See, when I started this blog and called it “Beating Thyroid Cancer,” I knew how it was going to end. And this is the end, essentially.
Last week was the big hurdle when I had my whole body scan it came back negative. There was one last little piece of business to take care of after that. I had a blood test on Monday to search for any last little indications of cancer. Yesterday morning I saw Dr. Q and he gave me the results.
Is there a nicer word in the English language?
First, sorry I’ve been negligent in updating this lately. The first time I went through all this I didn’t have a job, so I had a lot more free time to update the blog with every thought and every morsel I ate on the LID.
But enough of that, there’s news today.
I had my WBS (whole body scan) this morning. When it was over, the doctor didn’t even talk to me. The tech just came out and said…
“The doctor said we’re not treating you. There’s nothing to treat.”
Well, isn’t that kinda awesome? I actually started to cry, which I did not expect at all. Because all my blood work had been clear along the way, I was pretty sure the scan would be clear. I had been very nonchalant about the whole process. However, apparently there was a lot more doubt in my head than I’d been acknowledging, because when I got the official news, there was a big release.
It’s been a long time since I posted anything. That’s a good thing. It means my cancer has been a non-issue in my life for months. I’ve felt totally fine. No problem with the meds. Nothing. Just taking my pills every day and leading my life.
But now we’re about to go into The Big Scan, which will be reassuring to me and my wife that everything is still okey dokey. Prior to that I’ll be going back on the LID, so that’s kind of a pain.
Before we get to that, let’s go back a bit. A funny thing happened to me that I want to share.
I’ve said all along that I feel exactly the same without a thyroid as I felt with one, but that’s not exactly true. One of the side affects I had been warned about was sensitivity to cold, and I’m definitely feeling that. It’s now November and the temperature drops into the 40s at night and we’ve had a few days where it barely cracks 60. I’m cold all the time. I am going to need to crack open the LL Bean catalogue and get some winter wear.
Oh well, if this is my biggest problem, I can handle it.
Had my 6-month ultrasound last week and got the results of my bloodwork today….
Nothing on the ultrasound. Thyroglobulin level at 0. I don’t know exactly what that means, other than that’s exactly what Dr. Q said he wanted to see.
I’m not naive enough to use the words “cured” or “cancer free,” but it is good news. Now I have about seven more months to wait till I do another whole body scan. I believe there are a few hoops to jump through for that, but I’m not going to worry about it for a while.
It’s been so long I almost forgot I had this blog. That’s good.
Had an apppointment with Dr. Q a few days ago. He said my bloodwork was normal, so my current dose of thyroid meds is right. However, my wife said I had been smelling a little weird since going on my thyroid meds after my RAI. I couldn’t really smell it. I hadn’t noticed anyone else having a strange reaction to me (maybe they were just being polite). I mentioned it to Dr. Q, and he said he’d never heard that one before (but Google has). But, just in case it did have something to do with the meds, he switched me from Levothyroxin (the generic) to Synthroid. It’s been a few days on Synthroid, and my wife says it’s better.
Next up for me is an ultrasound in November. Hopefully that comes up clean.
It’s been four months since my surgery, and I feel pretty much exactly the same as I did before this all started. I’ve gained a little weight, but unfortunately I can’t attribute that to my hormones. Dr. Q said my levels are a touch high, if anything, so I shouldn’t be gaining weight. I guess I’m just being lazy and eating too much. I think I ate poorly before my LID, figuring I’d just lose a bunch of weight during the two weeks on the diet, and then I ate poorly after the LID, because I was so happy to be able to eat regularly again. That was 10 weeks ago. Well, if my biggest problem is that I’m too fat, rather than having cancer, then that’s a good thing.
I haven’t posted anything in a while, which is good. There’s been nothing to post.
Had my follow-up with Dr. Q a couple weeks ago and he confirmed what I learned from the scan. No sign of any spread of the cancer. All I’m doing now is waiting. I’ll have an ultrasound in about 5 months and another WBS in 11 months. In the meantime, my treatment is over.
Dr. Q upped my dose of Levothyroxin from 150 to 175, but I don’t really feel any different. My skin is a little less dry, but that’s it. Haven’t had any real fatigue that you’d associate with hypo the whole time.
So that’s it. Pretty much back to my normal life. Waiting to see that I’m in the clear.
I waited a few days to update because I wanted to hear from my endo. It’s all been a little confusing, but I think I’ve got it now. The bottom line is everything is still going as well as could be expected, even though I expected a little more.
See, I didnt know what to expect, which is partly my doctor’s fault and partly my fault for assuming things instead of asking.
Here’s what happened. Two days ago I went back to the hospital for my WBS (whole body scan). I had assumed the purpose of that was to see if the RAI had worked. I had assumed that if the RAI zapped all the remaining thyroid tissue (and therefore thyroid cancer) that I’d get a big thumbs up and they say: “You’re cured!” (Maybe not “cured” but at least “We can’t see any more to treat. So now we’ll just monitor you indefinitely.”)
Today — I waited till the end of the day to update — was a better day. Sort of. The nausea was better. The icky taste in my mouth was less. I actually ate what I wanted to eat (chocolate cheerios for breakfast and a shrimp burrito for lunch) even though I couldn’t really enjoy them as much as I would under normal circumstances.
Mostly now I’m just getting stir crazy. For some reason I didn’t think I’d mind just chillin in bed for a few days because I’d be able to relax, read, watch TV, and not have to worry about anything else. That was true for about a day and a half. Then I was feeling kinda sick. And now I’m just feeling like I’m ready to get the hell out of here. I don’t know if this room really smells funny or if my senses are just a little haywire. I’ve washed the sheets and opened the window and turned on the ceiling fan and sprayed Lysol. This room is still just … stale. Literally and figuratively.
I should maybe wait a little later in the day to judge how I’m feeling. Right now it’s not good. Of course, it’s only 8:52 am. I just woke up and took my Synthroid (Levothyroxin, to be precise) so maybe that’ll help me feel better. Maybe what I felt yesterday was not the RAI, but just the hypo catching up to me. After all, I hadn’t had any thyroid meds in 17 days.
Anyway, right now I have an icky taste in my mouth, which I’m sure is the RAI. No pain, though, so hopefully this will just go away over the next few days. I have a little chill, too and I also feel pretty fatigued and a little nauseous. Those could be hormones or RAI.
Today I finally get to go off the LID, but I am not really interested in eating anything. Maybe this is where I’ll lose those pounds I was expecting to lose on the LID.