Today is Doctor Day.
For those of you new here I’ll do a quick recap.
In December of 2015 in a routine annual check my doctor felt lumps on my thyroid. This turned out to be troublesome. In February of 2016 my thyroid was removed and in March pathology showed it was cancerous. In April I was given Radioactive Iodine treatment…and May I recovered.
We thought that was going to be the end of it. It wasn’t. Since then my thyroglobulin tumor marker has gradually started going up. I was told if the number got over a 2 we should be concerned that the cancer had returned.
In July of 2018 it had crept to 1.5. At that point we were concerned because of the progressive movement upward…testing increased. I was moved to a schedule that I was monitored every 3 months vs every 6 months. By October of the same year it was 2.8. Tests were run and although the number was high, no test would show where the cancer was.
Since the fall of 2018 I’ve been dealing with this on a more serious level. I go through tests every three months…the tests include some combination of PET scans, Chest CT scans, Neck Ultrasounds, Neck CT scans, Needle Biopsies to my thyroid area and the dreaded diet along with shots and full body scan. None of these show cancer….yet somewhere, I have cancer- we know that because the thyroglobulin tumor marker rises.
Discussion have been around how to treat me. Doctors don’t like to treat blindly. They want to know all there is to know before a treatment so proper dosing can be given. So I haven’t been treated. If the cancer is in my neck in the my thyroid bed, they want to remove it surgically first, then treat. If it’s moved to my lungs, they want to remove it first, then treat. Through all the test, nothing has been found to remove….at least not something definitive.
In February I went in and we were suppose to do a bunch of testing but that was all cancelled because of covid. I messaged my doc in early May and asked. She told me that the earliest testing would be done is June as Wisconsin was on lock down through the end of May but that all changed and I got a phone call a week ago and have appointments scheduled for today.
As part of the new testing starting up, I went in last week and had a blood test to get a new tumor marker number…
In October of 2019 it was 26.
In February of 2020 it was 32.
I know your initial reaction is lucky, “oh no!!” or “that poor girl”. That is not my reaction.
At this point, I’m really indifferent. It is what it is. We’ve known this has been brewing. Maybe now they will be able to find it and maybe now we can deal with it. If my number remained close to the previous number then maybe it wouldn’t show up on tests again. With this number, I’m relatively sure I will be treated blindly if nothing actually shows up on any scans.
My main hope at this point is that the PET scan is clear and the other tests find the problem. If the PET scan finds it, that means Radioactive Iodine won’t be able to treat it and chemo and radiation would be on the table. UGH. I really would prefer not to go down that road.
I’ve felt well all along the journey this has taken me on and that is a real blessing. I hope, it can stay that way.
So while you are reading this today, I’m on my way to Lacrosse. That’s where my doctor is…and where the testing is getting underway. The good news is that I’ll know the results today and will meet with my doctor today. Watch for a post tomorrow and I’ll let you know what I know.