ThyCa Tattoo

So I did it. I finally got the tattoo I had been waiting to get since the day I was diagnosed. Originally I wanted to wait until I was told there was No Evidence of Disease (NED) but with the recent news that there is still some additional work needed to do, I decided now was the time. I don’t have control over much in this situation BUT I do have control over this and this makes my heart happy. 🙂

So here it is….

Kat ThyCa Tattoo

I wanted to explain what this tattoo means to me because I have thought about for about a year and a half now and carefully put it all together. My brother helped bring this tattoo to life as it was a compilation of several different ideas.

  • First of all, there is the obvious Thyroid Cancer ribbon which is teal, pink and purple. I just didn’t want the original ribbon, I wanted something a bit more original.
  • Feather: So I wanted to incorporate a feather, as the eagles feather stands for courage and strength. Anyone that has dealt with cancer or an illness has had to fight harder than they ever have in their lives, and that couldn’t be more true for my journey over the last 1 and a half years.
  • Sparrows: They derive power and protection in their numbers.They survive by traveling in clusters and are a community that does not do well when by themselves. I couldn’t think of a better symbol for my “posse”, my support group of family and friends that helped me every step of the way. Whether you are there in the day to day process, or someone that randomly sent a message to check on me, big or small, you were a part of my clan of sparrows and I thank you!!
  • Heart: well that was a last minute addition (thanks Scottie!) but this means multiple things to me – overall, Thyroid Cancer was never who I became, it was a small part of me and what I went through. I will never be the same person I was before 10.23.14 but I have become a better person because of it. But it also stands for all the love and support I have received from family and friends that have always been in my life, but also to the group of amazing people that have come into my life because of Thyroid Cancer.  Although it’s a crappy way to meet, I don’t know what I’d do without the fellow ThyCa survivors and supporters who truly understand what I am going through.
  • Date (didn’t make the cut): So originally I wanted to include the date that I was diagnosed (10.23.14) because that date will always be the start of the “new” me but unfortunately, the numbers would have been too small to be able to see it because I didn’t want them to stand out as they weren’t as significant as everything else.

So there you have it. I am so excited to have this tattoo, and of course it’s on my left forearm where it can be seen by everyone (also covered for work, if need be). It can be a conversation starter – bring on Thyroid Cancer awareness!! It’s a reminder that I am a fighter. And no matter what I find out next week with next steps and if I need to undergo another RAI treatment or not, it’s going to be ok.

 

Original drawing by Scottie and completed outline of tattoo:

 

Adding another chapter

So my #ThyCa scans didn’t go as planned today. I was hoping to hear the words “no evidence of disease” but I’ll have to wait a little longer. Of course there is disappointment, sadness, and fear but there will always be hope. I know everything is going to be ok – just adding another chapter to my ThyCa book before closing the book. It’s a waiting game until we touch base with my Endo regarding next steps, and possible additional treatment. I still have #hope but needless to say, today was hard.

#thycascans #thyroidcancer #noonefightsalone #radioactiveiodine131 #readytobedone #stupidcancer #goaway #waitingforaNED 

Goodbye 2015, C’mon 2016!!!

We did it – made it through another year and I have determined that 2016 is going to be my year! Oh and yes, I’m finally posting a “end of the year” post lol. I’m only 19 days late….but better late than never.

So 2015 was a year full of emotions, trials, tribulations, and the “old/new” me. I started the year weak and confused but ended it confident AND finally finding my new “normal.” Back in January, I was only 4 weeks post-op following my TT and left neck dissection. Still very dependent on family and friends – not just physically, but emotionally as well. February and March were filled with doctors appointments, radiation, and a roller coaster of emotions that came with each not-so-great results at my appointments. Over the summer I went through anxiety attack after anxiety attack while battling depression before finding the right meds. And with each medication change, I had to go through it over and over again – feeling hopeless. Finally getting some good news in September, letting me know that the radiation had done it’s job and cleared my lungs so just waiting on the 12 month visit to find out about the rest (c’mon March 2016). But this was the first time that we had a few steps forward without falling backwards.

So in case you noticed, I said I wanted the “old/new” me because for most people, they wish for “new year, new you” but that’s not what I wanted at all. I wanted the OLD me – before ThyCa. I wanted the person that could stay level headed about simple stressors like bills or getting overwhelmed by kids or a dirty house without having an anxiety attack. I wanted the person that could ride a bike or run down the street with my kids without having an asthma attack. I wanted the person that had long pretty hair, the person that didn’t have to cut off her hair because it was falling out in clumps due to my medication increase (because I have the good cancer….*rolling my eyes*). I wanted the person that didn’t feel exhausted 24/7 or fall asleep every time I sat down which caused a lot of missed alone time with my Hubby. But this past fall, with the help of my therapist (lol), that’s when I realized – I will NEVER be that person ever again. Like ever. When I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, I was no longer that person. Then when I went through surgery and radiation and everything else in between. All of this changed me into the person I am today. So this year I am willing to accept that and just hope/pray that I become the best person I can be. With that, I hope it’s a mix of who I used to be and who I’ve always strived to be. I hope to control my anxiety (with the help of my medication lol), by knowing my triggers and knowing when to take a break. I hope to learn that I can spend time with my kiddos without physically keeping up – I never turn down some cuddle time. I hope to find other ways to be more active and maybe more natural ways to be more alert so I never miss a minute BUT to allow more time of REST so that I can take full advantage of the time I’m awake. But more than anything, I hope to be the best person I can be – no matter if that’s the old OR new me!!

