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):
Foods NOT ALLOWED:
* 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
* 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!