Friday, January 15, 2010

Hel-low-iodine, my old friend (or foe)

It's been a year now since my thyroid was removed. It's been almost as long since I've posted on here. I guess I just sort of thought I was finished.

Today was my 1 year follow up with my endocrinologist to do an ultrasound to see how things look. Last we spoke, six months ago, I remembered him saying that I would just have to do an ultrasound, thyrogen injections again to stimulate my TSH and then have thyroglobulin drawn. I specifically recall him saying that I wouldn't have to do low iodine diet to do a scan dose of radioactive iodine and repeat scan. I all but threw out my ThyCa cookbook, I was so excited.

Right after the ultrasound, he informed me that I would need to do low-iodine for a week, get the thyrogen injections, take a scan dose of radioactive iodine, and get another scan. Bummer, I thought. I tried to protest and talk him out of it. I just wanted to stop with what we had for testing. He informed me that since I had lymph nodes involved that my recurrence rate was a little higher and that it was best to rescan.

I walked out of there kind of angry. I wasn't angry with him. I was just angry about being inconvenienced. The truth is that a year ago when I was told this was cancer, I blew it off because I knew there were such worse cancers out there. So, I actually just told myself this was just sort of a one-time event and I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. They got all of it they could with the surgery, then we ablated the rest with the high dose radioactive iodine, end of story.

When I went to my husband's office later and he told me that thinking was probably pretty unrealistic, I protested that as well, arguing that with this cancer, that was perfectly realistic thinking. It wasn't until much later that I realized he was right.

I'm not sure why I let myself believe that I would never again have anything to worry about in regard to my history of thyroid cancer. I know better than that, I'm a nurse. I guess I just don't want to be put into that category (the one I put people in) when I hear that they have had a cancer recurrence.

So, basically I'm going to suck it up and do my inconvenient low-iodine diet, take the thyrogen injections like a woman, swallow the magic little radioactive iodine pill and get the scan. It will be nice to have real peace of mind instead of my false sense of security. I already feel like there's no need to do the further testing, so doing it will only prove it.

Buck up butter cup.