Interesting Times: Update 17 – Good Results Don’t Get You Off the Hook
Over the last month, I had a couple of weeks of restrictions, four days of trips to the hospital in Philadelphia for shots and draws and pills and scans, and a week of waiting for results.
I admit, it messed with me – a little physically, but mostly my head. For about an hour I thought I had lung mets. Not so fun. But I’m feeling better, the results are in and they’re good. No, I’m still not clear: I will likely never be. But I’m grateful that things are quiet. This is what I work so hard for.
I’m also grateful that my healthcare professionals are top-notch. My wonderful endocrinologist, her expert colleague, the radiologist who wanted one more test just to be sure, all of the nurses, the phlebotomists who don’t mind when I get flinchey – all of them. And I’m grateful for the people in my life hold me tight and are happy and worried and there for me, geographically or metaphorically. I’m more grateful for that than I can ever express.
That’s not the end of this update though.
Mona, aforementioned awesome endocrinologist, had a top thyroid cancer expert review my case, and they agree that, since that my numbers never zeroed out and are slightly increasing, and given that when I had radioactive iodine in July 2013 it seemed to have worked very well on almost all of it, it makes sense to use it again to see if it can clear things out.
So, yes, results were good, thank goodness. But next, we proceed toward another course of RAI.
It’s not urgent. But as as Mona said, she “knows that I always want to take care of things thoroughly and as soon as possible.” She is not wrong. Also, she’s going on maternity leave July through October. So we are underway for this, right now, as of a few hours ago.
I immediately start going off Synthroid to go hypothyroid. I have another scan. Then, in late May, more blood tests. In June, if it is in fact warranted, and I’m ready for it, another round of RAI.
I am all in on this. 100% in favor. I know how lucky I am to have such conscientious doctors at such a world-class facility – and to need this, not another surgery, or chemo, or many, many of the very awful treatments that can be used on cancer. I am SO fortunate and blessed, SO grateful and appreciative.
At the same time, discovering that cancer will – again – be front and center for the next two months is hard. I have to admit that I’m dreading six weeks of basically shutting my body down – getting slow and cold and tired. I work really damn hard to be healthy and I hate this. Plus a couple of weeks of a restricted diet, a week of isolation, and a few days of nausea.
Let’s be perfectly clear: It could be so, so, so much worse, and I want to get on my knees and cry when I think about being spared what so many people have to go through. But let’s also admit: It’s hard to face having to do even just this. Partly, yeah, it’s physically not a lot of fun. But also, it’s reminders. It’s a bunch of stuff making me focus on things I don’t want to focus on. Not the whole time. Not for the next two months straight. I won’t allow that. But right now? Tonight? Yeah.
Background on these interesting times:
First post – Diagnosis
Update 1 – The plan / fear
Update 2 – Giving blood
Update 3 – Post-surgery
Update 4 – The other half of the time
Update 5 – Infection
Update 6 – Grossly unremarkable
Update 7 – All about RAI
Update 8 – Withdrawing
Update 9 – Isolation
Update 10 – A neck, in 5 pictures
Update 11 – Don’t look up
Update 12 – Business as usual
Update 14 – Yes, I skipped 13
Update 15 – Copy paste
Update 16 – What Allison said