It’s been awhile since I’ve posted… so I thought I’d better get on here and send out some WORDS. Right at this exact moment, the one that comes to mind is COLD. That’s simply because I”m freezing my butt off.
Let me be the first to say that a low iodine diet has got to be THE hardest diet in the world to follow. Seriously. No dairy… that’s easy. No gluten… that’s pretty easy too. No salt… no problem. NO IODINE???? Oh my word… Let me just say that the FDA does NOT require that companies list whether they use iodized salt or not. SO, if it says SALT in the ingredients… simply don’t eat it. However, it’s not that simple. Because there are about 7 seaweed products.. derivatives.. additives.. whatever you want to call them… that are in things. That are iodized. Oh. And might I add that NON DAIRY coffee creamer… yeah, it’s NOT non-dairy. It says right on most of them CONTAINS DAIRY. How is that non dairy I ask you? MMMMMMMM Good question. Well, anyway… after a very irritating time shopping, I settled on a very simple diet. Applesauce, oatmeal, grits, and fresh fruits and vegetables. There were the occasional Lays potato chips or natural granola bar (yuck) that I found to supplement my palate. My Thanksgiving ended up being quite good, thanks to my sister Christine. She made me some yummy foods to eat that were totally within my diet. I am very grateful for that.
My vitamin D levels feel like they are finally starting to even out a little bit. The agony in my joints is not quite so horrible anymore. It’s still painful, and I still have a hard time with my hands and knees, but not as awful as it was before. It’s manageable with pain meds and OTC things like Tylenol and ibuprofen. I don’t go to my car and sob at work anymore because I”m in so much pain. I don’t wake up crying in the middle of my sleep because I hurt so bad. I still can’t open a water bottle, or do other things, but it’s better, and it continues to improve a little bit every day. I would love it if the pain were just completely gone, but I think that might be wishing too much.
I wish I could say that my brain fog has improved. Nope. But thankfully I have a smartphone, and that sucker literally saves my life sometimes. With the amount of medicine I take on a daily, the alarm clock alone is my savior. I take pictures of where I park my car, so I don’t get lost in a parking lot. I send myself text messages and important reminders, and I write myself memos. It’s a great thing.
My Thyrogen shots kicked my ass. But, even with how awful they made me feel, it was better than being a zombie for 4 weeks. I set up my little isolation chamber. My bathroom was pretty cool, quite cozy, like my own effeciency apartment! lol. The day of my RAI I was terrified. I mean, HELLO they are giving me a radioactive pill. Like, Gamma Radiation like the INCREDIBLE HULK dudes… I got a tracer dose of RAI, and then a full body scan to see how much thyroid tissue and cancer cells there were. That determined my dosage. After seeing what was there, doing a couple blood tests as well ( I was complimented on my AWESOMELY low iodine level), they determined that a mid-level dose was good. So, that was nice. The pharmacy had to make my poison, so I snuggled with Mike in the waiting room, and got some hugs in before I was unable to touch him. Then I went back in the room with all the radioactive signs and lead barriers and stuff. It’s a little intimidating. There’s this big bottle that was about the size of a 20 ounce soda… and inside of the lead linings and such was a tiny little pill…. lol I sign all of these papers, they tell me no sex for 2 weeks, no this no that… all of the isolation rules and such… and then I am given this thing and some water and told to swallow…. and that was it. They waiting 20 minutes, and then came in with a geiger counter to make sure I was below a certain level. I tried to take a pic but they wouldn’t let me…. lol I was good, and told I could leave. Like, I’m setting this geiger counter off to the top… and they just let me walk through the hospital to leave. CRAZINESS.
So….. home and isolation. It was really hard with my husband 20 feet away and not being able to hug him, kiss him, or sleep with him. Just to be in his arms and have his comfort would have made me feel so much better. Listening to Claire root around the house, knocking on my bedroom door, crying Nana for me… It was awful. Kayla made me coffee every day, and brought food the appropriate feet away and left it there for me. Mike moved the tv so I could open the door and watch satellite. He visited with me from the other side of the room, and he texted me a lot. LOL I was pretty miserable at first. SO tired, and nauseated. I had anti-nausea meds, so I wasn’t throwing up, just felt like I wanted to. My head was pounding. My glands were swollen. My throat hurt. I was exhausted. I was hot. I was cold. it sucked. And I had a mid-level dose. I can’t imagine what people who get higher doses felt like. 😦
Karla and Bri came up Friday night .SURPRISE and brought me a goodie basket for Saturday, when I was finally allowed off of my LID. Seriously… it kicked ass. Brownies, cookies, gummies, wine, alfredo lasagna roll ups…. I taught my daughter how to cook… I’m so glad!!! 🙂 Then Saturday came.. Mike went and got me breakfast from my favorite restaurant. 🙂
Can I just put in here that I love my family to pieces? They are so amazing and wonderful. I am so blessed to have them. I have AWESOME friends who kept me so positive with their texts and facebook posts… the cards I got in the mail, the prayers I received, the care packages I got… Truly truly blessed to have them all in my life. I can’t even begin to thank them enough for being so awesome.
The shit …. my hair. 😦 I don’t know if it’s because I was wearing a headband and the sweat.. the radioactive sweat.. made my hair fall out… or if I just have crappy luck, or both.. but , shortly after I finish this, I will be shaving off what’s left of the hair on my head. I’m trying to look at it this way…. it’s just hair. I’m REALLY REALLY trying. We shall see how long I can pull off that positive attitude before I bawl again. It’s just hair.
I do have one gripe, and I know I’ve said it before… but please PLEASE don’t tell someone with Thyroid Cancer that HEY, it’s the GOOD cancer. Or have the balls to say that’s it’s not REALLY cancer because it’s so easily cured. That seriously pisses me off. You .. (not you… the idiots who say that) have NO idea what I go through on a daily basis. The hair that’s gone.. that was falling out and thinning and brittle before radiation. The agonizing joint pain. The exhaustion. The stomach issues. The vitamin deficiencies .The exhaustion .The brain fog. The exhaustion. The invasive tests every 3 months. The expense. The brain fog. The exhaustion. Yes, I said that again… because it’s horrible. The throat pain. The neck pain. The fact that I can’t yell or scream for help if I am in a bad spot. The fact that I can’t sing anymore. The fact that my voice is not my voice. The fear that this GOOD cancer will go to my bladder or liver or pancreas, because it has the highest recurrence rate out of any cancer. The fear that someone in my family will get it. 😦 I take 20 pills every day just to make it through the day. Then there is that one day a week where I take 24. This is not good cancer. And it’s definitely very real and very debilitating. So please , don’t be so ignorant that just because you don’t see the physicality of it, that it’s not real or awful. It’s cancer… there is no such thing as good cancer.
On that note, I am going to go. I have an appointment to go lose what’s left of my hair. Embrace the bald… lol. I think I can rock it. I also have a couch that is calling my name. I’m so tired.
There are so many others who are in this same boat. So many others who are worse off than me. Pray for them.
Strength. Hope. They are not just words… they are life.