No good food for Turkey Day…. at least I can eat the Turkey!

Well.  I went to my appointment for me boobs. LOL   I don’t have breast cancer.. at least according to the ultrasound and mammogram… but I do have cysts that are getting bigger by the moment, so they are going to get drained.  Yeehah.

I also went to my endocrinologist.  Good news, I think.  Thyrogen shots are almost always approved of by my insurance, and in my circumstance (with all of my hypo symptoms) going off of my levothryroxine is not a good idea and thyrogen shots my best bet. Pending insurance approval, and approval from the radiology department at the hospital who administers the radioactive idoine treatment, I will be getting my shots the first week in December, followed by my RAI.  So, instead of taking 6-8 weeks off of work and being a zombie, I’ll only be off for a couple of weeks. So that’s good news. Bad news… I still have to do 2 weeks of no/low iodine before that.. which is over Thanksgiving. The list of CANT EAT foods is insane!!!  At least I can have turkey.. and I can still have coffee thank GOD For that…. but no dairy at all (just one of many no’s).  That is going to be hard!!!

My doctor did a few other tests, because she said that I “really shouldn’t be feeling this bad” and that my hair falling out was not typical.  I like my doctor… but from what I hear from other thyca survivors, my symptoms are pretty common. Maybe she just doesn’t want to tell me that my life is going to be sh** from now on.. LOL

 I did figure out the uncommon sudden hair loss.  Hair is dead skin cells. And like a lot of things, is a timeline of your body (kind of like rings in a tree.. you can see when the tree had a bad time in the rings?)  Well… the rate of my hair growth combined with where the huge clumps broke off coincides with the timing of going into hypothyroidism after my surgery.  My hair was just tortured.  And it said screw it, dump the bad. The hair I have growing in now, albeit thinner in many places (yeah, all over), is healthy and good.  So, hopefully no more falls out like that and it just thins.. and hopefully as my meds get better, that doesn’t happen anymore either. 

I’ve gained too much weight back. Apparently my diet isn’t working… so time to go crazy and really get into it.  I didn’t lose as much weight as I did just to gain it back because of my stupid errant thyroid.  I will not be tortured with one year of thinness and then back to my fat pants. I can’t let that happen.

Work has been slightly better after I changed the time I take my meds.. so that’s a positive as well. Along with a great supplement I’m taking, and some diet changes, I’m starting to feel at least a modicum of relief from some of my symptoms. Good news, right? 

So I’ve joined all of these great sites and support groups. I find they really help me.  Talking to hundreds of people who are in the same boat as me is such a comfort.  I love all of you, my friends and family… and I appreciate your love and support, but aside from a couple of you who’ve been through it, it’s really hard to explain the feelings and pain of everyday life. And to talk to people who have the same complaints… makes me feel better, actually!  Who knew that I’d be thirsty all the time? The other thyca survivors having the same issue…   Plus, I’m finding being able to support other people and try to help them through their downs actually makes me feel a little bit better about life.

One thing about this stupid cancer I’m liking.. though I’m not sure how my husband is digging it, or some other family members will….   I’m getting another tattoo.. LOL   I’m going to blend it in with the one on my left arm, so it won’t be crazy.  I’ll post pics once I do it. I said my Johnny tattoo was my last…. lol who knew I’d get cancer and would have to get a survivor tattoo? I mean, really.. that’s just craaaaazzzzzyyyyyyy.

My kids have taught me one lesson in the last few weeks… no matter how bad I feel, I really need to take the time with my appearance to look like a normal human being.  LOL  My wardrobe choices, along with a few other NO NO’s, have not been quite so becoming.  I used to get “you look 25”  and last week I got a guess at 45. yeah… Time to take a few minutes for myself… LOL

My family is doing all right through this mess. They are very helpful, even though I’m sure at times they resent the fact that I can’t do crap half the time.  Brianna and Kayla are amazing, and Mike is the best thing that ever happened to me. My friends… oh my goodness, my friends… The surprise visits from these people… it’s nuts. I love you all.  Jimmy… I think he’s having the hardest time with the whole thing.  He hates my hair, but likes my hair… The style is cute, but he hates it because it reminds him that his mom has cancer, and he has a hard time with that.  I keep trying to tell him I’m going to be fine, I am fine… but he’s still bothered.  So, anyone who knows him, give him a hug or something…   The girls probably need them too.. they are so strong and supportive, but I’m sure it’s not easy on them either. I’d say hug Mike, but one.. he’d kill me for saying that, and two… I’m not too sure how he’d react to that! LOL  He’s a great guy, but I’m definitely the outgoing one in the relationship.

Well, off to go get something accomplished. I’m out of clean clothes, in desperate need of coffee, and have a lot of stuff to do if I’m going to be dressing up like a harem girl and going out for Halloweeen. LOL

Have a great day ya’ll… and remember, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. If yours is shit, expect shit in return. Peace out.

