So life has gotten busy since I last posted... strangely, this is a good thing. My "health" has been generally unremarkable, wow huh? I had a basic scan and blood test in May and all was well. The only thing that has changed in the last year was a reduction of my thyroid med level (yes, still suppressed). As a result, I have struggled with a slower than "normal" movements and reduced appetite; perhaps the endoscopy and colonoscopy in October will shed some light on the last few odd months. Otherwise, all is well.
Have I said that I am actually happy to talk with folks about my illness? Well, may happy isn't the right phrase, more like comfortable. After 5+ years, there is no embarrassing stigma behind having cancer that I cannot overcome by simply talking about the steps and conditions that I endure to get here today. It isn't exactly a badge of honor; however, in the same way a purple heart awardy doesn't care to be identified as a victim, I have embraced my status and continuously look to use the experience assuring others that yes it is possible to become more than survivors... Thank God, I am a thriver.
When was the last time that you just lived? Over the summer my family and I jumped from platforms and hung-out on cables. We glided on ropes over lakes and climbed trees. It was the most fun I had in a while. The day was rainy, but the smiles melted the dreariness of the we clothes. My boys will never forget the zip lines and I won't soon forget the freedom of God's gentle tug at my heart to see life again. I say dance despite the rain!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
So, I have been going to Voice Physical Therapy for about 8 weeks now, and it is working! I have learned how to talk again without straining my vocal cords and losing my voice. The best part is that I can sing again :)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
My husband's employer's insurance company decided to present my husband's employer an offer they couldn't refuse. They, the insurance company, said if you can get all of the cover people to use "X Company" to get their regular maintenance medicine through the mail it will be cheap for you, my husband's employer. Sounds great right? Lower prices for medicine to all the employees :)
Well, that is fine and all for the medicine that doesn't prevent cancer!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
So, here I am 2 months out from a clean scan and I have lost my voice, UGH! It has become normal really; I have continued to have throat pains and hoarseness for no apparent reason since the Cancer diagnosis in 2007. I have generally thought that the throat tightness and sore throats were just side effects of the neck surgeries. Well, a week went by and no change... then 2 weeks, and 3 weeks; finally, the 4th week I went to the doc. Yep, that isn't good and there is some swelling.
Friday, November 11, 2011
This scan experience was definitely one of the better ones. My TSH was high enough to scan but low enough to allow me to function fairly well @ 33! Now that may seem alarming to some Thyca (thyroid cancer) patient. Thyca patients that are normally suppressed, any rise in the TSH level is risky; however, for the RAI PET scan it is a must. I asked my doctor about my TSH not being as high as before (at 70+ the last 3 scans) and if this could be a problem.
Monday, November 7, 2011
So now on Day 16 of LID and wheewee am I ready for the scan! Put my new sweatshirt on and the crowd in the Nuclear Department loved it! I had the folks smiling again. I think that it is great to brighten up such a ho-hum glum room of scared people with a cheery disposition. I mean, really guys, we have it good... because we know that we have cancer and this is our battle ground to get the chance to beat it! As long as we follow the LID rules; the pill dose the hard work. Sometimes I feel like I would like to see how that cell takes the iodine in and WHAM! SPLAT! (like in batman) You are dead cancer cell :)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Today, my mother-in-law was admitted in the hospital. She has been having pain in her neck and back. Her MRI revealed masses surrounding her spine and esophagus. She had Breast Cancer about 13-14 years ago. It was bad then and she did all the experimental drugs and chemo that she could get her hands on at the time. That and surgery worked for her then, now it could be back. Research has shown recurrence to be in this time frame. I only mention this because HCC often re-occurs within 5 years. I honestly have been trying not to think about it.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Oddly enough, I still feel well after 6 days on LID and having no Synthroid/Cytomel. I was so sure that it would have hit me by now, I am almost nervous. If my blood work in just over a week shows no increase in TSH, I may have to stay on this withdrawal longer. That is NOT cool! In the meantime, I have managed to find a few articles and websites for support.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Well, day 2 on the Low Iodine Diet (LID). I am doing GRRRR8! Going to work in my office too (in my house :) I love my job online!!! Nothing like taking driving away from someone that doesn't have to drive, right? My husband picked up the "bus" driving duties and I am lovin' that! Soon the Slo-Mo will set in and I am ready. I have loads of staples and fruit/veggies. I have decided that I will do this without meat this time.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Well back on Cytomel. Without Levoxyl, I feel numb and slow. I guess that is better than dumb and slow right? Oh yeah that is only days away, when everything gets taken away, no medicine, no good food, no driving... So Thank you God for Cytomel!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today is day 3 on the withdrawal regiment and I am surely feeling it. The difference in medicine is simplest terms is the regular one lasts longer than 24 hours (you build up a steady level) and the temporary one last 12 hours (your level fluctuates). The regular one stays in your system longer and the temporary doesn't. So, what is happening? Right now, I haven't had the regular for 3 days and the symptoms have started with a numb face, foggy thoughts, and unable to stay up late (about 2 hours earlier than the regular meds). While this doesn't sound so bad at first, it gets much worse soon.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This month, a man that I will never know died of the disease that I know very well, HCC (Hurthle Cell Carcinoma). His mark on this Earth is great and felt by many, including me. What he started with his wife impacted my knowledge of the disease. His beginnings provided encouragement to the fact that others where in the same place even miles apart.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I used to really want to know how this happened and where was I exposed to this thing that mutated my DNA. Even 3 years later, I still wonder if God will ever give me that answer here on Earth. I don't think knowing would change the outcome for me or make me live my life any different. I just want to know that I did everything that I was supposed to do...
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
So what do you do when you don't have to scan... LIVE! I started working at home as a virtual assistant for a friend. I am spending more time with my children and even have a dog. I am on Facebook and Blogging.
My health was good but slowly getting worse with more stress at work and unforeseen changes. I ended up leaving the job I loved. I turned to fix my health and my well being.
My year scan went off without a hitch. My second garden was better than the first! I was even able to take "the shot" and keep a job and sanity despite "the diet". The oncologist was even pleasant. Yippee, my next round would be in two years. The clean scan helped me see that full time work would be possible. I had a temporary job over the summer and felt ready for the challenge of the 40+ hour week. I found a great job with enough challenges to keep my mind off cancer.
The plan was simple no pill, no driving, no good food, and no cancer, right? Well in a nutshell, yes. I grew my own garden and became quite the green thumb. The 6 month scan was nearly the same as the first. The nuclear medicine team was the same and I felt more comfortable. In fact, the waiting room became like a new family.
It took awhile after the radiation to realize what the new normal would be. The treatment brought with it so much pain in my jaw that I was in tears many nights. My oncologist insisted that it wasn't bad and I should suck on lemon drops. I tried but the pain simply increased.
Surgery day came and went. I had the right side of my thyroid removed. I was healing and got the call. It was malignant and I had another surgery in 6 weeks. It was Cancer. It wasn't out of me yet.
My visit at the new doctor was excellent. We (my husband along side) walked in and they nurses knew that we were indeed unusual. Nothing had changed at that point still nothing to add to the symptoms, just a lump. The doc walks in and he had no funny business about him.
One fall morning in 2007, I awoke to a really painful, hard to swallow sore throat. But wait, why does it hurt different? It doesn't burn. It's not scratchy. I can really talk just fine. There is no fever, what is this? Why do I have this pain in my neck without regular sore throat pain?