will be used and it’s very painfull. Keep her comfortable and all should be fine, I was back at work in 5 days. prayers for both of y’all!


22 posted on 01/18/2013 3:38:40 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: Dusty Road
Are you talking about pain from the Iodine treatment? The only way I can pick her up is her wrapping her arms around my neck, place my right arm under the break of her knees, and I pick her up kinda like groom carrying Bride LOL. I put her from bed to wheelchair and vice versa that way.

She's got her range of motion back for the surgery. She had it in late November. A string of calamities including specialist availability to determine right radioactive treatment dosage had put off the iodine treatment till this week. Specialist said her numbers were OK for therapy. She started the replacement hormone pill yesterday evening.

I'm kinda trying to figure out what is a must and what isn't. For example doctors never mentioned low Iodine diet before this treatment. I called the doctors office to find out if she needed to restrict fluids the night before and office workers said just maintain the low iodine diet before treatment. I said what diet? Then I read where low iodine diet had proves not to be a factor in the absorption process.

23 posted on 01/18/2013 3:59:56 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

Husband has had an ileostomy for about 30 yrs. now; and handles it like a champ. He did have to get a clothlike, leak-proof liner for the bed for the occasional leakage. Had a major surgery on Sept. 11th (a bad idea on that date!); touch and go, but the Lord was good to us and he has done well. - I don’t know a thing about the questions you raised; but just do the best you can and take it a day at a time. (I’ve had to learn that “a lick and a promise” method of doing a lot of things is good enough.)


24 posted on 01/18/2013 4:40:24 AM PST by Twinkie (JOHN 3:16)
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To: Twinkie
Convatec used to make some decent stoma flangesand bags but changed design last year I think. We finally had to go with Coloplast as a replacement. They do pretty good but the others were more secure and easier to deal with emptying in tight quarters like a vehicle. The Coloplast Urostomy bags don't have a valve on the drain just a plug and takes a special adapter for the 2000 ML drainage bag also.

For my wife the ileostomy put the brakes on UTI's and expelling cathaters faster than I could put them in. The colostomy was a quality of life enhancing addition done at the same time since they were already cutting in there. She has no regrets about that nor do I. It makes things more predictable and allows a lot more freedom. UTI's in her case can turn into Pneumonia real fast and one time even reversible CHF.

25 posted on 01/18/2013 5:27:51 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

The pain I was refering to was from the surgery, lifting my head while laying on my back was the most painfull. If I rolled over to my side and then raised up it took the strain of the muscles in the front of the neck.


26 posted on 01/18/2013 5:55:15 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: cva66snipe

I use a nebulizer. Goes into the dishwasher. Rinseing will not kill all of the germs let alone any radiation residue.


27 posted on 01/18/2013 7:48:17 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: cva66snipe

I use a nebulizer. Goes into the dishwasher. Rinseing will not kill all of the germs let alone any radiation residue.


28 posted on 01/18/2013 7:48:46 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: cva66snipe

I cannot answer your technical questions but join with all the others here praying for your wife, you and all the loved ones, including your companion animals.


29 posted on 01/18/2013 9:34:21 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Coldwater Creek
I use a nebulizer. Goes into the dishwasher. Rinseing will not kill all of the germs let alone any radiation residue

We have two spare kits so I reckon I'll toss the mouth piece & hose when this is over.

30 posted on 01/18/2013 3:51:26 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Alamo-Girl

Thanks. Animals keeping me hopping for now LOL. My Mom has them and is about half a mile away. We got hit with snow and black ice yesterday. So I’m running down to her house for their outside duties till this stuff melts.


31 posted on 01/18/2013 3:54:42 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

May God bless you in all this care giving, dear cva66snipe!


32 posted on 01/18/2013 8:14:04 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: cva66snipe

Prayers lifted....


33 posted on 01/18/2013 10:40:53 PM PST by Fawnn (Fawnn.com and AccessibilityJournal.com person - Faith makes things possible, not easy.)
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To: Fawnn

Thanks.


34 posted on 01/18/2013 11:57:59 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

Prayers said. God bless!

I had two thyroid biopsies, which turned out to be fine, and was happy to hear that if one does have thyroid cancer the success rate is 95%.


35 posted on 01/20/2013 7:23:07 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Sun
Thanks. Were day 4 on the treatment so most of the radiation threat has past. She's just a little sore which can to happen with the treatment. By Wednesday afternoon hopefully we'll get the scan behind her and afterward pick up the dogs on the way home. Mentally I think that part of it is the hardest on her now.

There's was just a lot of adaption and work around trying to limit exposure time. But as I read in one Nuclear Medicine website if the patient is a real risk radiation wise they can't leave the hospital to start with.

36 posted on 01/20/2013 8:07:11 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

“..I read in one Nuclear Medicine website if the patient is a real risk radiation wise they can’t leave the hospital to start with.”

That certainly makes sense.

Best of luck to both of you. God bless!


37 posted on 01/20/2013 8:32:16 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: JSteff
We went for the scan yesterday morning which was the one week point after taking the treatment. I was in the room with her and saw the monitor screen. They finished up and told us she was still too hot {radioactive} to get an accurate scan. Meaning the radiation wasn't breaking down as fast likely due to her own metabolism.

So they said to continue precautions and try the scan again Sunday morning. The scan was just showing large clusters where the stuff had accumulated which doesn't mean cancer as such as I understand it. I have a feeling her urinary and bowel bypasses likely factor into the rate of which it can leave her body as well. My Mom gets to dog sit four more days.

38 posted on 01/24/2013 3:25:27 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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