The Doctor Update

Today was a doctor day in Lacrosse.  This appointment was squeezed in.  Thankfully Kelli could watch the childcare kiddos and Hubby could get off work.  My appointment was at 8:45am which made the 90 miles trip a early morning drive.  We opted to go even earlier and do our Menards errands that we had planned to do last week and couldn’t.

The pick up had been taken to the mechanic so we didn’t have truck troubles either…it was a much better day!!

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This time, our only task was to listen to the doctor and made a plan for beating the thyroid cancer.I am considered to be at stage 3.  With thyroid cancer, the patient’s age and size of infected nodule determine the stage.  Being I am 50, that didn’t play in well.  If I was 45 I would have been stage 1.

This is the tentative plan.

I move to a low dose thyroid replacement for two weeks.  Then I stop thyroid replacement all together and start a low iodine diet.  This is suppose to be hard on me.  I should expect to be very tired, depressed and experience weight gain (yahoo…right?!?!?)  Our kiddos have already volunteered to be around to help get things done around here.

After two weeks of that I go back to the doctor.  They inject me with something that recognizes the extent of thyroid cancer cells that I have lurking about and I have a scan done so my doctor can see it.  From there she determines the dose of radio active iodine I will need to take.

The following week I come back and take the radio active iodine.

I am in some isolation for a week or so….Hubby can be in the house with me.  He has to stay at arms length away from me though.  There are a whole bunch of warnings in place like I have to flush the toilet twice if I use it.  I have to wash my clothes and dishes separately, etc.  It’s all do able.

After that I am back to the doctor for another injection and scan to see how successful the procedure was.

If all is well, I go back in six months…then a year, the annually.  There will always be a chance that it could reoccur.

I did have to get an ultrasound on my neck today.  That was used to determine the condition of the lymph nodes in my neck area.  If they had looked bad, they would have had to be removed.  Happily the doctor called this afternoon and everything from the ultrasound looks good.  That was a good piece of happy news.

I’ve gotten a little bit of flack from people that I’m not worked up about my diagnosis.  Friends have expected me to be dramatic about it all with emotions running everywhere….that’s just not me.  I am not that way normally, I don’t know why I would change.  I am one of those people that imagines the worst…then I figure out a plan that I can live with.  Anything that happens better than is wonderful.  So far, the worst hasn’t happened.  Even if at some point the worst does happen, I have a plan in my head and I will just work the plan.

I also want to say that we’re a close family…We, as a family, really look at this as thyroid cancer as if it was diagnosed to our family-not just me.  Our family has stepped up and will continue to.  I don’t have to deal with any of it alone.  Everything that happens to me is divided between the group of us….anything divided whether if be work or illness is not nearly as bad if it is shared.

I don’t have exact dates that I’ll be back to Lacrosse.  I should get a call tomorrow from the nurse and we’ll get the exact dates all in place.  That’s when I’ll really be happy.  I am a planner.  I like to make a plan and then work the plan.

38 thoughts on “The Doctor Update

  1. Ellie Lively

    Your positive attitude and the support of your family will see you through this time. Those things are really important to a good outcome from a diagnosis like this. Of course good medical care is very necessary but the patient’s positive outlook and family backing are just as important. I know you will have your down moments but you will have your quilting to make you happy. You are going to come through this like the star you are!

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  2. Ellen

    I love your attitude and outlook Jo. Yea! you and you family for sharing bad news as well as good. Prayers and hugs to all of you to kick Cancer’s butt :-)

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  3. Kimberly

    Don’t let that five-year difference mean a thing; it’s an arbitrary number because we all age differently, imo. Glad your nodes were clear; that is the key factor in outcome. I too am stoic by nature. I see folks all around me being dramatic, getting attention, people tending around them. So every rare once in a while when something small happens, I remember that and go all drama queen and tell folks why not? Everyone else gets away with it! LOL. Therefore I encourage you to feign a little drama once in a while so they’ll bring you an extra milkshake, etc. (Hope that brought a smile to your face.)

