Monday was doctor day for me. For those of you who don’t know or need a little refresher, I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in 2016. It is slowly coming back. I have evidence of cancer growing in my lungs but was told it was slow-growing and I shouldn’t worry about it. If you want to read a full story, you can do that HERE.
I was put on a schedule to see the doctor every six months and that is what I have been doing. I was assured that this will be ongoing and I will likely be dealing with appointments for the rest of my life.
For the most part, I’m not bothered by it all. My kids joke that they have trouble keeping up with me so if I have to have cancer, at least it is not dampening my day-to-day life. I am so thankful for that. Every six months, it does reek havoc on all our thoughts and worries though, as that’s when I have to go back to Mayo Clinic and see how things are doing.
Today…it was Level 3 parking for me… Level three parking is very unusual except when you have to be at Mayo Clinic at 7 am for a blood test. I live two hours away so I was up bright and early hoping for a good news day as I made the drive.
The first bit of news…the waiting room for labs got remodeled. It was much needed.
It was bloodwork, then a chest CT, back to back. After that, it was time in the waiting room for me. Happily, I brought cross stitch with me. I had about four hours to kill. It was okay and necessary so the doctor could get the test results back.
I got called back and then waited and waited and waited. I hate that. I think it’s partly a “leftover of covid”. They don’t want people sitting in the waiting room….anyway, first I saw the Fellow and later my doctor. I really like my doctor so was a little disappointed with the Fellow. He was great and if he was my original doctor, I would be content with him…but I really like my doctor. She’s really good at explaining things.
She ended up coming in and was great. I got pretty much the same story as before…My nodes had grown slightly-as in 2-3 millimeters larger. I didn’t really appear to have more nodes. There really was no need to worry. My bloodwork wasn’t back. She’d see me in 6 months.
That was what I had wanted in all of this. I’m too realistic to expect things to be magically gone. This was the best news I thought I could get. I happily went on my way thinking this was a great visit.
I ended up doing some shopping…then on the way home as I was chatting with Kalissa on the phone another call came in. I didn’t recognize the number. I answered it. It was my doctor.
Well, that bloodwork that hadn’t been back came back. It wasn’t the best news. My thyroglobulin tumor marker had more than doubled. That’s an indication that there is more cancer. She said that follicular thyroid cancer, the kind I have, likes to throw big numbers. My numbers are high enough that I’ll need to go back and get a PET scan in three months.
I questioned why wait for three months. She assured me that although the number had taken a bigger than expected jump, it still wasn’t outrageously high…so the urgency isn’t there.
I tried to wiggle around with her and get the PET scan sooner but she was pretty firm in telling me that to do it now wasn’t necessary and that insurance only lets PET scans happen every six months or so we needed to save our chances to have them done.
The doctor again reassured me that this is normal for a return cancer like mine. She told me not to worry about it and just live life.
She said I am back to having to go to the doctor every three months. That part, I’m not thrilled about. I was liking the every six months mode. It meant not being bothered with doctor appointments as often.
She also said they are going to readjust my thyriod replacement meds. I am getting too much and that’s throwing me into hyperthyroidism. In the end, I was glad to learn about that as I’ve been having symptoms, but didn’t know that my thyroid meds were the reason. It’s great to know that some of the symptoms I’ve been having can easily be corrected with just a change in meds.
So…that’s my doctor news. It’s the best…it’s not the worst. I’m content with it and not overly worried. I’ll report back in 3 months.