My Visit with Dr. Thida

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!

24 thoughts on “My Visit with Dr. Thida”

  1. I am happy to hear you have a little relief. I am so glad for the better weather too. Getting out and the daylight has helped me also.

  2. Glad you went back to your old doctor! A great doctor can make all the difference as I am finding since my doctor of 30 years retired! You are so fortunate you girls live close and can help out!

  3. Glad to hear that you have a doable plan and the girls can help out more. You have been blessed in many ways through the tough times. Prayers continue.

  4. Such a positive visit with your former doctor! And I believe positive feelings are therapeutic when fighting disease. Good for you!

  5. So happy to hear this JO! You needed a little good news for a change. Hope it continues to be a good experience for you. It is sooo difficult to deal with these things without the added irritant of feeling disrepected and in the dark.
    Sending my prayers

  6. Hugs from someone who is 10 years post 2 surgeries and radioiodine (and in remission!) from thyroid follicular carcinoma too. I hope all goes well!

  7. Judith Fairchild

    I’m so glad you got to see your regular Dr. A Dr. Who cares makes a huge difference. Praise the Lord you can do what you want for Kramer and have help for what you’re not supposed to do.

  8. Answered prayer for sure! Now we pray for good results for both of you! No cancer found for you and Kramer’s cancer gone would be perfect! One day at a time! You have a lot of friends praying for all of you! (Could we please get an update on Gannon? Can we assume that he is doing better now?)

  9. Great news and prayers are answered. So glad you got back with a doctor you love and have a good relationship with. That’s a big piece of the whole pie.

    You are blessed that you have the kids that can pitch in and help out. Another relief. So now you can focus on taking care of Kramer and taking care of Kramer and taking care of KramerAND taking care of YOU. Yep I couldn’t resist saying it 3 times.

    Take care. Lots of love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  10. Yes, a doctor you can connect with makes all the difference. I’ll be praying for the most positive outcome for your testing.

  11. A plan-you have a plan and answers that you understand and you feel valued. So grateful you are still able to take care of Kramer and it is working in YOUR schedule, NOT you working into theirs. Sending love and hugs and well wishes and prayer from here.

  12. Jo, I am so happy for you. To be back with a doctor you like and respect, to have a doctor who will take the time to be sure you understand, to have a hospital that is closer than Mayo…it’s all good. I hope that the medical changes, along with decent weather, lifts your spirits and helps all this be more doable and less stressful. Praying for you as you have the full body scan.

  13. I love your positive attitude! It’s wonderful that you have a great Dr. who is willing to work with you and for you. God has blessed you richly. Prayers continue.

  14. I’m so happy or you that you have your old doctor back and she can work with you.
    Continued prayers as always.


    I had breast cancer and Lymph cancer on my right arm. I fought hard, I was sick, crawled out of bed in the morning to fix me something to eat, even though I wasn’t hungry. I had 6 oranges, yogurt and V8 juice while I was having chemo. The nurses told me I was the only patient that didn’t threw up. So they started telling their patients to do my diet. It has been 15 years that I have been cancer free.
    Hang in there you are bigger that the cancer.

    God Bless you!

    Ceci Sinnwell

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