Treatment: Day Plus One

Yesterday was the day we found out lots of things concerning my thyroid cancer.

Let’s start with all the good things….

The cancer has not spread.
My numbers are good so the doctor is hopeful that I will not have a re-occurrence.

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In the picture we’re leaving Lacrosse.  We’re starting the next chapter in this journey.

Isn’t all that awesome to hear??  We sure were happy about all of those things.  All of them are very good news long term and that’s what truly matters most.

Taking the actual pill is no big deal at all.  The scan was no big deal at all.

The part I’m having the most trouble with is the short term things and I feel really bad even mentioning them as they are short term and in the long run inconsequential.  However, I’ve told you time and time again that 1-the blog is a bit of a journal to me and 2-I want to document my experience so that someday, someone else might be able to benefit from reading about my experience.

The side of effects of being forced to go hypothyroid are not very fun.  I had no idea all the awesome things my thyroid was doing for me.

1-My body feels like a bloated whale.  I’ve been eating little yet I’ve gained over 10 pounds in the last couple weeks.  Normally I would have expected weight loss with the amount I’m eating.  Nope.  Weight gain and it’s all fluid.  A person can look at me and see that I am retaining so much water. I am super puffy.  I feel it gets worse and worse daily.  All extra fluid puts pressure on my nerves.  I don’t sleep very well because that make my hands fall asleep all the time.  I wake repeatedly to hands that have fallen asleep.  It is a very weird sensation.  The extra fluid is reeking havoc with my foot.  (remember my foot injury?)  With all the extra fluid it’s not healing right.  With the insole in my shoe and the swelling in my foot, I can’t wear the new shoes I had to buy.  I’m afraid all I did to fix my foot was for naught and I’ll be back to the foot doctor once this is over but we’ll see.

The swelling is so bad that my reactions and responses are so slow that I’ve been told I can’t drive for a week.  She said that my ability to react quickly is greatly impaired so no driving.

2-I have brain fog.  I have it bad.  I used to be able to jump from task to task.  Nope.  That’s not happening anymore.  I have some energy, my brain doesn’t have the thinking power though.  A blog reader, Claire, corrected my grammar the other day in the comments saying:  “Dragged, not drug.”  I wrote that Kalissa had “drug” us along garage saling.  I had read, and re-read that sentence about eight times.  I knew something wasn’t quite right about it but my brain just couldn’t figure it out.

The kids have called me in the evening and I just feel in a fog and like it’s a chore to keep up a conversation.  I’ll have good days, and then there are really bad days.  Looking back at the blog I essentially wrote the same post a couple days in a row.  I didn’t know until I look back now and can see it.    I hate the feeling.   It’s not necessarily that I’m tired and don’t have energy, my brain just can’t organize what to do.  I’ll likely have to read this blog post about four times through to know for sure if it makes sense.  Even then I won’t feel super confident about it.

3-My eyes are so watery they just drip.  That has caused my eye sight to be blurry.  The blurry eyesight has been a problem because it’s starting to give me headaches-nothing serious, just the dull ache type of headaches.  It is not fun.  Again, all do-able.  But again, no fun.

4-Constipation.

5-The swelling has also turned into joint pain.

6-Sore throat.

Like I said, this is all manageable just not fun.  Had I have to do this all again.  I would take the days off and do the shots.  There was an option for shots rather that go off the meds which is doing all this to me.  In that case I would have had to drive to Lacrosse and back four extra days. Essentially making me take four more days off of work.  Even though I don’t really have PTO or paid vacation, I would happily forfeit the money and  have my brain function.  It’s a live and learn prospect.  I didn’t want to put my childcare families out and make things hard for them.  Initially I thought fatigue was the main thing I would experience…I thought I could handle that.  Had I know all these other things go with it, I’d have chosen differently.  It’s a live and learn situation.

I’m okay though.  I’m still happy.  I’m still plugging away.  I’m just bloated, blurry eyed and SLOW while I go about my day.  I am very thankful regardless of they side effects.  This is still very do-able.