 

 

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Starting to get nervous

I have three Dr visits this week. One with a speech therapist to check on my vocal abilities ever returning. That’s Tuesday. Thursday I have a diagnostic ultrasound and mammogram for my boob and its issues that aren’t going away. Wednesday is the endocrinologist.

Wednesday I find out if I go off my meds into walking dead hell for 4 weeks prior to my radioactive iodine or if I can qualify for Thyrogen shots. Hopefully Thyrogen is an approved option or I’ll be taking a LOT of time off of work.

I have a lot of friends and family who are so very supportive and I’m so grateful for that love. I don’t know if I ever thank you or not… so thank you. From the depths if my soul.. thank you.

I’ve joined a few support groups on Facebook and I’m now part of an even bigger group of family.   Its great to be able to talk to people who know exactly what I’m talking about and what I deal with.   And though i don’t wish this on anyone ..  its nice that I’m not alone in how I feel. Who better to give advice on how to deal with this or that than someone going through it?

I had a great day with the kids, the granddaughters, and Brianna’s friend Ceci  at the pumpkin farm today. Starting to feel it though. I’m learning little tricks here and there, but I think I’m going to end up really paying for those fun days.

Getting more comfortable with the hair. Enough that I actually took a new Facebook profile pic. That’s a gigantic step yo.  Everyone seems to like it, which helps I think. Confidence has never been my strong point.

Happy Sunday. I pray every day that God grants all of you happiness and health. 🙂
Continue reading

October 12

I’m horrible at sending birthday cards, I’m even worse at returning phone calls…. so blogging on a regular basis is probably something that isn’t going to happen. LOL So when the mood hits… you’ll hear from me. 🙂  If you know me, you know that’s how it rolls in my hood.

It’s the waiting game again… lol. I have an appointment on October 23 to set up my radiation, and to get a game plan rolling. I”m hoping to take a shot or two of Thyrogen and not have to go off my medication. If I have to go off of my levothryroxine, I’m going to be the walking dead! Not looking forward to that, so hoping the alternative will work for me.

In the meantime, I saw Mary again the other day. To clarify, she’s not an MD she’s a nurse practitioner.  She’ll be the first to tell you she is not a dr. But, to me, she’s my doc.  I love the woman to death. Who else gives me hugs and tells me she loves me at the end of my appointment? And honestly sincerely means it? She spends her summers doing “Doctors without Borders’ And similar things.. She’s amazing, and I’m so lucky to have found her.

Anyway…. her and I had some deep down discussion after she got done doing another breast exam.  I have an appointment set up (or it’s working on getting set up) for a follow-up mammo and ultrasound for the cysts in my right breast.  They are getting bigger, so I’m probably looking at some kind of procedure there.  I’ve got a tumor under my left ring fingernail… but that’s on hold right now, since it’s just a fatty tumor (yeah, I have FAT fingers.. go ahead, make the joke).  I have a cyst in the valley of my spine, but that’s going to wait a bit too.  I’m just falling apart.

The diet changes and med changes from 2 weeks ago are helping a little bit. Having pain meds for this horrific joint pain is definitely a plus. No red meat has already made a big difference, and so has the no tomatoes in any way, shape, or form.  Still rough… I drop stuff because I can’t hold onto them.  It’s sad when I have to ask someone to open my water bottle because I can’t unscrew the lid. I got one that has a slide…. LOL.

Mary’s big into holistic healing. So along with a lot of diet changes, which honestly are healthier for me anyway, she’s also giving me a lot of mumbo-jumbo stuff as some people would call it. Meditation, breathing exercises, etc. So, we’ll try it and see how it goes.  I’ve got an open mind, and there are many things that I think are worth trying and worth the time and effort I put into them.  Plus, in simple terms, I trust the woman, and if she says it’ll help, I honestly think it will.

Since I stopped eating red meat and need to supplement my protein intake, and also because I am STARVING all of the time,  I’m going to be taking a whey protein product? It’s powder.. you mix it with water or into your food.  It will give me the protein I need, while at the same time, it will also help so I’m not hungry all the time.  Good thing, as I constantly want to eat BAD STUFF.