So one of my goals for 2016 is to spread more awareness and reach out to more people about ThyCa. Just in the last 6 months, I have had 3 people come to me with a friend that had recently been diagnosed. They all wanted me to reach out for support and a listening ear. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me – especially to someone that started off with not even know what the Thyroid did. Just like with this blog, I not only wanted to give insight for family and friends that wanted to know how I was doing – I wanted to give HOPE to those going through the same thing. I was lucky enough to have my Hubby’s cousin who allowed me to blow up her phone with questions on a daily basis. She will NEVER know how much it meant to me. To have someone that I could reach to for questions and for someone to fully understand every step of the way of what I was going through. That’s what I want to do – be there and spread hope.

If you are someone that needs a ThyCa buddy to vent to, just message me and I’m your girl! We need to stick together and be there for those who are in need.

Today Marks 1 Year

Well this is a day that has been on my mind for quite a while now and of course, with very mixed emotions. I remember the night before my surgery last year, I couldn’t wait to get all this behind me and I just kept thinking ahead, to be able to celebrate the one year mark because I knew everything was going to be so much better by then. It’s definitely been a roller coaster of events over the last year – from surgery to radiation, the constant change in medications, and the never ending doctors visits. But this was just a small moment in my journey…..

We all change with all the trials and tribulations we have in life. More than anything, I know that I am stronger. Every time I didn’t think I could handle any more bad news or another scan or test, I held it together. With every prick of the needle or side effect I had to endure, I held it together. With every question that I got from my kids asking if Mommy was going to be ok, I held it together. But just like with any process, you have to learn to let go too. And I did – many, many times. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times that I just broke down and cried, over every little thing. I tried to fight it once I got past the initial shock of the word “cancer”, but then I realized that’s just all part of the journey – knowing it’s ok to have good days AND bad days. There were days that I didn’t want to get out of the bed, there were days that I got the kids off to school then crawled right back in bed to just cry. BUT THEN, there were other days that I drove home and belted out & at the top of my lungs “Fight Song” because that’s what I needed to get through that moment in time when I thought I was done putting forth the energy to keep going and fighting. I have had to learn that I can’t have control over everything, no matter how hard I try. You just have to go with the flow and know that everything happens for a reason, but for that same reason, you have to learn when to fight and when to let go. There were days that I would give in and other days that I would fight to no end. I have learned that you can’t get through something like this alone – and makes me that much more appreciative for all of my amazing family and friends that stood by me every second of every day and gave me that push when I needed it or the shoulder to cry on when I needed it more.

In the recent weeks, my hormone meds were increased and with every change in medication, it takes time for things to get adjusted. But the more and more they kept my Thyroid hormones suppressed, the harder the side effects were to deal with. I felt like I was taking 10 steps back to 6 months ago when everything was out of control. I was finally starting to get into a routine and getting to feel a sense of normalcy prior to this last change. So when I got the call that my TSH numbers were going up and they needed to increase my meds to keep things leveled out, I just lost it. I didn’t want to go through all that again. The exhaustion, muscle cramps, the shakes that never went away, heart palpitations, unable to catch my breath, extreme hot flashes that would last hours, massive hair loss (resulting to falling out in clumps) and unable to keep my thoughts on anything. All of this brought my anxiety back with a vengeance, which in turn, intensified with each of these side effects.

So with all this being said, I was having a hard time thinking how I was going to “celebrate” today when I felt I couldn’t be happy with my current state. So without coming off like I had nothing to be grateful for, I then realized, I just need keep moving and know that all is going to be ok. So for now I can appreciate the journey over the last year because I am still here and that can not be said by all those who have been diagnosed. Today is going to be an emotional day for me and I might not want to do anything this year but that’s ok. Maybe next year I will think of something to do in honor of this day.

inspirational-quotes-cancer-493

Scar – Don’t Go Away, Please??

So most people, after they have surgery of any type, can’t wait for their scar to go away – for whatever the reason. They want to get past it, they want to forget, they want to have nice looking skin again, or they simply just don’t want the scar…but that is not the case for me. 

I don’t want my scar to go away. Yep, I DON’T want it to go away. I’ve seen so many people on my support groups or other Survivors that I’ve met that have given me suggestions on what I can used to make it fade away OR go away almost completely, like vitamin E or over the counter scar creams. I always smile and say thank you for the advice but I have no intentions of trying any of it. 