I’ll be able to start my meds again on Tuesday.  From then on I will gradually loose the side effects.  She did say it will be able a week before I feel noticeably better and a month before I feel like my old self.

As far as taking the radio active iodine pill.  That was anticlimactic.  I had to show two forms of ID. One had to prove my identity and birth date.  The other just could be a credit card.  I swallowed the pill and was done.  My body feels no different from taking the pill.

So that’s the latest….

The only news in this whole post that really matters is 1-the cancer didn’t spread and 2-my numbers were good so occurrence is not likely..the rest, is all temporary.

28 thoughts on “Treatment: Day Plus One

  1. Pat

    Bless you, Jo. We do take so many health things for granted when we’re in good health! I also grew up in Minnesota so understand “Minnesota nice” and not wanting to inconvenience anyone else. I am older than you, however, and realize that sometimes you do have to put yourself first. Your health is one of those times. Right now I think rest is your friend…let people take care of you. It will make them feel better that you are letting them help. Prayers headed your way!

    Reply
  2. Kathy McC

    To help combat my arms and hands from going to sleep while sleeping, I wear wrist braces every night when I go to bed. i rarely have the hand and arm asleep issue any more. It is a simple external fix to a potential carpal tunnel issue which I really don’t want.

    Reply
  3. Jill Klop

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I’ve learned so much. I keep you in my prayer journal and am so happy to know your cancer has not spread!

    Reply
  4. Linda

    Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The cancer has not spread….PTL.. I am so happy for you and your wonderful family…..I had tears reading your blog this morning….so happy for the cancer news, so sad for all those side affects of being off the hormones..I hope the next month goes by quickly for you…..some of that happens to a small degree when your meds need adjusting, and I know I have to get in for blood tests…….You will be in my prayers….

    Reply
  5. Sharon Traughber

    I just want to say I read your blog and enjoy hearing about how you deal with what God has given you, it is a joy to read about whether its quilting or about your family. Even the little whoops of the words are understood.

    Reply
  6. Cindy

    I think that you are doing , for lack of a better word, a service to your readers. True, not
    everyone going through this will experience the same side effects. But it’s nice to know in advance of the possibilities. Thank you for sharing, the good and the bad.

    Reply
  7. Sue

    So glad to hear the good news! But sorry to hear of the nasty side effects. But each day gets you closer to being done with this so you can get back to your normal meds. How many months ago did this all start? The end is in sight…..keeping you in my thoughts.

    Reply
  8. Susie Q

    When I was going thru chemo my eyes would water – tears drip – and I attributed it to one my body’s ways of slouching off the medicine. Happy Claps on the cancer not spreading. You are kind to write of this for others.

    Reply
  9. LaNan

    Hurray for your good news! May each day be better than the past days. Thanks for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration through this journey as well as your quilting adventures.

    Reply
  10. Penny

    I’m so happy to read your good news! I’m also glad that you are brave enough to share the side effects that you are experiencing. I think that some of these effects could be different for each undergoing the same type treatment you’ve had but are often what no one in the medical field tells you what might happen during treatment & recovery. Yet to me these unusual symptoms are what I would like to know. Thank you! May you have a speedy recovery & become 100% soon! Hugs!

    Reply
  11. Paula S.

    Excellent news that the cancer hasn’t spread and numbers are good! Hang in there and keep giving yourself pep talks that side effects are temporary.

    Reply
  12. Dotti

    Yea for the good news. The side affects stink but since only temporary, know you will handle well. Prayers for speedy recovery. I usually like to be positive, but I was a little upset with the person correcting your grammar. Really! Like you needed that!

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  13. Debbie B

    Great news, except for the temporary stuff! You seem to be handling it all well. I know you are grateful to have your family close by. Take care of yourself and thanks for sharing your story. I know I’m learning a lot from your experience. I’m sure others are too. Be well!!!

    Reply
  14. Judy

    Prayers for your recovery. When I have to go off my thyroid meds it is unpleasant, but just fine when I take them again. Also hope your foot will heal? Which shoe did you choose?

