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Glowing in the dark



This morning I'm not working because I'm going for a bone scan. Early in the morning I'll find my way to the basement of the nuclear medicine building where I'll be injected intravenously with a slightly radioactive soup that has a preference for accumulating in bone. Then about noon, I'll go back to be scanned back and front from head to toe with a gamma camera. Areas where the tumor is growing will light up brightly.

Here's the fun part:

Since this is by now a regular ritual, tomorrow my colleagues will all be wearing dosimeters in a kind of HazMat joke. Because the isotope is excreted in urine, I'll have to be more careful than usual not to splash at the urinal. After I pee for the first time, one of the epidemiologists will stand guard at the men's room door while my whole team, men and women, will examine the urine in the urinal with a Geiger counter. We have a one-dollar pool won by the best guess as to the reading. I've never won the pool. After forty-eight hours, I will cease to glow in the dark.

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