Cancer Update

This was the week… It was my week to find out if the oral chemo and diet were working so I could be treated with Radioactive Iodine. If you’re new here- I have thyroid cancer and have since 2015. Mine is resistant to Radioactive Iodine which is the only way to treat it so I have to go through a few hoops to try to make the cancer accept Radioactive Iodine.

This has been my week so far…
Sunday…I was up early and on the road a few minutes after 6 am for a two-hour drive to Rochester Minnesota. I say two hours but the drive is shorter but if you add in time for parking, the bathroom, and checking in, it’s two hours.

Parking was a breeze as the ramp was pretty empty.

I was the only person in the waiting room and there was no one at the reception desk. It was weird.

I got my shot and headed home.

I was in and out so fast, that I decided the next day when I left I would time it. I left at 6 am on Monday. It was early so parking was good.

I left the parking lot to walk into my appointment at 7:50 am and was back in the car at 8:10 am. I told you it was fast. It’s always just one shot.

I went back to work and was there shortly after 11 am.

Tuesday I was back again. This time I had to get a tracer dose of Radioactive Iodine. Again, out of the house at 6 am for the two hour trek.

I was in and out really fast again so was back to work a few minutes after 10 am.

So much driving ugh. I appreciate the friends who have sent gas cards. It’s been so nice when I pull up at the pump to know people are helping me along.

On Wednesday it was scan day. It was the day that decided if I would continue with the treatment phase of the journey. So essentially we WANTED cancer to show up on the scans. If that cancer showed up, I was treatable. If it didn’t, there was no other treatment for me.

The weather wasn’t the best overnight and we had to leave at 5:30 am this day. Kalissa, my daughter, came with me. Rochester was supposed to get snow overnight so we decided to leave at 5:15 am instead in case the roads to the north were worse than in our area.

The roads were okay until we were about 10 miles from Rochester. Then there weren’t the greatest.

We went up and had the scans done. It was two different scans. The first was a 25-minute scan. The second was a 45-minute scan. These are scans where I lay down and am strapped to the board. I am put into a “cave” like area. The scanner comes down and is inches from my face. Anyone claustrophobic would need medication for this.

I got through the scans and then we waited. We would get a call to tell us if cancer showed up. Remember, we are hoping it does. (weird, I know.) We had to wait there because if it did show up, I needed to get yet another shot.

We waited about 90 minutes and then got the call. Cancer showed up. I could be treated. WHEW.

I got my shot and we were on the road yet again headed home making the two-hour drive.

As we were driving I said to Kalissa I wish we had the results of the scan. All we knew was that cancer showed up. We didn’t know where. We figured after the November scans that it was in my lungs and my spine but had it grown? Did the spine cancer shrink after radiation? So we messaged my doctor and asked for the scans to be released.

Later in the day, the results came back.

The right Hilar Lymph node is acting up again. The lower right lobe lung mass is there. Anything else is not showing up or isn’t there in my lungs. In my spine my L5 is uptaking….and there was somewhere else too. I read the scan notes and reread them. WHAT?

On the way home when Kalissa and I were talking I said to her, “I hope it isn’t in my pancreas or liver. That’s typically not good news. She said ya… let’s hope for not in the kidney too. (at this point in my cancer journey, we all laugh and joke about my cancer-if we didn’t, we’d likely cry).

Kalissa and I were both wrong. It wasn’t in my pancreas, or my liver, or my kidneys.

When I made Kayla guess, she said brain. Nope…not my brain. No breast cancer either.

At this point, you might be thinking I’m out of places to guess. Well if anyone guessed my intramuscular left thigh, you would be right.

WHAT!! Yes. I have metastatic intramuscular thyroid cancer in my left thigh. I don’t know what that means or if it changes or adds anything to my treatment. Of course, my doctor was gone for the day by the time I read the scan notes. I might find out more tomorrow…because yes. I go back again.

Thursday is scan day again. More time with the claustrophobic scanners. This time daughter Kelli is going with me. We’ll be leaving at 5:20 am again. Oh my. Tomorrow is my last back-and-forth day. After the scans, we can go home. Kelli wants to do some shopping though so we will. Then she is taking my dogs home with her and I’ll be dogless. Oh, I hate that thought. I won’t get them back for about a week or so. UGH.

Friday I go to the hospital and stay. I’ll be there through Sunday…maybe into Monday. It all depends on how quickly I flush the radioactive iodine. If the cancer had not shown up on the scans today, I would have been deemed untreatable, so for now, I am celebrating that as good news and now letting the intramuscular cancer in my thigh bother me. This is a one thing at a time deal and that’s how I’m taking it.

I’ll let you know more when I know more. Thanks for the many notes, messages, and cards you all have been sending me. I have been getting a couple of cards each day and it really brightens my days. THANKS SO MUCH.

I do have to ask that if you know anything about intramuscular cancer, please drop me a note in the comment section. THANKS! I’m curious to know more about it.

34 thoughts on “Cancer Update”

  1. Susan from Michigan

    Thank you for the update Jo. It somewhat sounds like good news but we’ll see what the doctor says. I admire your bravery and strength through all this. Your attitude is admirable as well. Praying for you and your family.

