Interesting Times: Update 22
Here’s how I summed it up last night: Two and a half years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had surgery and a type of radioactive treatment. That got me almost clear, but ever since, my blood work suggested there were a few cancer cells still hiding. So this spring I had that radioactive treatment again, and last week I had tests to see how it worked. There still isn’t anything visible, which is great, but I’m still not sure if the treatment made any difference.
Here’s what I know today: My blood levels are still a mess and I’ll need more blood work next month. But whatever can be known, at this point, is positive.
So why am I crying?
You see, last week, I get shot up with extra-strength, triple-espresso, habanero-pepper, DEFCON-red, hormones. They help the scans look for metastatic disease. Important job. But it’s not super fun to have your hormones hit as hard as science can hit them. And it’s hard to process all this stuff when you’re all jacked up from it. Every up and down – cancer-related, or, you know, the rest of life – is made that little bit harder. To be clear: I’m not complaining. I am blessed to be as healthy as I am, I’m blessed to have kickass care, and friends, and a kickass life in general. I absolutely am.
But it turns out that it’s possible to be both grateful and drained. And that’s where I am right now. Yesterday, the news was confusing and looked like it could be bad. And when you’re worn out, it’s easy to go dark. It’s easy to think about how bad things might get. Especially when you know first-hand what the worst looks like. It is easy to hate this. It is easy to panic.
I am, 99.9% of the time, not that person. But the last 24 hours were rough.
Today I understand more. My crazy brain chemicals continue to level out. The panic recedes. I get back to the 99.9%. Maybe I have more news next month.
But it seemed important to admit that the 0.1% happens. That optimism is hard work. But it does. And it is. So here I am. Admitting.
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
Update 17 – Good results don’t get you off the hook
Update 18 – Here we go again
Update 19 – RAI 2.0
Update 20 – Good enough
Update 21 – Not about cancer