Interesting Times: Update 14 – Yes, I’m Skipping 13
For starters: I feel wonderful. My thyroid-replacement medication is balanced, and I don’t have any of the possible side effects – I sleep, my heart doesn’t race, my hair isn’t falling out, I have energy, I can think clearly, my weight is stable, my immune system is sturdy, I’m not breaking bones, I’m digesting properly, etc. Thank goodness. It’s a payoff of the work I put into my nutrition, rest, mental health and exercise. I should do more and I’m trying to – but what I am doing is working and that’s encouraging.
The fly in the ointment is my thyroglobulin. You may remember that mine should’ve flatlined, because last year’s radioactive iodine treatment was meant to kill all thyroid and thyroid cancer cells. Well. It was 1.9 in September. That’s very low… but it’s not zero. My endocrinologist says it’s likely “microscopic thyroid cancer cells,” and they may just stay there, undead but dormant.
“Undead but dormant.” If those adjectives sound like they’re from a scary movie… yeah. That’s kind of how it feels, when I let myself feel anything about it. On the one hand, I’m fantastic; but, on the other hand, I’m not in the clear. It’s confusing and frightening and, sometimes, really, really upsetting. Other times, it’s motivating. And lots of other times, I pay it absolutely no mind and just live life.
But, yeah. There are moments where it’s not good. I’ve had to run off and have a few cries after people make jolly offhand comments about beating cancer. They haven’t done anything wrong – how on earth could they know? – but it accidentally slaps me in the face with a reality I neatly tuck away. Thank goodness nobody’s said anything about “the good cancer” lately – I’m not sure I’d have anything resembling a sensible reaction to that.
To be clear: I know how utterly blessed I am – to be where I am, have the care I have, have the support I have, feel the way I do, have the chances I have. I do appreciate it, I promise, so, so much. It just doesn’t mean that I don’t also get scared.
All I can do is work hard to stay healthy, be grateful for all the blessings I’ve got, remember that the chances of anything bad happening are small, and not uselessly worry.
That’s a tall order sometimes, to be honest. But I keep at it. Nothing gets easier without practice.
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