It’s really hard not to drink soda, energy drinks, and bad stuff to keep me awake while I’m at work.  But, I’ve found since I started supplementing with the b12 and such, it’s not as necessary. Plus, I love coffee, and it’s starting to be cool, so hot coffee is not so bad at 2 am.  It’s different when it’s 110 degrees.. I mean, a cold soda is just SO much more refreshing! LOL

I’m getting used to this short hair.  Took me a few days… it still bothers me. But, I’m noticing I am cooler at work! I don’t have to put it up, which is good. It’s less wear on the hairline without having to wear a ponytail holder.  It’s a cute style, and a lot of people think it’s just adorable. So I guess I’ll take it.  It was funny though.. the first day I went to work with it cut, I got “WHY THE HELL DID YOU CUT YOUR HAIR” and “WHAT THE F*** DID YOU DO” out of a few people.  Yes, I’ll admit, I did cry like a baby when they said that. I mean, it was a traumatic experience. LOL I’m getting over it….   slowly……    I miss my hair!!!    It was really pretty……      ugh……   it’ll grow back!!!   Having my husband tell me that if it means spending one more day with him, he’s fine with me being bald, because I”m his best friend and he’d be lost without me.. aside from making me bawl, it certainly made me feel a LOT better. 🙂

I’m still having a major issue with the whole breast cancer awareness crap. I know.. breast cancer is a major cancer and many women suffer and die from it. But, it’s NOT the only cancer out there… and OMG so many companies are throwing fundraisers and stuff for it… and it makes me wonder… do they that for lung cancer? And colon cancer? And pancreatic cancer? And …. you get the point.  Why only breasts? Because they have a good marketing campaign? I know.. I”m just bitching…. I’m sure I’ll get over it.

So… here’s one more thought before I leave you. Because it’s been on my mind, and I want to share.  Even though it’s been almost 24 years, my god, since I’ve seen my brother, I miss him so terribly.  I know..  that long, I should get over it… (yeah, I’ve had that said to me).  But, he’s my brother, and I love him, and I miss him.  But that’s not the point. My brother Johnny loved Van Halen.   Listened to it all the time. So anytime I hear “Running with the Devil” or any old Van Halen songs like that, it makes me think of him.  So…..    here’s my observation.

In the last three days, I have encountered 3 young men named Johnny. One was humming Van Halen (had no idea what it was, just that it was stuck in his head), one was wearing a Van Halen T-shirt, and one was listening to “Runnin’ with the Devil”      I get the point bro… you’re up there looking out for me and want me to know….. 🙂

Now that we are caught up… some more stuff for you

Ok…

 

So now that we are all caught up…  

 

Let’s talk about a few things so that I can clarify for a few people.

 

1 – I am not, nor will I be that I or my doctor forsee, be going through any kind of chemotherapy.  I will be getting radioactive iodine treatment. This is not typical radiation treatment, but radiation specifically for thyroid cancer. It’s piggyback with iodine (which your thyroid craves) and taken in pill form.  It’s the most effective treatment for thyroid cancer. Here is a link to what it is and how it’s going to make me feel.

 

About my radiation treatment: http://www.stmarys.org/body.cfm?id=805&action=detail&aearticleid=hw168387&aeproductid=hw_catholiccam

 

2 – My hair is falling out due to my hormone levels, or lack thereof.  Here’s a link to that

About Hair Loss: http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hairloss/a/hairloss.htm

 

My hair has been thinning, drying, and basically being ruined for the last two months. I think swimming in a chlorinated pool every day this week did not help my cause. It was going to fall out anyway, I guess I probably just sped it alone. I took a shower, and my hair was coming out in clumps. No exaggeration, as my hairdresser can probably say I’m being honest here, I think there was more hair that fell out then I have left remaining on my head.  Stacey at Side Street Salon took care of me. She cut my hair to the shortest length that I had in there… no choice there… and gave me a really cute cut.  I hate short hair. It’s not me. But, I guess I do what I have to do and deal with it. It’s a cute cut, a cute style I can do a lot with, and I don’t have to put my hair up for work… bonus! 🙂 One of my besties, Erin, gave me a list of reasons why short hair is good. I can’t share it on here because it’s definitely 18+, but it was a great list, and I love having my awesome friends there for me.

 

3 – Your thyroid does not simply control your metabolism… it controls a LOT of stuff

 

 

Here’s a great link that explains it in detail:

 

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/the-thyroid-and-parathyroid-glands

 

 

What is Your Thyroid and What Does it Do?  The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the front of our necks. It stores and produces hormones that affect the function of virtually every organ in our bodies. Thyroid hormone (Triiodothyronine or T3) regulates our metabolic rate and is associated with modest changes in body weight and energy levels. Major targets of thyroid hormone are the skeleton, the heart and the metabolic machinery of every cell. Although the thyroid weighs only about one ounce, it’s got a big job. Your thyroid affects just about every cell in your body, from your hair follicles to your toenails and everything in between.

 

Here’s a short list that shows everything that’s affected.

 

Hair

Sleep

Temperature Regulation

Heart and Cholesterol

Mood

Energy

Mental Alertness

Weight

Joint function

 

It takes MONTHS for my hormone replacement therapy to start working right… and it’s going to be a struggle for the rest of my life to keep it at a good level.