  2. Jo, I was literally holding my breath until you said the cancer did show up. I am thrilled that this can be treated once again. I know almost nothing about cancer, but I do understand that this is thyroid cancer, no matter the location. Sending you all the good vibes I can muster. Hang in there, Jo.

  3. Wow, I have never heard of intramuscular cancer.
    Very glad you got the ‘treatable’ news though. Hope you get lots of stitching done this weekend!
    Awaiting good news in Oregon:)

  4. Can you help me (us?) understand about how you said you won’t be able to see your grands for some time after your radioactive treatment, but you can get your dogs back in a week. Are dogs or other pets, immune to the effects of the radiation? Thank you.
    Continued prayers and blessings to you in your journey!

  5. Thanks for the update! So thankful that you will be able to do the treatment, hoping the side affects won’t be as bad as last time, things seem to be better managed by the medical staff this time. Continued prayers for you and your family.

  6. What a week for you – I’m glad your daughters can be there to support you. I, too, held my breath till I read the cancer showed up on the scans. Hope this weekend passes quickly for you – don’t forget your cross stitch! You’re in my thoughts.

  7. I am one of many who have not heard your current struggle. I did find this one thing:
    Other risk factors for soft tissue sarcoma include the following:
    1) Past treatment with radiation therapy.
    Prayers continue. Happy that you are able to go to Mayo Clinic.

  8. much love on the way to you Jo. praying that everything works out very favorably. so happy that you are able to have the treatment. that is a plus. remember the Great Physician is with you every step of the way. stay strong. blessings Jo. praying for you and your family. so glad you have the much needed support. God bless you all.

  9. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Praying for you all week and will continue! Your positive attitude is amazing and is definitely standing you in good stead. Hope you don’t get bored this weekend!! Enjoy your time with intensive needlework.

  10. Such good news in spite of everything. I am keeping you in my prayers along with the others. Glad your daughters are able to go as needed with you. Besides news of your treatment, also looking forward to hearing about your cross-stitch projects you will be working on.

  11. Geez, what a week! So glad they saw the cancer and now it’s time to kick that cancer on it’s butt! Prayers to you and your family! Hope with all the stitching you are bringing the time passes quickly!

  12. sorry to the dogs. I forgot about their having to be quarantined and even counting\ on them for keeping you from being lonely.

  13. Your upbeat attitude amazes me. Glad your daughters can go with you, driving by yourself can get very long when it is daily. Sending prayers your way.

  14. Jo, i have every confidence that the Lord goes with you and ahead of you as you walk one step at a time teaching us all Grace, Hope, and Love as you go. We’re all praying for you and we thank you for being exactly who you are. We love you very much – you got this!

    The poem below i believe was written by Edward Guess. I have also heard parts of it in song form. It reminds me of you and your relationship with all of us even though most of us have never met in person. We call you FRIEND! God bless, April in Iowa

    I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
    I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
    The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
    Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
    And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
    For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

    I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
    I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
    And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
    But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
    For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
    But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

    When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
    When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
    Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
    To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
    And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
    Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

    One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
    One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
    Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
    For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
    Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
    I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

  15. My prayers continue that there are answers and comfort for whatever lies ahead. Thank you for sharing all of this with us all. We care.

  16. Sending all good thoughts and wishes your way Jo. As others have said…your attitude is inspirational. I hope your stay in the hospital passes quickly for you. Yes, we care!!!1

  17. Will pray for you on this journey. Like many others have said, your attitude to all this is fabulous and very inspiring. If I have to go through any of this I will try to take a leaf out of your book! I also waited with bated breath for the result of your test to see if the cancer was treatable, and heaved a sigh of relief when it was. Really hoping you will be able to conquer this and add a good number of years to your life. I enjoy your blogs. God bless you and take care. ❤️

  18. I’m so glad that you’re treatable! That is good news! We are all praying the weekend goes well for you and this intramuscular cancer is wiped out along with the rest. Our prayers are with you and your family Jo. Hug from my family to you and yours.

  19. Praying for you our Warrior Queen. Keep battling on for your family and all of your supporters. We all love you.

  20. I have, like many people, silently watched as your family walked through lows and highs, but came through together. This has you alone physically, but you have all who care for you praying and surrounding you. I’m praying for you and yours that God gives you grace for the day.

  21. I will be praying for you. I understand your journey – I too have thyroid cancer and had my thyroid removed in 2017. Now they think it’s in my lungs…. so scan… wait… scan again… blood tests…. and maybe in April they will decide on treatment. My best wishes to you. Laughter is the best the medicine.

    1. Private message me anytime Amy…I’ll happily share my experiences with you. It’s not fun to do cancer alone…Many good thoughts for you and your family as you travel through this journey.

    2. April in Iowa

      Mega prayers going out for you, Amy. Jo wont let you go through this journey alone. Please keep us in the loop as much as you are comfortable… WE CARE!

      April in Iowa

  22. HANG IN THERE, JO!!! Many prayers for you and all your family and medical team!!! Thank you for sharing your journey – it is enlightenment for all of us.

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