Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We made it home! It sure is nice to relax at home, even though we need to go back tomorrow and Friday.

Tomorrow, Mallory gets her MIBG injection. The injection solution is a combination of radioactive isotope Iodine131, and metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG). That unpronounceable chemical will find and cling to specific forms of cancer (neuroblastoma included). Since the radioactive stuff is bonded with the special chemical, we now have radioactive tracer exactly where we have cancer. The radioactive component then is visible on a scan using a sophisticated scanner (this happens on Friday). This will give the docs a clear picture of how much cancer is in Mallory, and exactly where it is located.

The MIBG injection is custom made. They manufacture the stuff hours before it is needed, and they fly it into Grand Rapids. From there, it is flown the the hospital via helicopter, where it will then be injected into a waiting Mallory.

Before any of all that happens, we have to give Mallory heavy doses of Iodine (super-saturated Potassium Iodide, or SSKI).  Since the human thyroid is a natural sponge for Iodine, we need to give her standard (read: not radioactive) iodine, so that her thyroid will "fill up" on the good stuff. Then, tomorrow, when she is injected with radioactive Iodine131, her thyroid wont absorb the radioactive stuff, since it is already full of iodine. Same procedure for nuclear fallout; they handed out Iodine tablets around Fukushima Japan when their nuclear reactor was spewing Iodine131 into the air. The only difference this here is that instead of a exposure from a gigantic accident, we are intentionally injecting the stuff into Mallory.

Pretty sure that last paragraph is one that I never, ever wanted to have to write about anyone. Certainly not my daughter. Just sayin'.



  1. Its got to be hard to post all this stuff...but know that we all appreciate u taking the time to keep us in the loop. I miss u guys but know i am taking really good care of Jillian!!!

  2. You have to feel blessed but at the same time sad for all of the children before Mallory that were not able to have this kind of knowledge and treatment. Especially the chemical that finds the cancer and clings to it (my Mom had the same type of treatment earlier this year). To know that there are people out there working and trying to find cures with all this stuff, has to make ones head spin knowing science has come this far. You are so blessed to have this kind of treatment and be able to see what is in there. (if one can be blessed when using the word cancer in the same sentence). It sounds like you have the best possible care, which is wonderful. Im so glad you are now home and hopefully will be able to get some rest. sending all of you a warm hug