 

4 – DRUGS

 

Here is a list of supplements I am now taking and what they do:

  • Iodine 190 mcg. This trace mineral is essential for healthy thyroid function, yet with the reduction in salt intake, it’s estimated that millions of Americans are lacking it. 
  • Selenium 100 mcg. A critical mineral for healthy thyroid function, selenium also promotes healthy skin and hair.
    Zinc 25 mg. Essential for healthy thyroid metabolism
  • Copper 1.5 mg. Copper combines with certain proteins to help a number of body functions, including energy. 
  • Vitamins B1 50 mg., B2 25 mg., B3 50 mg., B6 100 mg., B12 100 mcg. These vitamins are involved in several processes including the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. In addition they boost energy, ease stress and fight fatigue. 
  • L-Tyrosine 100 mg. This amino acid plays a role in thyroid hormone production while also helping boost mental and physical stamina. 
  • Magnesium 310 mg. The fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, magnesium is involved in bone and mineral metabolism. 
  • Manganese 10 mg. Manganese is involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. 
  • Irish Moss 75 mg. A red seaweed, Irish Moss is also known as chondrus crispus

I’m also taking LEVOTHRYOXINE to replace the hormone. FLUOXETINE, an antidepressant, TOPIMAX, for migraine headaches, CIMETIDINE, a histamine blocker, and TRAMADOL, for pain.

 

 

To treat my symptoms:

No more red meat. No soda.  No nightshades (tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers) No junk food.

 

Sugars feed cancer. So does red meat. The nightshade family causes joint pain, which I’m already suffering from tremendously, I don’t need to make it worse. So no more pasta sauce unless its a garlic free homemade alfredo.  Nothing tomato based… at all.  I don’t like tomatoes, but I do like pasta sauce, marinara sauce, sloppy joes, etc.   But, I like to be able to use my hands and walk like a normal person vs a 90 year old.

 

5 – EXERCISE PROGRAM

 

I joined the House of Wellness in Baraboo with Mike. It’s an excellent facility. I get a great discount through work, so that’s good.  The pool is amazing. Right now, I’ve only been swimming, because that’s about all I can handle. But it’s good to be doing something. Eventually I’ll get back into my Zumba, do the treadmill and elliptical at the gym. Work on some weights! 🙂 Right now the pool and the AWESOME hottub are doing it for me.

 

 

I think that’s about it…

 

Love you all… be good. Hug your loved ones.

 

 

From the Beginning…..

Hi all.

 

My name is Izzy. As I type this, I am a 41 year old woman recovering from a thyroidectomy due to papillary carcinoma.  My surgery was July 12, and life is an on-going journey.

 

I started this blog for one reason – to inform.  Basically, I really hate talking about all of the stuff that is wrong with me. It makes me sad and I don’t like it. So instead of explaining over and over again the same exact thing to 80 people, I decided a blog is a good choice.  🙂

 

I’m going to include links to the first 4 facebook notes I wrote, to get where we are today. Then, I’m going to write a new post with some links to what my treatment is, etc, to clear up the air a little bit. 🙂 So, for those of you who haven’t read them and have an interest, here are the first four notes in chronological order.

 

NOTE 1 – June 3, 2013

-Screw Thyroid Cancer

June 24, 2013 at 10:29am

 

PublicFriendsOnly MeCustomClose FriendsFamilySee all lists…Mid-State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids, WisconsinEMAILAdams-Friendship Area SchoolsAdams-Friendship Area SchoolsChula Vista ResortWDKM 106.1 FMAdams County Castle Rock ParkRR Donnelley & SonsLakeland College, Sheboygan, WIUNEMPLOYED!!!!!Union Grove HighBig Flats Volunteer Fire DepartmentGateway Technical CollegeAdams – Friendship HighLakeland CollegeFriendship, Wisconsin AreaAcquaintancesGo Back

 

Sitting here on my computer looking up stuff. First off… it’s great that in this day and age there is information out there. About EVERYTHING.  Secondly… it’s horrible that there is information out there. About EVERYTHING.  Having been a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for so many years, I know that the most important thing to do is educate myself about what’s going on with my cancer.  The cool thing I’ve found in my research is that thyroid cancer really is the best cancer to get if you’re going to get cancer. Of course, that’s dependent on which of the five kinds you get.  Oh.. what kind do I have? Yeah .That’s a funny story.   When my doctor called to tell me about my diagnosis, I kind of lost all capability of reasoning as soon as I heard him say carcinoma. So I do not really know as of right now what specific type of cancer I have in my thyroid. Through my deductive reasoning, I am thinking that it’s papilarry carcinoma, which is the best kind to have.  (Yeah, I know, I have to call the guy back AGAIN and get some more information) Between the biopsy, the ultrasound, the snippets of words I remember from the conversation, this seems to ring a bell .SO YAY for that. We’ll find out if that’s actual after I speak with my doctor.

