Now, on to the next phase

Met again with Dr. Q today, and he mapped out the whole post-surgery part of the treatment. Surprisingly, it is almost exactly what I expected, based on my reading on the web.

Over the next three weeks or so, I won’t be doing anything special. I’ll be taking Cytomel, which is a slightly different hormone-replacement drug than the one I have been on since my surgery (Synthroid), and calcium. I am anticipating feeling pretty normal throughout this period. I have been feeling pretty normal on the Synthroid so far, which was encouraging to me, but Dr. Q said I’m still going off the remnants of my thyroid (ghost thyroid!), so I can’t really judge yet how I’ll feel on the fake stuff.

About three weeks from now I’m going to make two big changes that will make me a little grumpy. First, I’m going to be off the all the hormones. With no real thyroid and no fake thyroid hormones, I’ll probably go kinda hypo. (Hypothyroidism is the condition in which you are deficient in thyroid hormones.) I am guessing I’ll be pretty fatigued and possibly moody and maybe some other stuff. Adding to my unhappiness is that I’ll be on a low-iodine diet, which means pretty much just fruits and vegetables and small amounts of meat. I just realized alcohol is fine, though, so maybe I should just drink all day long.

After that, probably around the first or second of week of May, I’ll start my radiation treatment. Plenty more details on that will be forthcoming, but basically I’ll take a radioactive iodine pill that will kill any last microscopic pieces of thyroid (and thereby thryoid cancer) that I’ve got. Other than maybe a little nausea, I shouldn’t feel anything. The problem is that I can’t be around other people while I’m all nuclear. I’ll have to be quarantined in our guest room and guest bathroom, without anyone getting within six feet of me. My wife is going to have make my food, put it all on disposable plates and leave it outside the door, like leaving a bowl of dog chow.

I’m told that the radiation effects are mostly gone after three or four days, but I should count on being quarantined for seven to 10 days, just to be sure.

So I’m going to have a week, locked in a room: sleeping, reading, watching TV, playing poker on the computer and playing with my new iPad. Could be worse. I’ll probably do a lot of blogging then.

But that’s still a few steps away.

I’ve still got to get this stupid tube removed from chest, which will happen when I go to see Dr. W in a couple hours. After that, there may not be much happening on the blog. As I said, I expect the next three weeks to be business as usual.

So far, this is not too bad.

If my biggest problems will be hunger, fatigue, moodiness and boredom, those are indeed small prices to pay to be cancer-free. Of course, I will be careful not to get too casual about the ease of my treatment, lest the Cancer Gods feel like they need to throw me some complications to regain their respect.

2 Comments on “Now, on to the next phase”

  1. Hi Jeff:

    I have been following your progress and am so glad everything is o.k. I will be watching as you embark on your new treatment. Watch out for calcium pills!! You thought not being able to pee was a bad thing!!
    Take care, we send our love to you, Lori and the children.

  2. Dan Cornell says:

    Jeff: just wanted you to know that I am in your camp. With your “every moment is sunshine” outlook, it will be a good read to stay up on your road to success! I know you’ll do great. The quarantine sounds ok for about 4 hours.

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