I know many of you are curious so I thought I would throw in a doctor update.
Number one and highest on the things I would like to update you about. I feel totally fine. I feel completely normal. Everyone has been asking how I feel. Absolutely nothing has changed in my health physically that I can note. I was walking with a friend the other day. We walked three miles. I didn’t feel winded…nothing different at all.
At times, I actually think that can be more scary than good. It would be so easy to deny that I have anything going on. The tumor in my lungs is minuscule compared to what my husband’s was. (for anyone new here, he died of lung cancer in June of 2019).
I had always wondered how his could have gotten so big and he didn’t notice it. I think that is actually a problem for those of us in our late 50s and early 60s. We come to the point we are aging. We can’t do everything as quickly as we once did. We get an ache or pain and say, “Oh, this must be what aging is”. We tire a little easier and say, “Oh, this must be what aging is”. It is so easy to take aging for what could actually be a medical condition. I think that’s what Kramer did.
Regardless…I truly feel normal. No shortness of breath. No extra tiredness. No nothing to speak of. I’m glad I saw the tumor on the PET scan or I might be in denial.
The next question I’ve been getting is about where I am at in the treatment process. Here’s the answer to that…
Insurance denied coverage for the drug I need. You might remember I need a drug that isn’t often used the way I need it used. Insurance typically denies it and the doctor has to submit extra paperwork before it is accepted. Sometimes even then insurance won’t cover it.
I was assured by my Mayo doctor not to worry about it as Mayo has a financial assistance program and I’ll likely qualify if insurance refused to cover. So…I’m not worrying.
The Mayo Specialist pharmacy called me and told me not to worry as most insurances refuse coverage the first time it is run through. So, I’m listening to advice and not worrying.
We did learn a little more about the drug I’ll be taking. It was a complete surprise to us but it is an oral chemotherapy drug. I’d previously been told I would never have chemo for thyroid cancer.
I guess there is a term called “off label use”. That means patients don’t use the drug for what it was originally designed for. I’ll be using it in that capacity. It won’t cure my cancer but it will help it to work with Radioactive Iodine which will treat my cancer. That’s why it’s a problem to get as it’s “off label use”.
That’s also why the side effects of it are so terrible. It’s a chemotherapy drug. I’m told I’m not supposed to lose all of my hair with it but it will likely thin. That’s actually the least of the side effects.
We ended up questioning whether I can do childcare during this period and were told that I can. It would depend more on how I felt than the drug itself. We know people who go through chemo and are so immune-compromised that they shouldn’t be out and about. I need to be careful but not paranoid.
In prep for it all, I’m back to wearing my mask in public. I figure any cold or and covid I can avoid, I really should try to avoid. I am still going out though. Not a lot. Mentally, I think it’s good for me.
So I told you physically how I’m doing. Now mentally…
I’m doing okay. I’m getting my head wrapped around it and getting the plans I can get in place, in place. I am a “work the plan” sort of girl and as the things fall in place, the better I feel.
I’m super excited that I’ll be stitching my new Floral Motif Sampler as a count down to the end of treatment… Everything arrived in the mail. If you heard some squealing from NE Iowa on Thursday of last week, it was me. I was squealing over the chart. It really will be perfect to track my cancer journey.
If you missed when I wrote about the chart, my plan is to stitch a flower every day while I’m taking meds and doing isolation for my cancer treatment.
I am currently missing three colors but am totally okay with subbing in DMC. I’ve looked around and the colors I’m missing seem to have sold out everywhere. The spots where the thread is used are so small that using DMC won’t be noticed.
I’m going to get my floss in bags and get this in a project bag. SQUEAL!! Can you tell I am really excited about this? I REALLY am.
Other things on the mental side of this all…I’ve vowed that this time around with my Low Iodine Diet, which I hate and whine about, I’ll do better. I have to do the diet as part of the treatment plan. In the past, I’ve given up on making decent food and this time, I won’t. I decided when the time comes for me to be on the diet, I’m going to embrace it.
People all the time tell me how they have learned things from the blog. Me, during the several times I’ve done this diet, have been so frustrated and wished there was a landing spot for some recipes and advice for me while I’m doing the diet. I got to thinking, why not me? Why don’t I be the landing place for people who are going through a low iodine diet? I can find and make enough recipes to help others through this. I can post them here on the blog. I know the recipes won’t be for everyone but even people who are trying to cut their salt intake could benefit from these recipes…so now I have a mission and I’m working on that.
I’m working on making some freezer meals and am super excited about it. I discovered I could make my yard sauce only make it “legal” for the diet.
I’ll tell you all about it once the time gets closer. For now, know that I’m doing about the best I ever have mentally. That’s great!!
So…all and all I’m on schedule. Everything is going as expected…well, not really. My mental attitude about all of this is really great… In previous times it was so much scarier and I was more worried. This time, I’m doing much better.