 

Anyway. The reason it’s so awful that there is so much information out there? There might be too much.  Seriously, a person should NOT watch youtube videos of the surgery they are going to have. Because what sounds so simple… well hell.. it really isn’t.  Plus, being a girl, I’m thinking OH MY GOD that’s disgusting… and totally cool at the same time.. but still gross.  I mean, really. A total thryoidectomy is gross.  The s tuff they have to cut through to get to it… it’s a touch area too!  Then of course, there’s the scar. Which… shouldn’t be too bad. I’d rather have a scar then a coffin. But again.. I’m a girl.. so it comes to mind.   THEN, here’s the sucky part.   My voice.  I love to sing.  I sing everywhere. I sang my babies to sleep, I sing to my grandbabies.  And most of the stuff I’ve read shows that I’m goign to have a voice change, regardless of vocal cord damage.  So, my goal is  to find people who’d have this surgery and HAVE NOT had voice changes.  So I can stop freaking out about that.

 

My biggest thing right now is thinking how freaking lucky I am that I am somewhat of a hyprochondriac. Because the only reason I found out I have cancer is because I found lumps in my boob and thought I’d better check it out.  Then I thought about the swollen lymph nodes in my neck for awhile and thought.. what the )(*)(* I may as well tell the doctor about those too.   The ultrasound led to another ultrasound which led to a ct scan which led to.. wait, there’s something on your thyroid too.  I’d also like to point out that my thryoid tests….which I had done about a year and a hafl ago because I was SOOO fat and couldn’t lose weight…  came back negative. My blood tests came back negative for infection or cancer. The only reason I knew I had thyroid cancer was the CT scan. Something to think about.  Of course, now after the fact, I’m looking at myself and thinking wow.. I really had all the symptoms.

  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  • Hoarseness, difficulty speaking normally, voice changes
  • Difficulty swallowing, or a choking feeling
  • Pain in the neck or throat, including pain from the neck to the ears
  • Persistent or chronic cough not due to allergies or illnes

I thought it was just from a job change. Nope. Cancer.  I’m also constantly FREEZING or BAKING.  I lost 85 lbs in less than a year.

 

So, there was my issue.

 

I’m babbling.  But that’s ok.

 

So, anyway. My whole point in writing this in the first place was that I watched a video on youtube and it freaked me out.  LOL

 

A lot of people want me to call them and explain things, to reassure them I’m ok, to “talk it out”   This is going to sound totally harsh, but I don’t want to!   I’m a weird person, I’m finding. If someone else is in trouble, I can talk til the cows come home. I can give advice, handle tears, even death.. When it’s me, I don’t want to talk about it. At least in person. I find that there is comfort in the fact that I can text it, facebook it, or pm it.  It’s a weird thing I know…. but it’s my coping mechanism.  So please don’t be offended if I don’t want to talk about it. I’m not in denial, I just don’t want to.  I like to be in control of myself, and I can do that when I’m typing on a keyboard.  Otherwise, I just lose it and cry and cry and cry and cry and cry… and did I mention cry?

 

My emotions run wild. Like, somedays I’m all pumped up thinking I CAN TAKE THIS BITCH.. CANCER IS GOING DOWN!!!   Then, I’m like.. shit, what If I’m that small percentage that doesn’t cure easily?  I want to wear a ribbon.. I want to put one on my car.. I want to fight… and then I don’t want to talk about it because I’m so terriried of it not going way or coming back and missing out on so many things…  I don’t sleep.. or  I always sleep.  I’m weepy or trying to cheer everyone up.

 

I know this is all normal. I’ve helped people deal with the same thing for years.  But still, in the whole scheme of things… and pardon my language… cancer really does fucking suck.

 

As I end today’s edition of Screw Thyroid Cancer (I wanted to title it FUCK thryoid cancer but… lol…) I just wanna say… I find it ironic (my brother in law will tell me if this is truly ironic or not, thanks Mark love you)  that for years.. I believe 13 now.. I have been a volunteer in some way for the American Cancer Society. I’ve walked miles and miles for cancer. I’ve chaired the event, walked the event, cooked for the event, publicized the event, raised awareness and money for the event  RELAY FOR LIFE…    The irony…. The 2013 Adams County Relay for Life kick off is the same day as my surgery.  Maybe it’s not ironic… but it sure is an interesting coincidence.

