All posts tagged: thyroid cancer

Test Week

Since my Rheumatoid Arthritis and my two cancers were diagnosed in the same year, it is logical that  milestones occur the same way.  In one week I had  tests for my two cancers. On Monday I had a Thyrogen shot in the butt. The medication  acts like TSH, a hormone  that  normally stimulates your thyroid. ( $1400 each without insurance, $135 each with). Tuesday I repeated Monday with another shot. On Wednesday I went to nuclear med for a radioactive pill.  I am not radioactive. I feel like I am. I am also given two containers of MOM. The tech said it was a mild laxative. One tonight. One Thursday night. it wasn’t mild. I was also instructed to eat lightly. On Thursday I went to Radiology Associates of NM for a diagnostic mammogram. I do love this place. Friendly people. Coffee. Special cute patient gowns.  I felt that I would be fine, but I had the vivid memories of when I was not. So I still worried. Lucky me!  There was no sign of cancer. A …

Radoactive Iodine treatment

The pill come in a heavy lead container. The nurse has a glass of water ready. She suggests my son lift the lead container. He does. Then I do. We are both surprised just how heavy it is. She opens the container and tips the pill into my hand. I put it in my mouth and swallow it with the water. We go home. I am now radioactive. I don’t feel any different. I stay in my room for three days. I drink lots of water. I eat sour candies and lemon slices. I try to do all the right things. I also like being in my room so it is not hard for me to be there. My son brings my meals and won’t come within ten feet of me. He doesn’t want to suffer radiation side effects. He also sets his alarm so he can bring me my coffee at 7 am. Thoughtful and important to me. The radiology tech had made it clear to me that I was not to vomit for …

evolution of a cancer mind

On Thursday I go to the Caring Hearts Cancer Support Group. This is at the Presbyterian Cancer Center in Albuquerque. It runs in blocks of six weeks. Lunch is served and discussion is 1.5 hours. Since I have been going, the hospital chaplain has been the facilitator. She is excellent. I have benefited immeasurably from my visits. The discussion turned to how we felt about our diagnosis. I never had the moment. I seemed to slide from one revelation to the next. I was not angry. I was too confused to be scared. I was always recovering from a treatment. I was exhausted and fatigued. My concern was having to spend my life in that state.  I am inclined to believe what people tell me and they did say fine fine fine. First  it was the severe rheumatoid arthritis (seven months to become manageable). Next was thyroid cancer. Not bad you will do fine. Next it was breast cancer(small but invasive) You will be fine. Next was more tests. More cancer. We need to move …

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. …

My son said I needed to set the RA aside

My son, who was trying to be helpful, said I needed to set the RA aside while I deal with the cancer. Sounded like a good idea to me. Wish it could be so. I have been more fortunate that many with my RA. I am functioning. I do have energy most days. My pain varies but it manageable. I have a few small deformities. They are not big ones. I have an excellent rheumatologist. I have an excellent endocrinologist.  Yes, it is amazing. I can even spell these big words without looking them up. Added to my collection of experts is an excellent surgeon with a warm and friendly attitude. She is board certified with  special training in endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic. She also has  extensive experience with thyroid surgery. I will feel confident in my slumber under her knife. I expect to wake up, vital neck structures still intact. This is so very reassuring to me. Today I had an ultrasound of my neck. Thursday I have my last PT with Christine. …

The cancer surgeon

This was my scariest doctor appointment. My BP which is boringly normal shot up to 140. I was anxious. Fortunately, my son was with me to help keep the perspective and lend a reassuring arm. I was scared because this was the next step. I wanted to feel this woman was the right surgeon for me. She is. Dr Vasquez is a board certified surgeon with an endocrinology specialty from the Mayo clinic. She was energetic, thorough in her explanation, reassuring. I liked her. Like my other specialists she loves what she does, is knowledgeable, and is personable. That is a relief. Next I will need my lymph glands in my neck mapped. This is to see if the cancer has spread outside my thyroid. This will determine the extent of the surgery. I have my appointment on Monday. This is the next step in staging. If negative, no worries. If positive, lots of worries. So I will be glad when it is done. My surgery is in October. This is a relief too. After my …

I have cancer

The good news is my Rheumatoid Arthritis is doing much better as I settle into methotrexate/Plaquenil/meloxicam/prednisone combination. I am back to downward dog(my favorite in yoga). Thought I would never get there with my wrist involvement.  Sooo very happy to be there. The bad news is that I have thyroid cancer. At my age I’m not so lucky. Seems the best time to get it is between 17-45. Before and after those ages it can be very aggressive. I had a new spot on my chest x ray (January to April). Cat scan was done. Several spots plus spots on my thyroid. Echo was next. Even worse. Spot in my neck also. And after 39 sticks with needles guided by an echo, the diagnosis was confirmed. Standard treatment is to take the whole thyroid out. I see the surgeon tomorrow. I will probably have another echo of my neck lymph glands to see if the lymph glands need to go also. Wish me luck. Seems I need it.

RA plus thyroid cancer equals stunned

Life changes instantly with a diagnosis of cancer. I don’t feel invaded or betrayed by my body. I have always been happy with my body. No change there. I am just plain scared. The more I read, the more I realize the possibilities. The more scared I am. What will happen to me? Am I on the slippery slope? Is it all down hill from here?