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  4. Connie

    I am happy to hear that you got a good report today on your lymph nodes. Sounds like you have a plan and you are prepared. Thank you for keeping us updated. As always you are kept in my thoughts and prayers!!

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  5. Dot

    Just think of the energy you’re saving by not being emotional and dramatic. You have better things to do!

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  6. Keryn

    My Mum used to get all worked up and say ‘Well Someone has to Worry about it!!’ No, no they don’t. Get all the knowledge you can, make a plan, and be prepared as much as you can. And then don’t stew over it. You’ve got the right way of tackling this thing, and it’s such a blessing to have a support crew like your family, and all your readers praying for you. Get Well soon, we’re all thinking of you :)

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  7. Lorraine

    I know of two women who have had this and are doing great now. Praying for a quick recovery for you, Jo. Let others help you during your treatment time. :)

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  8. dorisquiltingqueen

    Prayers for you for complete healing. Everyone handles events in their life differently. You are so blessed to have a caring family! Let them pamper you as much as they will and as much as you can stand.

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  9. Betty (from Canada)

    You are going to be just fine. I will say a prayer for you every nite. And as Sarah Craig from the above message says drama doesn’t help-it just wastes energy.

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  10. Steph Lindsay

    I know everyone’s experience is different. But I lose weight while I withdraw from rrplacement thyroid meds and go on a low iodone diet. My appetite decreases,. As the mental fog rolls in, i do not have the attention span to dwell on the past or fret about the future, so no anxiety munchies! The LID cookbook from thyca.org was a big help, and the banana orange bread is awrsome!

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  11. Ana Sweet

    My mother in law asked us once why we did not worry more. Life happens, you figure out what needs to be done, and then do it. I agree with the other comment that worry is energy wasted.

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  12. Donna

    Jo I do the same thing. Think of the worst, work out a plan and then what does happen is manageable. If the process works for you that is all that matters. Praying for you and your family.

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  13. Janet Willert

    Jo, after meeting your family at Craig & Kalissa’s wedding, I don’t think there is anything that you guys can not get through together. I could tell that you have a very close bond and with God’s grace you will all work through this together and the result will be a positive one. I will keep you in my prayers!

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  14. Jill Klop

    Jo, I missed this diagnosis. I want you to know that I will put you in my prayer journal. We are relocating and I must have missed a few entries of the blog. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it’s a brave thing to do and I’m sure it will help someone else out there. Take care as you go through your treatment.

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  15. sharon

    so sorry that you and your family are facing this “bump in the road” but you have a great road map, good navigators and a family of road trip companions…..hang in there, lots of folks are with you on this journey….sending hugs and best wishes for your health..

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  16. Lori from Nebraska

    I,too, love your positive attitude! That is the best overcomer! I continue to keep you and your whole family, love that they are ther to help divide all this up for you, in my prayers. God has you in his hands!

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  17. PattiLynn

    Stay calm and work your plan is a great idea. You’re gonna do fine!

    When I was diagnosed, I was told to live in the present day, handle that day’s problems on that day…set aside possible future problems for that future day that may or may not come. My motto became: Don’t borrow trouble.

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  18. pat vsetecka

    jo you are in our thoughts and prayers. just take it one day at a tme and you will make thro this step in your life. I made it and it is 14 years now. good luck

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  19. Myrna

    You’ve got the right attitude. Drama doesn’t do anything but wear down you and your family. There’s an old saying, “Pray to God, but row for the shore”. You’re rowing instead of having a meltdown and you’ll make it to the shore. I’m keeping you in my thoughts.

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  20. PAM from CA

    Jo, I am happy to hear you are using your energy to fight and heal this thyroid cancer. Life is precious and will always have a different perspective for you now. You have a very loving and supportive family which is your gift for being such a great Mom and wife. My prayers are with you during this journey.

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  21. Mary Jo B.

