Year: 2013

Thyroid CA next step

Monday I visited my surgeon. She had my pathology report. I like to see her. She has so much positive energy. She is knowledgeable. She is very helpful. My cancer was not encapsulated and was within a mm of the border. not sure about this.My cancer was also in my lymph glands. So I will have a radioactive treatment. Next stop today was my endocrinologist. The radioactive treatment is complicated. Prep work is detailed and takes time. I will have to become extremely hypo active. I will be on a low iodine diet.  There is an injection called Thyroglobulin that costs $2500 that would cut the prep work to a much smaller time. My insurance will pay $1600 of it. I certainly am not able to pay the rest. In addition there will be the cost of the full body scan,  $300 under my plan. The drug company has an application for assistance. I filled it out and gave it to my Doc and she will give it to the person who will be getting authorizations. …

Thyroid CA surgery is done

On 10/16/13 Dr. Vasquez operated on me. I say she slit my throat but the appropriate procedure was a total thyroidectomy and central neck resection. I was lucky. I  had one of the best surgeons in the southwest doing her magic in my neck. I felt safe. I was supposed to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. with a clean neck and an empty stomach.  The evening before I received a call from the hospital and was told my arrival time  was pushed back to 7:30a.m. and my surgery to 9:30a.m. Good I thought, I can sleep in. Next morning I took my designated meds as instructed(BP meds, prednisone, Plaquinil) dressed in loose easy to get into clothes and I am ready to go. As we were loading into cars for the trip down the street and around the corner, my phone beeps and another change in the plan.  It is the hospital saying they are ready as soon as I could get there.  We are there in 5 minutes.  I register and copay.  …

An RA life is doable First year

This has been a roller coaster year for me. I was lucky in some ways with a sudden and severe onset. There was no question about my diagnosis. I searched and searched the internet looking for clues to my future. ( I suggest getting off the first two search pages if you want more than the same old thing.) My RA is a bad case. I have no remission. All the little joints in my feet and in my hands have been swollen for 9 months. Now I wake up daily to the surprise of what joints will be more swollen and demanding attention that morning.  I like to start the day by getting  all my little guys  moving.  My joints love me for it. I feel better sooner. I make my coffee. Love freshly ground French roast beans. It is worth getting up just to have a cup. I feed Emma and Jimmy. Heat my heating pad in the micro. Take my first pill of the day after a blood sugar check. Settle into …

Cancer and RA in older people.

I visited my rheumatologist today. I am in a flare. My feet are the usual problem, as are fingers, toes, ankles, shoulders. My wrists are too, but I still can do downward dog. New is my right pointer finger, swollen, painful. Because of the surgery she can’t add a biologic.  She said after the cancer is removed, my joints might improve. In an older person who develops sero negative RA, she strongly suspects cancer. She had mentioned this before. She said when the immune system is not working properly, cancer is also likely. She was right. Hopefully, the surgery is uneventful and the RA settles down. Her instructions were to stop the methotrexate the week before surgery. If my incision looks good, I can resume the methotrexate a week after the surgery. ( I will not be seeing the surgeon for two weeks following the surgery.) The surgeon wants me to stop the meloxicam a week before the surgery and resume a week after the surgery. The surgeon is seasoned, highly respected and board certified …

RA visit to physical therapist

Monday, I had my first appointment with physical therapist, Christine. Dr. R had sent me for the evaluation. She thought instruction in the warm pool of the Health Plex would help me. I had other motives, too. My first concern was stability when walking. My second was avoiding losing the flexibility I had worked so hard to maintain over the years. My third was getting enough physical activity while dealing with RA fatigue. Christine talked with me, checked me over. She has already reviewed my chart. I needed to slow down, she said. Rest is of vital importance. Being extremely busy without enough rest periods was self-sabotage. Pacing is one way to be sure I had enough energy to do what I wanted to do. I also understood that sometimes choices needed to be made. With RA it is not always possible to do it all. Sometimes the only good thing to do would be to rest. Resting is a good weapon against flares. It works best to rest so the flare doesn’t happen. Swimming …

Did the Dinosaurs have RA?

They did not. They were a healthy species.  However, there were some who had holes in their bones similar to those humans who have Gout. The earliest findings of RA in humans was actually in North America in an area know today as Tennessee. Bones found to belong to Native Americans who lived about 6500 years ago or in 4500 BC were authenticated to have RA.  Today Native Americans have the highest incidence of RA in any ethnic group.  Some argue that RA is a new disease but it seems they are ignoring all the evidence compiled by researchers. RA was also found to be present in Egyptian mummies. We can feel fortunate that we have our RA in the present.  Even  in the 20th century it was a tough disease to have.  Aspirin was consumed in large doses as was Prednisone in the latter part of the century.  Prednisone was considered a miracle drug and was used in high doses.  Today it is helpful tool in our war chest but in much lower doses. …