Monday, September 24, 2012

Low Iodine Diet: The Sequel

It's official. I've got my Thyrogen. I've been on the Low Iodine Diet (LID) for the passed week. In some ways, I feel like I've gone back in time as I prepare for my scan this week. A few months ago, I cried in the nurse's office as she told me the details of my scan-- the number of appointments, the Thyrogen injections, the bloodtests, and then finally the scanning dose of radiation. That was the last straw. Radiation, again. It was a strange thing for me to realize that I had to enter the world of thyroid cancer again. Especially since I felt like I left my status of cancer patient behind. But there I was crying in the nurse's office and when I dried my tears, I began to cry again.
"Why am I crying?" I wondered. It didn't make sense. "Why can't I stop?" I barely cried when I was diagnosed two years ago. I didn't cry at my surgery. I didn't cry when I was in complete isolation for for four days. Why was I crying now? Logically speaking, doing the scan and preparing for it wasn't any worse than anything I had been through already. I won't need to go into complete radioactive isolation for four days. I decided to do my scan in September. After the wedding. After I had gone back to work. After I had some time to prepare for it... mentally... I can do this. Last Sunday, I drove to four different health and natural food stores looking for salt-free foods. Iodine free salt is not sold in Canada is what someone told me. I ended up using the Windsor Salt from the last time I was on the LID a year ago. I realized this week that I can do this. I just can't wait to get past it. So in the meantime, I am enjoying a largely whole foods like beans and rice minus the salt. I can do this. I can get drug benefit coverage reimbursement for the $ 1594 I spent on the Thyrogen.
I will go to the appointments that I need to. Another woman going who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, told me that this scan is part of the follow-up. The protocol. When I asked Endo #3 if I had to do a scan, he said no. That put it completely out of my head. No more radiation. No more hospital. No more LID. Lies. But then Endo #4, my new endo, told me I needed to do this. Disappointment. Betrayed? Tears. I will get past this. I am sleepy but a different kind of tired. At least I don't have to come off my Synthroid for two weeks. At least I don't need to be in withdrawal from synthetic thyroid hormone. I will get past this. The scan is a much lower dose of radiation to see that the cancer cells are gone. I will need to be away from children for 3-5 days. I will need to sleep in a separate bed from my husband for about that long.
I wonder will that mean I don't need to think about cancer after the scan this Friday. Maybe... maybe not. I hadn't thought about it for a while even as the editor for the Thyroid Cancer Canada newsletter. When I go to the gym to workout, I have stopped thinking about the fact that I "beat the odds" or are defying the cancer that attacked my body. Cancer had started fading into my memory as something in my past. I want cancer to stay there.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

E-mails to Blue Butterfly #6

I love getting fanmail. I am not loving the new layout and format of this blog. Love your blog Blue Butterfly. I stayed up last night reading it. You are a wonderful writer, thank your for capturing your experience with thyroid cancer for others to read as they navigate this disease. Great stuff! I hope you are currently well. I haven't finished reading everything. My fingers are crossed that all turned out well for you. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last December and have had two surgeries. No metastases but too many microcarcinomas in the organ so it was fully removed and in the coming weeks I'm goign to do radiation ablation. Right now just doing the tango with the insurance company over thyrogen and authorization etc. I live in metro NYC. Anyways, hope you are well and healthy and keep up the writing, you have a wonderful gift there. All the best

Funky Sexy Manifesto # 23 Get Married

My husband and I decided that this year would be the year we get married. Two years ago when he proposed to me, I said, "Yes." Later that week, when I went to the doctor, she found a lump in my thyroid after a neck palpation. Perhaps in all of the excitement that week, I forgot to follow-up. I forgot to go to book an ultrasound on my neck. I forgot to take the lab requisition form to read it. I forgot the whole thing. In the fall of 2010, once I had the ultrasound and then the fine needle aspiration (FNA), my life changed. I became a thyroid cancer patient. All of the plans for a wedding in 2012 stopped and "everything" was put on hold as I navigated my way through the healthcare system, followed the treatment protocol, and focused on getting better. It didn't seem that the wedding could happen. However in January this year, we started to think again about having a 2012 wedding. In some respects, it seemed like a bad idea-- a short time to plan a wedding, very little money saved on our part since I was still working a part-time salary after being off of work for 7 months, and a busy schedule. Then there was the question of whether or not we were going to have a wedding here in Canada or our dream of a destination wedding in Jamaica. It took us about two months to decide if we could really do this. I particularly had fears that no one would show up to Jamaica on such short notice to attend our wedding and my dearest friends and family would not attend. With the help of our parents in March, we finally had our wedding date set and decided to move forward with our plans. I also realized that working part-time meant I had more time to plan the wedding of our dreams. Plus part of me didn't want to put off the wedding for another year since I didn't want to have a wedding in 2013. So on August 3, 2012, we got married with 67 of our friends and family in attendance. What a blessed occasion! It happened like a dream...