Friday, June 25, 2010

Here We Go Again

I have finished the 2nd round of the radioactive iodine treatment! Wooo Hooo! Here's the scoop:

I did the first 2 weeks of the low iodine diet in Tucson at my parent's house and on Father's Day Brian & I flew to ABQ for the last week. That week I was unable to take my thyroid medication, let me tell you, that was MISERABLE! I didn't think it was going to be bad since last year I was off of it for 2 weeks, but an hour into it I felt terrible! I was exhausted and I slept 10 hours! My eyes were twitchy, my hands shaky, my heart was beating a mile a minute, I was was dizzy, out of breath and was getting hot flashes. I kept asking Brian, is it hot in here? Seriously, awful.

I then had to get showered and dressed to go to Dr. Edwards office to get a shot of thyridosine (sp) which apparently was a very low dose of my medication. I was fully expecting a shot in my arm, oh no, the shot had to be on my butt! I asked if it would hurt and she said, "Oh no. It'll be just a little prick." My hiney it was just a little prick! I left there limping and was sore the rest of the day! It did make me feel a little better, but I didn't leave the couch rest of the day. Tuesday was the same thing, expect the shot went to my right butt cheek. Luckily this one didn't hurt as bad. Plus, blood work where the phlebotomist couldn't find a vein and poked me more than she should have. GRRR!

Wednesday was the BIG RADIOACTIVE DAY! No medication and no shot, just a radioactive pill and an ultrasound of my thyroid area. This pill was a much lower dose than last years since it was meant as a "tracer". So I didn't have to leave from the back door and I didn't have to sit in the back seat while Brian drove me home. I was even able to be in the same room as him!

Thursday I felt really good, for some reason I had my energy back and I was like a domestic queen! I cleaned 3 bathrooms, did 2 loads of laundry, cleaned the fridge, freezer & pantry, vacuumed, mopped, got caught up on my picture albums, ordered the first edition of the blog and read a few chapters of a book! I haven't done all of that in one week let alone one day!

Friday was the next BIG DAY! The much-anticipated and all-important BODY SCAN. I checked into the hospital at 7:30 am sharp, the nuclear med chick took me back at 7:35 am and I was on the machine by 7:40 am. Now, let me explain this machine. It is much like an MRI machine, but it is open, whew! There is a "camera", which is a big metal square, that lowers to the place it needs to scan.
Like this, but without the box around the circular part

So I get in and the tech, Lisa, reminds me that the camera will get VERY close to my face and asks me if I'll be ok. "Oh yeah, I should be fine. I didn't have a problem last year." Super. I start my iPod with my special "Body scan Playlist" and I'm good to go. Lisa says, "Relax, listen to your music, close your eyes and you can even take a nap if you want." Perfect. No problem. I do all of that, except the nap part. After listening to a song and a half I get an itch on my shoulder. "Should I scratch it? Nah. I can wait until the camera moves." You see, the camera was literally an inch from my nose! I remember from last year that it moves down my body after a few minutes. Well, I wait and wait and of course the itch is getting worse. "I have to scratch it!" I barely lift my hand to scratch the shoulder and I feel the camera. Then I realize I don't hear anything, not the machine, not the computer, not Lisa moving in her chair (last year, the tech sat near me at the computer and watched the scan and told me what was happening). Hmmm. this is weird. I open one eye, notice the camera, "That's pretty close I kinda feel like I'm in a coffin. Don't think about it, your fine, Anabelle. You went ziplining for goodness sakes!" Then I look toward the computer, no Lisa, nothing on the computer screen, the lights are off. I look at the clock on the wall, 7:45 am (I got in the machine at 7:40). I start to listen and I hear Lisa DOWN THE HALL! "Breathe, you're fine." Um no I wasn't. I FREAKED OUT! I felt this need to get out of that machine as fast as I possibly could or I might die. I couldn't control this overwhelming panicking feeling. I slid my happy little radioactive tooshie out of that machine as quickly as I could. I was shaking and short of breath, it was crazy. At 7:55 am Lisa walks in. I'm like, "I'm sorry I panicked." All she could say was, "How did you get out?!?! Most people just scream." Oh. yelling for help could have been an option, but getting out was much faster. I have no idea how I got out because there really was no room to move. I guess it was the few years of Pilates I did. Anyway, she promised not to leave me again, I'm sure she thought I was a nut job who was going to escape. The rest of the test went well. No more panicking, I was relaxed and chatted with Lisa the rest of the hour. Yes, one hour of lying still with a camera an inch away from my body. After the scan I had more blood work and then off to see Dr. Edwards for the results!

Once again, I could not have gotten better news. He showed us last year's scan, which showed a little bit of thyroid tissue and this year's which showed NO THYROID TISSUE! Which means no place for the cancer to take hold! Yipee! And just like last year I felt this enormous sense of relief, which I didn't realize I was stressed about, and got teary eyed. I would have cried had I not wanted to look like a wussy. I honestly don't know why I felt so relieved. I knew going into it that everything was fine and there was a very slim chance of having any thyroid tissue left, but I guess I do a good job of fooling myself (maybe that's why I had a cold sore this week! All of the stress I was bottling up!) The ultrasound was also normal and boring. YAY!

So now, I see Dr. Edwards every 6 months for the next few years, do a yearly ultrasound and will have another radioactive pill & body scan in 2 years. I get one summer free of the low iodine diet. Whew! I cannot say enough how blessed I feel to have had such good doctors these past couple of years. There are not enough words to express how I feel about them and my parents for all of their help. They have selflessly taken care of me and Jaxon for weeks and weeks on end. And let me tell you, Jaxon is not as easy this year as he was last year! I know they are as happy as I am about having next summer off :) Hopefully a four year old will be less active than a two year old.

I was able to eat a "normal" diet and take my thyroid pill after the appointment. This entire week I was thinking of what to eat. I had settled on going to an Italian restaurant and having fettucine alfredo. Creamy, cheesy and delicious! Well, at the last minute I changed my mind and chose fettucine carbonara. How could I go wrong? It had bacon and was creamy and cheesy. Boy, never doubt your first instinct. The carbonara tasted like cardboard! I was so bummed. Oh well, I had a huge chocolate chip cookie (or 2) from the Nestle Toll House down the way. That made it all better.

And now I am off to get on a plane to see Jaxon and Lucy! I cannot wait.


Sarah said...

so thrilled that you got such great news :)

Adam and Samantha said...

yeah!! So glad everything was ok!

Nicole said...

I know the feeling with the closeness...I freaked out during a MRI...they are not fun.
I am super happy about your clean boll of health!

Ami said...

Oh hell no...I would've freaked out just SEEING the machine! I don't blame you one bit! I'm soooo glad all is well. You are such a good patient, you deserved good news! Here's to the future! :)