Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thyroid Cancer Update: Follow-Ups


DivineMrsDiva.com - Thyroid Cancer Update: Follow-Ups

September was a super busy month for me, full of activities and happenings; it was also Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.  I was trying to get this post out before the end of the month, but just never had time. If you need to get caught up, check out my previous posts on the subject.

Last we chatted, I had just been released from radiation jail, aka the Plastic Palace.  Ever since then, I have been pretty busy, which is a good thing!  My follow-up scan after radiation showed that the radioactive iodine had been taken up by my remaining thyroid cells and was working to kill them off.  According to the scan, I had also done a good job on sucking on hard candy and drinking lots of water because the traces of radiation in my salivary glands and bladder were very, very faint.

While I check in with my primary doctor to do blood work every two to three months, my first check-up with my endocrinologist wasn't until the beginning of August.  Honestly, I think I was supposed to do it a month earlier, but I have been crazy busy and forgot.    They didn't seem to give a rat's butt until they were trying to schedule my ultrasound.  So for the follow up, they check my TSH, Free T4, Thyroglobulin and do an ultrasound of my entire neck area.  I'm still in the phase of things where awaiting the results of anything makes me an anxious mess.  I cry and worry and freak out, even if I don't think there could be anything wrong with me.  I'm going to assume this is normal and that one day fretting over results won't be so emotional.  I was a crazy ball of nerves the entire week awaiting my appointment with the endo.

My results were all great though!  My TSH is looking good, Free T4 is in the proper part of the range, my thyroglobulin is undetectable, and the ultrasound came back clean.  Whew!  Loads of stress off my back.  I was so happy about all the results that I totally cried when I left the office.  I was under the impression I would have to do this kind of follow-up every three months for a couple of years, but my endo says the next check up will just be blood work unless something doesn't seem right.  In February, they will shoot me up with Thyrogen to test my body's response.  If my TSH doesn't shoot up, that is a good thing.  If it does, I'm guessing an ultrasound and all that jazz will be happening.  As of right now, I won't have to do another ultrasound until next summer, although blood work will still be done every three months.

Things are looking good via my primary care doctor as well.  My blood pressure is being controlled and monitored, my iron and ferritin are on the rise (though they need work), and I am still gluten-free (though I sometimes cheat) to try to keep my autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto's, in control.  I definitely notice a difference in how I feel when I do have gluten, so I try to stay away from it.  I'm also medicating my adrenal insufficiency via supplements that help give me a bit more energy.  Hopefully as I learn to manage my stress and anxiety better, I will get the adrenals on the upswing.

Though I lost fifty pounds during my switch to gluten free eating and a healthier lifestyle, the scale refuses to go up or down anymore.  In regards to my lower energy level and inability to lose weight, during my next round of blood work my doctor will be checking my T3 levels to see if my body is utilizing my thyroid replacement medication properly.

Having thyroid issues, or in my case no thyroid at all (and radiation), can have adverse affects on teeth and eyesight.  I plan on scheduling all of those appointments this month as I just had my lady biz doctor appointment where everything came back normal.

So that is the latest, my friends.  I am doing well and continue doing well and THANKFULLY haven't had too much in the way of adverse affects because of the treatment.  These past few months have been jam packed with concerts, parties, game nights, leisure days of lounging, and even a proper anniversary trip to Seattle.  I will continue to do updates on procedures/results/feelings as needed.  Honestly, I hope this is the last post I really need to do on it and that this doesn't happen to me ever again.  Many, many people thrive and have long, full lives after something like this.  I want to be one of those people.


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