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'.