Monday, May 11, 2009

ANOTHER Doctor's Appointment

Today I went to see Dr. Edwards, the Endocrinologist. I am very proud to say that I was paying very close attention this time (it helps that Dr. Edwards is an old man)! I was taking notes and everything! I was Johnny on the Spot at this appointment. Here is the rundown on what happened.

1- He reviewed the pathology report with me, which was exactly what Dr. Coffman had already said (tumor was 1.5 cm, larger than most. Cancer had spread to 2 lymph nodes. Due to these 2 facts we have to do the Radioactive Iodine (RAI) ).

2- I go off of the thyroid medication on May 24. While off of the thyroid med, people become lethargic, puffy, swollen, etc. On May 25 I start the low iodine diet (LID). I have to be on this diet for 2 weeks and 3 days. Let's go over this diet again (I would like sympathy for this one):
* Iodized salt, sea salt
* Seafood and sea products
* Dairy products of any kind (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream)
* Egg yolks or whole eggs
* Bakery products
* Chocolate
* Fruits
* Vegetables
* Unsalted nuts
* Egg whites
* Sugar, jelly, jam
* Sodas, beer & wine
* LIMITED amounts of meat & rice

3- On June 8 I get a blood test to check my thyroid levels.

4- June 9 I go to the hospital to swallow the RAI capsule and IMMEDIATELY go home to start the isolation.

5- June16 I have a full body scan to see where the RAI went in body. this will tell us where else the cancer may have spread. I will go get Jaxon on June 17 or maybe even the evening of the 16th!

6- Follow ups: for the next year I will have a check-up with Dr. Edwards every 3 months. A year after the RAI I will have to do a full body scan. This means doing the LID again and have another tracer dose of RAI. Depending on what the results are I will do it again in another year or another 5 and so on. Every year for the rest of my life I will have to have an ultrasound of my thyroid to make sure their is no recurrence.

Brian & I have decided that while I am on the LID I will go to Tucson with Jaxon and Lucy. This way my mom can help take care of Jaxon in the event that I just don't feel good. Plus, she has done TONS of research on the LID so she knows exactly what I can eat and what I can't. she won't let me cheat at all. Whereas, Brian, well he has no will power!
We are all planning on driving to Tucson on May 23. I will fly back (minus a little boy and dog) on June 7. Once I take the RAI capsule I am radioactive. These are my instructions for that period of time:
These are all for at least 72 hours unless otherwise noted
* Keep away from people (6 ft or more)
* Sleep alone in a separate room
* Do not use mas transportation
* Do not take long car trips with another person
* Use your own bathroom
* Keep away from infants, children and pregnant women for at least FOUR days
* Avoid conception for at least 6 months
* Use disposable cups, plates, and utensils
* Urinate frequently
* Flush toilet 3 times and wash hands well
* Shower 2-3 times daily
* Wash underwear separately from other clothes
* Wash linens and clothes separately from other people
Sounds great huh? I asked about touching the remote, phone, computer, etc. and he said that it is fine as long as I wash my hands before and after. The radioactive life is only for about a week and won't contaminate anyone after that. But I am not allowed to touch anything that Jaxon will use. Apparently kids are more sensitive to radioactivity.

I resume a regular diet & start a new thyroid med 3 days after the RAI. I should feel pretty good a few days after the medication kicks in. I am hoping it is within a day!

Once the first week passed after my diagnosis I felt pretty good about everything and what was coming my way. I was a little scared about surgery, but no big deal (easy to say that now that it's done!) I was even fine while talking with Dr. Edwards today. But when I sat down with his nurse and she scheduled me for the treatment and scan. I started to freak and wanted to cry. I don't know why, but having this written down and know a definite date freaks me out! I think I am more nervous now than I was for the surgery. I am glad to finally have a date and know there is an end in sight.

I think that's it. I did a good job of listening huh? I didn't even refer to my notes while writing this!


Bee-Jai said...

You are a beautiful and strong woman and are going to come out of this even stronger.
This sucks, there's no denying it, but know that all of us are thinking about you, praying for you and supporting you and you are going to be just fine.
Let us know if there's anyway we can help.

julie Janney said...

Wow, you are so awesome to post all of that for family and friends. We are here to help, listen and support! We may be driving to Tucson on the 23rd as well! My god bless you and keep you close as you face this battle. Love julie Janney