We got some good news with today’s appointments in Rochester. As many of you know, I’ve been doctoring at Mayo this week for my reoccurring thyroid cancer. If you’re just jumping in, read this post and this post.
Our day started at the hotel – Kalissa and I were so glad we stayed overnight. It’s FREEZING here in Minnesota and the Rochester area was placed in a blizzard warning – not because of snow but because the winds were so high it was blowing snow like crazy. The little bit we were outside, the wind cut hard.
We got to the scan at 7:30 am. First, it was first a 30-minute scan followed by a 40 minutes scan. As I was leaving, I talked to the tech who specializes in these kinds of scans for my type of cancer, I said, “I know you can’t tell me anything, but do you think you’ll be seeing me later for my Thyrogen shot?” (That would mean there was good uptake on the scan and it worked) she said, “Yeah, I think I’ll be seeing you later today and tomorrow.” With a wink and a “you didn’t hear that from me.” So going into the office, I had a glimpse of relief going into my next appointment. I have to admit, I’ve not really cried much through all of this…but that brought a couple of tears. The stress of all of this finally hit me. It’s been a long time of ups and since September when we first learned all of this would likely need to happen…then not knowing that even if we went through it all, would it work.
Here is our day #4 picture…
Next up, we had to rush over to meet with the nurse for the scan results. We hurried there, got called back, and were told the results of the scan were not available yet. We waited another 25 minutes or so until the nurse came and gave us the good news! My cancer cells accepted the iodine! This means my cancer is TREATABLE. The past month of diets and chemo pills have been worth the trouble. Other than that, the nurse was not very helpful in answering any further questions.
We were relieved but still wanted to know how much was found or if it was a GOOD uptake or just an average uptake. We left there feeling a little lackluster on not getting more detailed info but were still on the high of happy that it was treatable.
I needed to now go over and get a COVID test for my upcoming hospital admission on Friday when I take the big radioactive treatment dose. I snapped this picture on the way –
I’ve never been happier to take a COVID test. Apparently “advanced screening” is a fancy way of saying COVID test.
On to our last appointment of the day – my fourth Thyrogen shot.
The tech/nurse who was was giving me the shot was the same gal who tipped me off that my scan had good uptake. We asked her the questions we still had about the scan results.
She said “no problem” and went and to get the head radiologist who read mom’s scans and asked him to come in and talk to us! We were very impressed by this. He explained that I had very good uptake in several nodules – this was news to us, we were only aware of one nodule, possibly two but he made it sound like more. Beyond that, he said the hottest uptake was in a lymph node in my chest.
He says this is a good sign because on Friday when I get the big dose of radioactive iodine, all of those cells that lit up are going to eat the radioactive iodine and they will die.
Within 2 minutes he had made us feel well cared for and answered all of our questions and sincerely apologized for the not so helpful nurse we met with earlier that morning.
The tech came back in and was very kind and asked me what time I’d like to come back for my Thyrogen shot tomorrow – she said whatever time I’d like is great! This was awesome! I don’t have to be up before the crack of dawn!
My doctor called on the way home and confirmed the news. She’s very hopeful for this re-differentiation treatment. She confirmed the things that the radiologist told us. We felt so good as we headed towards home.
Many thanks for the well wishes and prayers you’ve been sending my way, if I miss a blog post don’t worry about me. I have to stay in the hospital for 24 – 48 hours with no phone, no computer, no solid objects, and not even my glasses because the radioactivity will cling to them and possibly harm others for 90 days! It’s really wild to read through all of the restrictions. More on that later.
I’m encouraged by today’s news and look forward to putting this week/month behind me – at least until my follow-up in 6 months. How exciting. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I didn’t have to go to the doctor for 6 months!!
The Kramer family is doing a happy dance!!!