Doctor Day

Friday morning we headed to Lacrosse for my follow up doctor visit.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  Something had kind of been said when I last went in October but nothing was completely explained.

For those of you who are new readers or don’t remember, I was diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer last year on March 4th.  I went through the process of taking Radio Active Iodine and have had good reports ever since.

Well here I am a year later and it’s time for the dreaded check ups.  It was easy throughout the year to forget that I had cancer…easy to wash it all away in busyness…but Friday was my reminder day.  Yes, this is a part of my life and yes, I need to continue to manage it.  So from what I was told initial tests look good.  BUT there is a series of things I need to do before we know I’m in the clear…at least for another six months.

If cancer is going to reoccur it is most likely to reoccur sooner rather than later so I have to go through the long testing process.  It goes a little like this….

Today I start the low iodine diet.  I will be on this through April 7th….the diet is not fun but it’s do-able.

This diet and other things I have to do is to get my body ready to accept and devour the radioactive iodine.  To do that I have to be HUNGRY, HUNGRY for iodine…hence the diet.  Last time I also went off of my medication.  That was the worst part of the whole process.  I was a zombie, over emotional and exhausted.  This time, I’m not going off my meds.  Instead I am driving to Lacrosse for a shot…well actually two shots.  I go on Monday the 3rd then again on Tuesday the 4th.  Wednesday the 5th I am back to Lacrosse to take the Radio Active Iodine pill and Friday back again for the scan. The scan machine is something like this….

Image result for Radio active iodine scanner

For us, the trip to Lacrosse is two hours away….so over the course of a week, I’ll be in the car for 16 hours traveling between the clinic and home.  It’s all do-able but I feel bad as providing childcare is not possible.  I begged and pleaded for the shots to be able to happen at a closer to me satellite location but the doctor said that it’s $1400 per shot and they won’t let someone who doesn’t do it regularly administer them as if it wasn’t done according to protocol, insurance won’t cover a second shot.  As far as the Radio Active Iodine, satellite clinics don’t have the facility to store them.

I thought I would be able to work Thursday but was told that I’d likely be exhausted and that being I was radioactive, I can’t have babies sit on my lap or in really close proximity.

So there you have it…I have a week off of childcare.  It’s not what I thought was going to happen…not what I wanted to happen but here it is happening.

I debated and debated about simply going off of my medicine rather than taking the shots like I did last time but I was so miserable.  I was so run down I ended up in the ER and was a crying, blubbering mess.  Kalissa and Hubby both had no clue what to with me.  The complete exhaustion lasted for two full weeks and after I was still far from feeling good.  It took closer to 6 weeks before I was feeling like myself.  My doctor said that it wasn’t the Radioactive Iodine that does that…it’s the going off of meds that does.

This time I suspect having a week or so of feeling slow but not the complete exhaustion.  That sounds so much better even if it means long car rides and an inconvenience for my childcare families.

This scan will “light” on any thyroid cells that might be remaining and might have traveled in my body.  If something does “light” then that means I have cancer again and that I will have to go through the Radio Active Iodine treatment again.  My doctor says that all along my numbers have been good and my body has reacted favorably to treatments so although it is always a possibility, she doesn’t expect that anything will “light”.

This is good news.

Better news is that if nothing “lights”, I likely won’t have to go through this process again unless my blood test numbers flair or something else occurs.  I will however have to be back and forth to Lacrosse every six months for a few years and if we continue to get good blood readings, that will eventually spread out to yearly.

We have a plan and will have to work the plan.  I don’t love it but it is all do-able and in the scheme of things, no big deal.

25 thoughts on “Doctor Day

  1. Jill Klop

    I never realized that you would have to go through that radioactive treatment again. I’m sorry to read that. I’m putting you back in my prayer journal. I hope things go better for you this time around.

  2. Lana Ott

    I’m available to help if you need it. I can take you up, or whatever. Just let me know. I counted on a lot of people when I was in radiation and chemo. Now I can help.

  3. PattiLynn9

    Yes, we all gotta do what we gotta do…hopefully, this way won’t be such a miserable ordeal for you as last time. As for me, I just try to put one foot in front of the other and take only 1 step at a time, don’t look to far forward, don’t think wild/worry thoughts or ‘borrow trouble’….just work each day as it comes…and soon enough I’m thru the whole thing.

    I’ll pray for you and keep you in my thoughts.
    Such long trips, I hope you have some hand work to do in the car!

  4. Cindy

    I didn’t realize that you ight have to go through this again. I’ll put you on in my prayers. Take care and thanks for sharing.

  5. Ellie

    Your childcare families appreciate that you have to take care of yourself and do what you must do. We will all be sending good thoughts, prayers and energy your way!

  6. Cindy F

    Sending prayers for a clear scan. I know the fear that comes before the scans even if you expect them to be good. It gets better over time as you begin to trust it’s gone but rears it’s ugly head on follow ups. Hoping you can “get back to normal” quicker this time around!

  7. joyce

    Jo Sending prayers to you and your family as this is a stressful time for you. I love your positive attitude your a strong woman. Take care and your fellow quilters are with you all the time.

  8. Sandra B

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers that this round will be easier, and that the outcome will be a good one.

  9. Penny

    I didn’t know that you would have to go through all that again Jo! I wish you the best for a good report! Keeping you in my prayers ~

  10. Robby

    Prayers and good thoughts for both this coming week and the results. At least it won’t all catch you by surprise this time, and hopefully the effects will be diminished.

  11. Maureen

    Jo, I will be praying for you as you prepare for and have the scan, and as you await the results. “May the God of hope fill you (and your family) with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.

  12. Christine VanHorn

    Jo, sending prayers for you. I like u have thyroid issjes also. I have had the radio active iodine treatment, I was doing childcare also. I did not have cancer, but Graves Disease. If u ever need somebody to talk to you, please contact me. I know linger have a thyroid. I understand all about the emotions, and the exhaustion and everything else. I am available for rides also if u need help.
    God Bless you and good luck k.

  13. Jeri Niksich

    Prayers continued for you No in the upcoming testing etc. God is good and will see you through it again with better results. My eldest grand daughter had Leukaemia and made it through and so will you, in this I have complete confidence. Keep on “Keeping on” as the saying goes. We still have so much to learn from you, and you still have so much to teach us. The future looks so bright for you as well as with us.
    Jeri, Former Iowan removed to warmer Texas

  14. Lacefaerie

    Holding you in my prayers for an easier round testing than last time and all around favorable reports! Bless you with good health for all the love and care you give your family and your young charges!

  15. Jo Post author

    Thank you so much. That’s super sweet of you. There are ups and downs to it all and thankfully I’m feeling on the upside now. Right now I am looking at it as hurtles to jump.

  16. Dee

    I hope it all goes well and that you have a good outcome, your attitude and support network all sound like a recipe for success. Good luck and good thoughts coming from the UK x

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