The final stage is about to begin

I titled this blog Beating Thyroid Cancer, and so far I am crushing it. I’m not actually doing anything, but I’ve been feeling great, so it’s not doing anything to me. And if any of that nasty stuff is even left inside of me, it’s about to get obliterated. Ablated, to use the proper term.

I feel like it’s the bottom of the ninth inning, and I’ve just got to get through one last bit of business before this game is over. And the business shouldn’t even a big deal. Should be routine. Like a six-run lead with Mariano Rivera on the mound.

Here’s the situation: Tomorrow I will go to the hospital to get my tracer dose of RAI. I’m told it’s so small that I won’t feel anything and I won’t be a danger to anyone else, so I can continue to be around people like normal. Just in case, I’m getting my quarantine room all ready.

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LID: Day 6, this is a lot of work

Got through the first weekend of the LID, and so far I have to say it’s going pretty well. I haven’t felt hungry or deprived or like I’m eating things that don’t taste good. It’s just … a … lot … of … work. I don’t know how you could do this if you had a job. I know you are supposed to prepare a lot of stuff in advance in freeze it, but that takes time, too.

I’ve got to give my wife a shout-out here. I really could not be doing this without her. At the moment neither one of us is working, so it seems like we spend all day prepping, baking, loading the dishwasher, emptying it, etc. Most days we cook or bake just one new thing, so it’s manageable, but today was a little crazy.

First thing was to bake some more bread. We have borrowed a bread-maker, but the bread comes out better when we use a different recipe. This morning she made the dough, kneaded it, then let it sit for an hour or so, then split it between two pans, then let it sit some more, then put it in the oven. But, oops, she forgot to change the temperature of the oven like the recipe says, so the bread was ruined. Then we made meatballs and burger patties out of the big batch of ground turkey we bought on Wednesday. Then we made pasta sauce. Then we made vinaigrette. The latter two don’t take very long, but still, you go through a lot of dishes that require cleaning. Then, we made the bread again. (Check here to see what I ate today, out of all that.)

That’s a full day. Ran the dishwasher three times and still have dishes left in the sink for tomorrow.

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RAI is scheduled: May 3

It took longer than I would have liked to get my RAI on the calendar, because of some scheduling issues at the Nuclear Medicine Department — Nuclear Medicine … sounds cool — but finally I know what’s happening when.

On May 2, I will go in to have a tracer dose of the radioactive iodine. That’ll be used for a scan the next day, so they’ll look for something and determine what dosage I need of the real thing. I assume they see how much of my old thyroid gland is still in there. So on May 3, they’ll give me that pill, and then I’ll go home and begin my quarantine, which will last a week to 10 days.

I’m actually sort of looking forward to it. As I understand it, the only side-effects that I may feel are a little nausea or possibly a dry mouth. But it’s possible I won’t have any of that. I could feel perfectly normal the whole time. I’ll just be hanging out in our guest room watching baseball, watching movies, reading, playing online poker. (My iPad is scheduled to arrive April 30!) I’ll still be able to see my family and talk to them, as long as they stay in the doorway and don’t come in. But I won’t have to get anyone ready for school or empty the diswasher or take out the trash or do anything.

I’m just gonna sit and glow.

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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.

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