 

Happy Monday All…

 

NOTE 2:  July 3 2013

Update

July 3, 2013 at 10:01am

 

 

All right… I’m going to try to do this again and hope that Claire doesnt’ sneak underneath me and turn off the power strip again…   She’s a fast little bugger. LOL

 

 

I went to the doctor on July 1, which would have been Monday. Yup, Monday.  It was an exciting day to be sure. First impression – Mike wanted to ID the kid to see how old he was.  Not to sound stereotypical or racist in any way, but Indian men sure do age well.  I happen to know this doctor is of a fine age to practice medicine and has a lot of experience, and no, he did not jjust graduate middle school even though he might look it. LOL   His PA who will be doing my stitches is a “miracle stitcher” so that’s a plus too… Oh. And Sarvi, as his nurse calls him, I call him Dr Nalwa,  is one of the best, so I’m in good hands.

 

So surgery….  In and of itself, it lasts 2-3 hours. Its a very complicated procedure that truly scares the hell out of me as there is a lot of stuff they have to cut around and be careful of.  Vocal chords that could be permanently or temporarily frozen or damaged. Glands that control my calcium that I need to live that could be damaged permanently or temporarily… a little thing called a jugular?? oh. Lets not forget the muscles and nerves that allow me to turn my head.  But, as I said, he’s one of the best, so he knows what he’s doing.

 

I’ll be in the hospital for 2-4 days. Mike says knowing me, 5-6. Thanks hon.  Part of the reason for that is because they have drains in my neck at first? And they have to monitor my calcium levels every eight hours to make sure those glands I was talking about aren’t permanently damaged and that I don’t need a tracheotomy to breathe.. (scary thought there)

 

I see the endocrinologist on July 24th to discuss/start medicine and radiation. I think I don’t actually start that til 4 weeks out, but I see her on the 24th for my consult. Her name is Dr. Etheridge.

 

I’m never sure what to believe or think anymore, because statistics and real life people are so confusing. But, I’m preparing to lose my hair,  because a LOT of people do.  So, if I’m ready for it, and it happens, it won’t be a shock. If I’m ready for it ,and it doesn’t, thank god.  My voice won’t be normal for a while, probably a whisper for at least a few weeks. I don’t know if I’ll ever get MY voice back or not… I know, it will always be MY voice, but you know what I mean.

 

I get retested every 3 months with Dr Nalwa for the first year, then every six for the rest of my life.  YUCK. I get scans with the endocrinologist too to make sure it didn’t spread and it’s not going to kill me anywhere else.

 

Apparently they do not give Thyroid Cancer a stage until AFTER they take it out and zap you with radiation… so for those of you asking me what stage it is… I don’t have that yet.  Diagnosis: papillary carcinoma, thyroid cancer

Thryroid function: PERFECTLY FREAKING NORMAL.  Yeah, they ran all the tests again yesterday… they all came back great. Hereditary:  Yes, it can be.

 

So, to any and all who think they may have issues,  the only way I found out I had Thryoid Cancer was a CT scan with contrast. My tumor was not felt in a physical exam, not seen in a basic ultrasound or ex-ray, and there were no abnormalities in any bloodwork of any kind, including that specific to thryoid and cancer.

 

 

I am a girl… I know I have cancer. I know I could die. I won’t. They’ll get it and it will be gone .I’m a girl. So, you know what I’m pissed about ? The damn scar I’m going to have from them slicing my throat from side to side, the hair that’s going to fall out (I LOVE MY DAMN HAIR), and the fact that I will probably get fat again.  I really liked this whole skinny phase and it’s going to make me cry when I start fitting in my higher sizes again.  Guess I should enjoy the two piece now, right?

 

My positive attitude is dwindling at the moment. I really try.  And then all of a sudden just BAM I’ll be crying.  Yes, I know.. if I’m going to get cancer , this is the one to get… I think the next person who says that to me might get hit, just saying…..

 

On that note!  🙂

 

Thanks to everyone for all of the happy thoughts, the cards, the phone calls, the texts.. I appreciate all of the friendship, the love, and the prayers that you are all sending my way.  I cannot express how grateful I am for everyone.

 

 

FORGOT TO MENTION:  I will be at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. Brianna, Mike, Chris, and Greg will be there. I’ll post updates (well, someone will) on facebook, and if you want a text, let me know and I’ll add you to the list of people Brianna can text to say HEY she’s all good….   I’ll also have my phone while I”m in the hospital, so once I’m awake, I might even be able to text myself… HAHAHAHAHA Yes, I’m an addict.

