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.

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