Sunday, April 19, 2009

Free & Clear

I'm finished! I'm free & clear. At least for now. And, that in itself seems like a huge weight has lifted from my shoulders...unfortunately though, this isn't literal.

I got through the low iodine diet without nearly the trouble I anticipated. It wasn't 'easy', but it wasn't that bad after the first week. There are lots of good recipes in the low iodine cookbook from ThyCa and if you just use fresh ingredients, you can improvise quite a lot, actually.

The radioactive iodine treatment itself was just 2 pills that I swallowed. It was strange to see them come in with it in that lead jar. They put me in a leaded room in the radiology dept. Then the radiologist had to come speak with me and I had to sign some consents. After he left, a tech came in and carrying the pills in this lead container about the size of a large thermos. She set it on a table beside me, then promptly left. She would stick her head in periodically and tell me that we were waiting on nuclear medicine now to come before I could take them. After a little bit of a wait, she returned to the room with another tech from nuclear medicine. He had Geiger counters with him and a clipboard. She had leaded oven mitt looking gloves on and opened the 'thermos'. She then instructed me that I could not touch the medicine. She explained that she would pick up the bottle that was inside the lead thermos, and hand it to me. I was to just empty the pills from the bottle directly in to my mouth. I did, with one of those little miniature bottles of water. After that, the nuclear med tech came at me with a yard stick and his Geiger counter. He took initial measurements at like a foot, then after about 5 minutes, at 3 feet away. It was odd. I didn't feel a bit different, obviously...but, felt as though I must be literally glowing or that I could stick my finger close to something electrical and make it flicker or something. That was it. They gave me a set of instructions and sent me on my way.

That evening wasn't bad until many hours later...and even then, it wasn't that bad. My jawline began to get tender, so I sucked on a bunch of lemons to make sure I was still salivating. I got a tiny bit nauseous, but that could have been from all the lemons. I took my phenergan they had ordered for me and went to bed (after drinking tons and tons of water and going to the bathroom every 5 minutes). The next day I felt sort of sluggish and did basically nothing the entire day. Also, I didn't have much of an appetite. By day three, I could have whatever I wanted to eat. No more low iodine diet. The only problem now was that nothing sounded good. My appetite was very poor. By days four and five, I was pretty much fine. Maybe a slight decrease in appetite, but unfortunately for me, that didn't last long enough.

It's now been a month since my treatment and I still sort of feel tired a lot. I'm not sure why. I recently had an increase on my Levoxyl...but, I can't tell a difference. I'm functioning, but basically just getting by. I suppose that's why I haven't even taken the time to catch up on my writing. I've also had a lot of muscle and joint pain as well as frequent headaches and also low grade fevers at night. Not sure if any or all of it is related. I go back to the endocrinologist in a couple of days for yet more blood work. Hopefully, all will be well and my energy will once again return.

The absolutely great news though, is that I got scanned a week after my radioactive iodine and expect for a little bit of cancer cells showing in the tissue in my neck where my thyroid was....the rest of my body is FREE & CLEAR!!!

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