Friday, January 04, 2008

On Caucuses and Radioactive Iodine

Brand new year, same old trouble.
Stroke of midnight didn't change a thing.
--The Bottle Rockets, "Brand New Year"

This, our first post of 2008, is one in which we find ourselves contemplative on personal and national issues.

Last night, Iowa held its caucus, which primarily consists of people milling around until the music stops, after which they have to freeze next to a picture of a candidate. Party officials then draw chalk circles around the groups, using the candidate's pictures as a center. Each group is counted and each candidate is assigned a number of "delegates" (whoever they are), based on the crowds of people around their signs. Apparently, not many people were caught standing around Kucinich's or Biden's totems. Too bad for them. But Obama...they grouped around him in droves!

The paper today basically alerted all of America that everybody else running for the Dems nomination should just give up. And I haven't even gotten to the Republicans, who apparently gave nearly 15% of their support to a guy who basically said he didn't even want to be president, anyway! You just have to love this country. Because if I didn't, I would go even crazy than I already am.

On the personal (and much more pressing) side, Monkey is a bit better from her operation, but her voice is very reedy and a bit high pitched. Her doctors have told her that she may recover her regular voice in a month, or this might be her regular voice. She is not too happy to hear that.

More importantly, however, we discovered that her thyroid was cancerous, and that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. The surgery seems to have removed the cancer, but, in order to ensure a full recovery, and to drastically lower the possibility of a recurrence, Monkey will need to take radioactive iodine.

Literally, this means that after she takes a pill (about 8 weeks from now), she will be unable to be near another human being (except me) for about a week. We won't be able to sleep in the same bed (or room) and we will have to use separate bathrooms. She will, literally, be radioactive. This will wear off, and she should be free and clear of any bad cells.

The process will probably take two-three months, including the recovery time and the other medication adjustments. Monkey is very unhappy about the possibility of missing several conferences, having to figure out what, if anything, to do about teaching her classes, and missing True/False (which we are both hoping does not happen (it's all a matter of scheduling)).

Much of this is new news for us, and we will most likely have a clearer picture of the future in the future; however, feel free to ring Monkey up (or email her). I'm sure she'd be glad to hear from you.


Jami Wade said...

It is late and I all I want to do is wake Joe and tell him about the latest update...knowing, however, that this will wait until the morning. In the meantime, I will think about you, Mary Meghan and Tony Reda and wonder what I can do!!! Please call me if there is something I can do....I have sick days!

Love you both and telling you that I miss you would be such an understatement so I will wait on that!!! - Jami

AMVB said...

Please contemplate more and whenever you'd like. We are certainly sending Monkey all our love, and we're lighting candles for her each day at

We've started a group for her - MMD - so that all of her candles can be grouped together in one room.

I can only imagine how hard this must be for you, Reda. I'm sending you love too! I know that talking isn't so much your thing all the time, but if you ever want to talk you just call. I've been told that I'm an OK listener. :)

We love you and Monkey! We're pulling for you, Monkey!


Magz said...

Tony and Meghan,
Just wanted to say, having lived through Stage III cancer myself, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am living proof that this stuff can be beat and I have no doubt you will smack the heck out of it! (My parentage status prevents me from using the culturally expected stronger version of 'heck'. Of course, now I'm wondering what the word history of heck is, but I digress...)

I took the liberty of lighting a candle for you.

Be strong and know that 'After the testing, comes the blessing' Just something to look forward to :)