    Reply
  15. Donna

    Sorry for the side effects but glad cancer hasn’t spread. Like you it is hard for me to ask for or accept help but when I was going through a real rough patch someone asked me why I was refusing to let them get a blessing by helping me when I needed it. That kind of put a different perspective on accepting help for me. As much as you do for others let others help you right now. You’ll more than pay them back once you’re up and 100% again. You give everyday with your blog, charity quilts, free patterns ,etc. Just concentrate on getting well so you can be awesome Grandma to that first grandchild you have coming. God bless!! Keep the positive attitude and you’ll be fine. It’s all temporary.

    Reply
  16. marie

    The good news out ways the side effects. You will get through this phase just fine. Hope the foot doesn’t become a problem. Love hearing your update. God speed.

    Reply
  17. Stacey

    Your blog helps me to feel and understand what you’re going through. I think about you every day and check up on you too (thankful for social media!). The only news in your latest blog that matters to me is your top 2 as well as knowing you have the energy and kindness to share your story with everyone who cares about you. I love and miss you!

    Reply
  18. Connie

    Great news that the cancer hasn’t spread. I keep you, and your family, in my thoughts and prayers!! Keep your eyes on the future…..you have LOTS to look forward to!!! God Bless.

    Reply
  19. Carolyn

    YEAH the cancer has not spread. BOO on the memory fog!
    I remember it well, falling asleep 2 hours earlier, almost burning the house down BC I left a skillet on the stove! Sitting an staring into space for long periods of time! The choking (BC of the goiter) and the consti[pation and OMG the HAIR LOSS didn’t even realize they were related to my thyroid…. And I’m a nurse! Brain fog is HORRIBLE!
    Wt gain, saw a pic of me then and didn’t even realize who I was looking at.
    Eat a lot fruits and veggies and avoid the carbs till your thyroid levels come back up when you get back on your meds. It will come off!
    Truthfully I thought I had Alzhiemers….

    Reply
  20. Ellie

    Really happy about your good news! I’m keeping you in my prayers as you deal with the rest of this. Keep your chin up ! The worst is behind you and you’ll soo me on the road to feeling better!

    Reply
  21. Ruth

    So sorry to hear that there are more side effects affecting you than you expected! It’s a dark tunnel, but you’ll get through it.
    Re the grammar comment: I think using the phrase “drug us along garage saling” is a colloquialism, a regional aspect of speech. “Dragged us along garage saling” is proper english, but then it doesn’t have the “down home” flavor to it. Really, don’t worry about grammar on your blog. We all talk a little different. “Peek” (look at something) vs. “Peak” (a mountain top), “site” (place) vs. “sight” (to see) are two examples I have seen on other blogs.

    Reply
  22. Kathy MacKie

    Sometimes one doesn’t really know what to say, other than my heart goes out to you and pray for only a healthy outcome, hugs.

    Reply
  23. Susan the Farm Quilter

    PTL for the great news!!! So happy to hear that! Sorry you are having to deal with all the side-effect…isn’t that why muumuus were created?? Plus they would supply so much cotton material for a quilt when all the bloat leaves :) You know why much joy it gives you to help out others…time to allow them to experience that joy by helping you!! Keep smiling, this too shall pass!!

    Reply
  24. Elizabeth McDonald

    Hang in there, Jo! I am sure that sharing this experience with us all will end up helping more people than we can imagine! I am SO sorry about the brain fog — that is not fun at all!

    Reply
  25. Emily

    Jo, so very thankful of the good news! Have been thinking and praying for you. Don’t sweat the stuff about the “brain fog”. There are some of us who have it and we aren’t going through what you are!

    You take good care of yourself. We want to read your blog for a very long time!

    Reply
  26. The Eclectic Abuela

    Great news! Thinking of you through the side effects, but so pleased to know you will be healthy on the other side of them.

    Rest, rest, rest–nothing has to be done now that won’t wait–take the time to take care of yourself.

    Reply

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