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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

December 8, 2008

"Let your light shine!"

Filed under Family

That’s the thought that crossed my mind today when I heard about daughter Rachel’s upcoming radioactive iodine treatment.

Rachel’s recovery from thyroid cancer surgery has been progressing well, and today she learned that her radioactive iodine treatment will be one week from today. She is given radioactive iodine to eliminate any cancer cells that may have spread from the area where surgery was performed. Afterward she will be isolated from family – especially her children – for six days. Normally the isolation period is shorter, but she is getting a good dose of radioactive iodine, so the doctor thought that a couple extra days of isolation would be appropriate. My thoughts wandered to some of the off-color humor on European television following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 (we were living in Hannover, Germany, in an area of Europe that received extra radiation from Chernobyl due to the prevailing wind conditions at the time). Comedy routines showed people walking by light bulbs turned off that would glow when they were near, supposedly from the radiation they emitted after having been exposed to Chernobyl. Two weeks after the treatment Rachel will have a scan, and if no cancer cells are detected, then she will be classified as stage 1 with a likelihood of full recovery rated over 90%.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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