Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How Am I Doing Now?

MAY & SOME OF JUNE: In the weeks after my radioactive iodine (RAI), I felt just okay but after I stopped taking my Cytomel and was only on the Eltroxin, I was a bit of a mess. I was exhausted all the time, I needed to take naps of 1-2 times each day for 1-3 hours in length. I felt sluggish, depressed, zombie-like, and unmotivated to do anything else but write and cook. When I write, that includes journaling and blogging, or cook, that includes preparing a meal, I actually forgot my symptoms. As soon as I stopped these activities, I would be like, "Oh yeah, I'm tired" and then I'm out like a light. I think this is remarkable. Creativity and the arts can really soothe discomforts. I was having crying spells and feeling more isolated. It was really weird that I was feeling worse instead of better. I had already done the surgery and the radiation, so now what? My naturopath suggested some blood tests to check my thyroid hormone levels. So I did the blood test and there was nothing alarming but it's so hard to tell with this mood swingy, depression thing. Is it this because of the thyroid or lack of thyroid? Is it depression? Are my hormone levels out of wack? What is it? All of the above? Probably. I have heard some Thy'Ca survivors tell me that it can take 6 months to 1 year until the fatigue would subside.

NOW: I am learning to express my needs to my family and friends. They have been wonderful and supportive. For example, I needed help cleaning my place and I asked my mom and she came over the very next day to help. Another friend said I should go dancing that it would be good for me. So I went (for the first time in almost a year) and loved it. My mother-in-law hauled away junk from our place. I am learning that my friends and family were always there ready to help, I just needed to know how to ask for it. I am learning how to express my needs and so thankful for my fiance, family and friends, especially the friend who helped me recognize that I need to express my needs more. Also, I go for acupuncture once a week and since then have felt more and more energy in my body. I am able to do more activity without heart palpitations and feelings of fatigue than what I could do before. I go to Cancer Exercise two days a week. I love the trampoline and the treadmill which I can do without getting winded, however my floor pushups have become a challenge so I need to modify them. I am trying to integrate more yoga and nature walking into my week. I feel more motivated and inspired. I am looking forward to the summer. A lot has slowly improved but the one thing that continues to be affected is my voice. One woman at my church described it as sounding almost like I have a cold. It's a strained kind of sound which comes out especially when I am excited. Also, my singing voice is completely different. I can't get the low and high notes I used to. :-( I cringe when I hear my voice (like in church) sometimes so I pray that it will come back. I am learning about ways to help bring it back like voice lessons, therapy, and of course, there is always rest and time.

THANKFUL: So very thankful that I have received a blessing. I got approved for my claim so I will have some income until I return to work this September. I am so happy about this. I applied for it in March and there were a few times when I became fearful and thought it would not go through. I was worried... so worried that it would not go through. And the wait was so long. My sick benefits from the government ran out... what was I going to do? At the same time, I had this faith that everything was going to be okay. I was so tired of waiting for an answer at the same time, I had this feeling that it would all work out. Between my prayers, the weekly prayer requests at church, my friends, family, and strangers praying for me, I felt more sure about this. When I went to Edward Gardens (featured in Nature Walking 1), I began to cry when I saw these living things-- the beautiful flowers, the groundhog, the butterfly,... they were all okay, living, thriving without worrying whether or not they would be provided for. So the Dennis Brown song, Created by Father, means so much to me. So I end this post with a story from the Bible which I remembered on my nature walk.

This is from the New Living Translation.

Luke 12:22-32
22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

And to the folks who leave comments about the effectiveness of porcine and bovine thyroid in their treatment, thanks BUT I am vegan.

Bovine: of a cow
Porcine: of a pig
Vegan: plant-based diet which excludes including dairy, meat, eggs, as well as animal products

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