 

NOTE 3: July 24

This little journey of mine

July 24, 2013 at 5:11pm

 

PublicFriendsOnly MeCustomClose FriendsFamilySee all lists…Mid-State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids, WisconsinEMAILAdams-Friendship Area SchoolsAdams-Friendship Area SchoolsChula Vista ResortWDKM 106.1 FMAdams County Castle Rock ParkRR Donnelley & SonsLakeland College, Sheboygan, WIUNEMPLOYED!!!!!Union Grove HighBig Flats Volunteer Fire DepartmentGateway Technical CollegeAdams – Friendship HighLakeland CollegeFriendship, Wisconsin AreaAcquaintancesGo Back

 

I have to admit, my husband laughed at me today when I told the doctor I thought I was a pretty positive person after she asked me how my attitude was after having been diagnosed with cancer.  LOL  I suppose I do have to admit that yes, I was at work sobbing because I had no idea what I had a few months ago, just that I had lumps that had to be looked at and I was afraid. But I’ve learned that knowing you have cancer, or at least MY knowing I have cancer and what kind and how to treat it, is so much better than NOT knowing what I had, so it’s easier to deal with it. So that is why my attitude has been positive.  🙂   LOL  So, yes… I was bawling like a baby, I’ll give you that one Mike… and I didn’t even know what was wrong. A LITTLE dramatic. 🙂

 

ANYWAY. Almost two weeks after surgery and my voice is much much better. The more I talk the more throaty and hoarse I get, but it was actually sounding pretty normal for the most part today.  My scar is healing great.  I slept on my back. I actually slept for about 5 hours straight. I drove. I did dishes. I took a REAL shower and washed my own hair.  I feel like a human being.  I’m not as exhausted anymore, which is good.

 

I can tell I do not have a thryoid…  My blood pressure is high.. well, for me anyway. Most people would say WOW great blood pressure.. (Actually that’s what all the drs and nurses are saying! LOL) it’s 110/78   For me.. that’s like WOW That’s high, because it’s usually about 88/56. LOL    I have constant temperature changes, which drive me just a little bit loony.  I do tend to get tired easy, but that’s really improving.

 

Cancer – Gone.  🙂 That’s so good to have it confirmed again.  Radioactive idodine – Yes, But not until November. Yeah. That kind of sucks.  The reason why they have to wait is because there was idodine in the CT scan I recieved in May, so they have to wait for it to leave my body.  UGH. The reason this is not good is because I start my thyroid replacment meds now, and I’ll have to STOP them to have the radioactive idodine… So, this two weeks I’m feeling… I get four more of it in October/November… BLUGK.    BUT, the good news is that since I’m not having that til November, I get to start my thyroid replacement meds NOW instead of waiting two more weeks. 🙂 Pluses and minues here people…

 

So, your thyroid produces two hormones, T4 and T3.  I am getting a drug to replace T4. Apparently my body changes what it needs to T3. So that’s good. And my worries about getting fat… no need. The dose they give to thyroid cancer patients is high, so my metabolism is going to FLY so I shouldn’t gain weight.. 🙂   LOL  Considering I’m about 15 pounds away from losing 100 in the last year, I’d say that’s a plus. :()   oh. I also have found out that I DID lose all the weight on my own because my thryoid was functioning just fine.  Have I mentioned that before? There’s still a lot of work involved and much more ahead. I have to adjust to my medication, and watch my calcium, get retested, get my radiation, but I think the worst is over and I can be grateful for insurance, good doctors, and the love of family and friends.   I have no doubt that my attitude would not be even remotely this positve and can’t continue to be positive without all of you backing me up and being there for me.

 

My husband is amazing.. my kids are the best…. and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been blessed with them in my life.

 

 

So, armed with Thryoid Cancer Support information, a million follow up appointments and such, and lots of medicine… I’m back into the world, officially a Thyroid Cancer Survivor! :()

 

Sorry, it just feels so good to say it.   🙂 I love you all.

 

NOTE 4: September 28

TC and me…

September 28, 2013 at 9:21am

 

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done an update… so I’ll give you the facts first… Then I’ll go on about how life REALLY is. If you don’t want the reality, only read the first part!

 

After recent tests, etc., I’ve been told my thyroid cells , along with the cancer cells, are regenerating. So, I HAVE cancer.  It’s not enough that I need to be concerned, I just need to stay on track with my radioactive iodine for November/December, and it will be taken care of.  No more calcium, as my parathyroid glands are functioning well and my levels are great. My adrenal gland seems to be not functioning well, and some further testing will be done to determine what level I’m at. I guess it’s pretty common in a stressful medical situation .Good to know. My primary says that she thinks I’m suffering from adrenal fatigue.  My hair is falling out. So, don’t be shocked when you see me and it’s shorter and thinner.  Hopefully it doesn’t fall out too much more before my T4 levels are evened out. Speaking of that, they are not up to where my dr wants them, so she upped my dosage.  I now have a pain management system, because my whole body feels abused. Also common. No opiates, so non-addictive pain meds.  I have also had my anti-depressants upped, magnesium, B-complex,  and ginseng added to my growing collection of pills I take every day.

