Okay…If you’re following along with my personal cancer saga you know I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in 2016. You know I had surgery and radioactive iodine treatment. You know that I’ve continued to go back for testing every six months and my tumor marker has risen every time. You also know that I was sent to Mayo Clinic in Rochester and ended up missing my doctor at Gundersen in Lacrosse.
Well today I went back to see my old doctor. Ah…I remember why I love her. She is kind. She is compassionate. She is respectful. Oh…she’s the perfect doctor. I saw her and was thrilled to talk with a doctor who took time with me and was organized…and through.
Here’s the plan we came up with and explanations she gave me.
Remember I had the PET scan last week and now they want a full body scan. She explained that the PET scan would only find cancer that is not treatment compatible with radioactive iodine. That was clear. Now we need to check if I have a cancer that IS treatment compatible with radioactive iodine. To do that, I need the full body scan.
I have to be on the low iodine diet (which I have been since last Friday) for 10 days before the testing dose is given to me and I have the scan. There is a protocol for the testing week. It goes like this:
Wednesday-test dose of radioactive iodine
Thursday-nothing but I can’t do childcare
Friday-test and meeting with doctor to review test
We scheduled all of this to start next week…and best news of all…I can do it LACROSSE at GUNDERSEN. They also let me schedule my times to coordinate with Kramer’s radiation!! I don’t have to go to Mayo Clinic to do it. Our family needed this.
So here are the possible scenarios as to the results of the full body scan:
They don’t find anything on the scan:
I get a six month pass and testing will happen again in the fall
They find a cancer on the scan and it’s bigger than 1 cm:
I have surgery if it is possible then follow up with a treatment of radioactive iodine.
They find cancer on the scan and it’s smaller than 1 cm:
I wait a couple weeks and then have a treatment dose of radioactive iodine.
Dr. Thida said she will continue to consult with Mayo. She will keep my case and only send me there if she really feels it necessary for a treatment or a test that they can’t do in Lacrosse. This makes me so happy. She will coordinate and work with the Mayo doctor so that I can get in and do something should we need to quickly. I like that. I think it’s the best of both worlds.
I know I should likely be sad or worried about this. I’m not. Right now I’m just so thankful that it can be done in Lacrosse. I can still take care of Kramer. I can still take care of Kramer. I can still take care of Kramer. (Yes. I said that THREE times) That all that matters to me.
I have a plan that I understand. I asked LOTS of questions and they all were asked. I was respected. A good doctor can truly make all of the difference and help a patient not feel worried.
When I got home, this happened….
Kalissa and I have been walking the kids and the dogs. It’s been great to get out. We don’t make it out every night but we’ve been getting about 4 walks a week and we love it…Carver loves it too. The walking has been therapeutic for me.
We chatted and got things organized as to who can care for the childcare kids when I have to be gone. We came up with a plan. Kalissa, Kelli and Kayla are all pitching in. Oh, we are so blessed to have our kids. So blessed.
What a difference a day and different doctor can make!