Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weird Science

weird science andromeda strain

My little sister told me about her friend Bill that was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I found the story of his treatment to be fascinating/horrifying, so I am sharing it with you....

First they perform surgery to take out the tumor in his thyroid, so Bill ends up with a crazy thin-lined scar right across his throat beneath his adam's apple (he jokes that they tried to decapitate him -- lol). Then they schedule his radiation treatment. They take him into a room, and they take all of his clothes, his phone, everything. The room is a basic hospital room, but there is only one bed in it. There is a television and a bathroom; it seems normal, except the room is sealed tight.

After Bill is shown to his room and LOCKED IN IT, he sits down on the bed and he waits. A little while later two attendants come to his room, and they are wearing full-on hazmat suits. They wheel around this cart with a James Bond-type metal suitcase on it. They tell Bill that he has to open up the case AFTER they leave, and that there is one pill in the case, and that he has to take the pill and buzz them to come get the case after he has taken the pill.

Then the attendants leave the room.  Bill opens up the case, and it is a case within a case within a case within a case -- like a bunch of Russian nesting dolls! He makes his way through the cases and finally gets to a small case, which is made of LEAD. The lead case is so heavy he can barely move the thing.  He opens it up and there is one tiny pill inside. He takes the pill and closes everything back up and buzzes the attendants to come get the case. Then there is a whole scene where he has to PROVE to the attendants that he has taken the damn pill (they didn't want that pill leaving the room!!). When the attendants are convinced that he took the pill, they take the case and leave.

Bill is told that has to stay in this room for about a week.  All he has is a television and a hospital telephone -- no cell phone. He is given books and magazines to read, but like every object he comes in to contact with, they cannot leave the room and they have to be thrown away in a hazmat bin.

Meanwhile, after about being in this room for about 2 hours on DAY ONE, Bill feels like he is going INSANE! BOREDOM! At some point he convinces the attendants that they HAVE to give him his cell phone, and he promises them that he will THROW IT AWAY when he leaves.

Each day during his stay, someone comes to Bill's room in a hazmat suit and provides him with breakfast, lunch and dinner. His food is brought to him on a paper tray with plastic utensils and paper plates / containers (again -- everything he is given is disposable and has to go into the hazmat bin). The people bringing him his food stay for approximately 3 seconds before bolting from the room. Bill only has contact with those that bring him food -- his wife and kids are not allowed to visit him during his stay.


But I am happy to report that all of his scary treatment apparently did the trick, and Bill is AOK now!

Have YOU ever had any (or heard of any) especially freaky medical treatment?????  Do tell!


Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

are you joking about this? because that's some crazy shit!!

MarlaD said...

Omg crazy shit is right! Kill or cure, as my mom would say.

Stephanie said...

I have known 2 people who had thyroid cancer. It was treated by one massive dose of radiation. They got to go home within 48 hours but had to be alone for one week (neither had kids, just mates)The bedding had to go to the hospital as contaminated, particularly the pillow. After using the toilet it had to be flushed at least three times. One of these people had access to a Geiger Counter (scientist hubby). The radiation levels were extremely low in the house except for the toilet and pillow. She remained cancer free for more than 5 years The cancer did come back and she had another treatment. My dude friend fared much better, his cancer did not return (yet). Neither lost their hair, got nausea or the major fatigue I've seen in radiation treatments. I guess it is because the treatment is so focused. Oh, both had their thyroids removed right off the bat.

Felicia said...

I interviewed a lady about her thyroid cancer when I was in college for a paper. I do recall these details from her story but I don't recall being shocked/surprised by it, probably because I'm a freak. Reading it now though, it does seem crazy.

WendyB said...

A few people I've known have just had their thyroid surgically removed -- of course then you have to be on the meds forever.

KaH said...

I have never heard of such a thing. At first I thought it was a joke. Congrats, you get rid of the cancer but now you are insane person.

You are such a good story teller!

Trissta said...

Wowza. That is a freaky story! I would not know what to do in this situation! Lawd.

Much Love,

Lorena said...

This has got the be the oddest treatment I have ever heard of !
You told this story so well, I would probably watch the film , if it was ever made-

Tiffany Kadani said...

Holy night I had no clue this went on.

Jen said...

When was this? Like 1967?!!! I have a bad Thyroid and get an ultrasound yearly to look for cancer. I swear I'd freak the fuck out in a locked room. I would lose my shit and they'd have to give me anti-panic meds.