 

On to the griping.. so if you won’t want to hear my whine, stop reading…….  I know I should be grateful every day that I have a curable cancer. That I am hear. That I have a wonderful prognosis. That i have good doctors. That my family and friends support me and love me. I am grateful for that.  But that doesn’t stop the rest of it from really making it hard to get through every day.

 

If you are every diagnosed, or know someone else who is… don’t believe anyone when they tell you it’s a cakewalk. Talk to other TC survivors and people who’ve been there.  Because the whole, “They take out your thyroid, you take a pill, and it’s all good”  BULLSHIT.

 

My hair is falling out. It’s thinner, and I pull out clumps every day.  I was worried about it falling out during RAI, but it’s doing it now. I hope my T4 levels even out soon, or I’ll be bald before Thanksgiving. I love my hair, and it’s really depressing me.  I know… it’s just hair.. but it’s MY hair. I planned on having long hair down to my ass when they put me in a coffin at 100. 😦 So it’s hard for me to lose my hair.

 

My whole body feels like absolute shit. Apparently joint pain and muscle aches are common and something “normal”  Screw normal.  I’d like to feel good thank you. I am not liking this new “normal” thing. There are days when I can’t even open a bottle or close my fingers around a pen. It’s hard to get out of bed and live my life, because frankly, it  hurts.

 

My voice … yep. I can speak. Yep, my speaking voice is SOMEWHAT what it used to be. But, people who hear me on a regular basis think it’s pretty normal. People who don’t talk to me a lot have not recognized my voice when I call.  I can’t even talk loud enough for people to hear me sometimes, let alone yell if I have any issue. I’m looking for something I can use at work to get people’s attention. I was thinking clapping hands.. lol..   It’s a pain. The singing…. that just makes me cry. I know.. it’s just singing, who cares… but to me…. singing is so much more than just music. It makes me feel good. It helps me cheer up, it comforts me.. I don’t care if anyone else ever hears me sing, I sing for me. and I can’t. In time, my voice may return, and I try to be hopeful. Right now ,I just cry.

 

There are so many other weird and crazy things… and now that I have gone through this ,everyone is telling me this is “normal” for my situation.  Well, WHY can’t they tell you before hand so you are prepared for this hell?  My own family loves me.. they help me out a LOT. But I think they don’t even understand how hard it is for me just to get out of bed, put clothes on, and try to function. I think they get it… a little. But then I feel bad because I just want to be ME, I want to clean my house and do dishes and make dinner… but no. I don’t. It’s frustrating.

 

Every day, I get up. I shower, I go to work, I try to maintain a normal functioning life.  I am trying so hard to know that things will get A LITTLE better… i’ll at least be able to manage all this new shit that I’m stuck with for my life.  But some days… I can’t help but feel sorry for myself. And cry. And I just wish that I could have someone hold me and rub my hair. I want my brother to tell me it’s going to be ok. I want my mom to make it better.  Like when I was 5 and skinned my knee… and a bandaid and a kiss made it all ok.

 

I am SO sick of people telling me that I’ve got the “good” cancer, and my thyroid is now gone, so everything is smooth sailing from now on.  It’s NOT.  And cancer is not freaking good. I’d rather have had something else because living without a thyroid is not fun.. and it won’t be for the rest of my life.

 

I feel bad when I see other people with cancer who don’t survive, who go through chemo and get sick. I feel guilty for feeling like this when they have it worse. I feel ashamed that I am feeling sorry for myself.

 

And then I get pissed because EVERYWHERE I go every damn cancer thing is about breast cancer….  Ribbons, shirts, bracelets.. walks, runs, fundraisers…

 

Then I get mad at myself because it’s not their fault that breast cancer is something that has funding behind it to publicize it and get support for it.. and I feel like a douchebag again.

 

I’m trying every day to set some goals for myself, to try to drag myself out of this pity party. I’m really glad I have great friends and family.  My sweet husband did my laundry so I had clean underwear! 🙂 That’s love right there…

 

I am joining the House of Wellness. It’s an expense I don’t want, but it’s something I need.  I miss swimming. They have a great pool, and a wonderful workout facilty. So next year, I’m hoping, fingers crossed, to do a triathlon by myself.  I’m hoping right now that exercise will help me feel better, and stop me from gaining back any more weight. I have to cut soda again .I was drinking it at work to keep me up, I’ll just have to stick with coffee.  I also have a list of things that are endocrine disruptors… so products I need to stop using that are making me braindead and dingy.  It’s another thyroid thing… yay me.  Try leaving the house to go somewhere 5 blocks away and ending up in the opposite direction 20 minutes from home and not remember why you are there…

 

I try to be positive. I really do. But sometimes, it’s just so damn hard… so today, I’m being honest with myself and with you.  I’m not strong today.  Maybe tomorrow.