    Sounds like you have a great plan worked out. I see why you might not be familiar with River Road Quilt shop – you are coming to La Crosse from the Iowa/Minnesota side, and not up Hwy 35. Maybe for a change of pace, you can drive home down the Wisconsin side and hit the quilt shop and Goodwill on the way home. Keep positive – attitude is everything!

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  22. Linda

    You are in my prayers….I don’t think I have ever read such a tribute as you have written about your family….I am so moved…..

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  23. Melody Amonson

    One of my favorite sayings – ‘Worry ends where faith in God begins’.
    I know He’s got you covered!

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  24. Penny

    I question the age bit as to diagnosis of your thyroid cancer. I don’t think your Dr realizes your level of activity, family & childcare kids that actually seem to keep you much younger than 50! Plus your positive attitude & wonderful outlook on life in general! You & your wonderful family will continue to be in my prayers & I’m sending hugs to you!
    Penny

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  25. Rosie Westerhold

    Jo,

    You GO, Girl! You have the best attitude, and that makes all the difference in the world! My 92-year old mother was diagnosed with great cancer in 1988. She had a radical mastectomy on her 64th birthday. I was a wreck! I just KNEW she would be fine, but it was a very emotional time for the whole family. My dad was the worrier. He worried and fretted over every little thing. My mother’s cancer diagnosis put him into a tailspin of worry. My mother’s response? I have cancer in my breast. Well, just cut off my breast! I don’t need it for anything now. That was her plan. And she just turned 92 on Monday! So, attitude makes a huge difference. Your attitude is FANTASTIC! You will get through this with lots of help from your family and your blog readers. ((((((((((HUGS)))))))) from Rosie Westerhold in Lincoln, NE.

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  26. Evie H

    Jo, I’m sorry you have to go deal with this cancer scare, but glad for your positive attitude. I didn’t have to do any replacement meds but did have to go on a low iodine diet in order to do a scan. I LOST weight (yay!) and didn’t get tired. The only depression was caused by not being able to eat almost everything I love — all dairy, soy products, etc. Good luck in all you have to do. Thumbs up!

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  27. Sandra Davidson

    Being positive and having a plan are the two most important things when you have a cancer diagnosis.i know that you will beat this especially with all of the wonderful support you have.
    I am praying for you. Hugs and blessings Sandra from Ont. Canada

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  28. Mary K

    More power to you and your family. I am the same way. Find out the facts and deal with them. Never being on problems. That is not healthy. Bless you and your family. They are real people.

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  29. Sherry

    Continued prayers for you Jo. Good for you NOT to get wrapped up in the drama – nobody needs that – positive thoughts for you !

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  30. Norma

    You can do this! Attitude is 90% of the battle. I beat breast cancer. You can beat this. Hugs and prayers for you and your family as you go forward on this journey.

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  31. Joanne

    I admire your attitude and your support system. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Same as you are doing now. God bless you and good luck.

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  32. Elizabeth McDonald

    Jo, it is okay to act whatever way seems natural to you! I am a 26 year survivor of vulvular cancer, and I have discovered that there are many, many survivors out there — it is not something that people are comfortable admitting, because there is alot of job discrimination associated with conquering cancer. Keep doing the activities that you are passionate about, and that give you joy! Your family and friends – even your internet friends – are a valuable support system and will not let you down. One step at a time, and know that the prayers are definitely coming your way!

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  33. Lorraine Bujnowski

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. It sounds like you have a plan and you know how to work it. Stay strong and keep working that plan. Your family is the best support system you can have.
    All the best to you.

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  34. Robby

    I think people that live more drama filled lives don’t understand what quiet resolve looks like because they haven’t experienced it. It’s OK to feel things like worry and fear, but they don’t solve things, in my experience, so once you’ve acknowledged them it’s time to move on, do what you need to and trust in your faith and the source of that faith. Here’s to moving on, with a plan. Sending you good thoughts and prayers.

    Reply

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