To most, this might be silly, especially since I have a fairly big scar in comparison to most ThyCa Survivors with the typical TT. I get stares all the time, most kids are horrified – they point and want to avoid me (especially right after my surgery). I know prior to my surgery, I was terrified of how it would look or how long it would take before it would heal. I bought a scarf to cover my neck, mostly for my kids so they weren’t terrified when I first got home but the day they came to the hospital, I didn’t hide it quick enough….they saw it and they were scaried to death. Conor wouldn’t even come near me and Mileigh just kept crying and pointing at my neck. Needless to say, I lost it…I hated that my kids didn’t want anything to do with me even though I understood their fear. 

Now my kids love showing off my scar and explaining that my butterfly was taken out – but more than anything hearing the kids talk about how strong I am – it brings tears to my eyes. I know my ThyCa journey is only a small part of who I am and a short chapter in my book of life BUT I can’t express how much I’ve changed in the last year. I feel that my scar is the constant reminder that I need on my hardest of days or even on my best days. But I love when people ask me about it now – I’m not ashamed because it brings awareness to a cancer that is often thought of as a “good” cancer.

So scar please don’t go away! 🙂

This pic was the day of surgery and then 4 weeks later.   
And this is today – just over 11 months post-op. Just craziness!!!  

Annual Whole Body Scan (WBS) and 6 Month Results

So once you’ve had Thyroid Cancer, you will have to undergo annual Whole Body Scans (WBS) to verify when there is No Evidence of Disease (NED) and/or to confirm there is no reoccurrence. It is a very intensive process that takes a couple weeks of the Low Iodine Diet (see previous post for more info) before you can even start your scans.

Most Nuclear Medicine departments follow a very strict schedule and here is mine:

  1. Start Low Iodine Diet (LID) a minimum 2 weeks prior to week of appointments.
  2. Day 1: Thyrogen shot #1 and blood work (30-45 minute appointment)
  3. Day 2: Thyrogen shot #2 (15 minute appointment)
  4. Day 3: Tracer dose of Radioactive Iodine (RAI) and blood work (30-45 minute appointment)
    1. Start Isolation for 48 hours (separate sleeping arrangements/bathroom, no less than 3 feet distance from any person/animal, and only around others/share room for up to 1 hour with distance).
  5. Day 4: Isolation
  6. Day 5: Whole Body Scans (WBS) and blood work (2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hour appointment)
    1. Discuss results of scans with Nuclear Medicine Doctor and next steps.

*All of these appointments require for me to drive/be driven (thankful for the HOV lanes!!!) approximately 58 miles (one way) which can take 2 – 2 1/2 hours worth of traffic into Washington, DC. Totally worth it to be seen at one of the best Thyroid Cancer Centers in the country BUT does not allow for me to work during this week.*

So this year, I have to schedule 2 WBS’s per the Nuclear Medicine team and my Endo, 6 month appointment – October 2015 and 12 month appointment – March 2016. So I originally had my RAI back in March and had to conduct 2 scans – one after the tracer dose to see how much my cancer has spread to determine how much radiation is needed. Then the second was after my full dose to see if anything else showed up (this sometimes happens if the tracer dose isn’t enough to get elsewhere in the body to light up the scans. Because they found it in my lungs after my full dose, obviously they gave me the correct dose to accommodate for just my lymph nodes, extra thyroid tissue and the tumor that was found in my neck behind my thyroid bed. Therefore, the Nuclear Medicine team wanted to bring me back at 6 months to see if I needed another dose solely for my lungs. The radiation takes a full year to work but they wanted to double up (if needed) because my cancer has been pretty aggressive.

With all that being said, my WBS came back and my lungs are now CLEAR so no extra dose is needed!!! Whooohooo!!! They also so that the tumor behind my thyroid bed has shrunk and it is already only 1/4 of the size it was back in March so the radiation is doing its job and I still have 6 months to go!!! This makes me super confident that I will get a NED (No Evidence of Disease) come March 2016. I originally said I would wait for my ThyCa tattoo until I get those results but I’ve finally realized – I am a survivor because I live with this and fight everyday. So hopefully, I’ll have tattoo pictures in the coming months…. 🙂

I am still waiting to get the blood work results from my testing week – it was time for another tumor marker and to see what my TSH levels are to ensure my thyroid hormone medication is still where it should be. I am also going to request that I change to Synthroid and something to help with my Free T3 (l have done my research and received advice from fellow ThyCa survivors that it helps with energy levels). I’ve been on Levothyroxin since my surgery (December 2014) and my energy levels are for the dogs….I know I’m not going to feel my best but I’m willing to see if this helps it at all!!

Thank everyone that helped us last week with all the scan appointments – between going to/from the appointments, getting the kiddos on/off the bus, helping with the kiddos while I was unable to care for them during my isolation period, and of course, the thoughts and prayers!! I couldn’t be more thankful for my village!!!

Hope Whispers Quote

Cancer Outlook

As I am preparing myself mentally for my upcoming scans at the end of the month, I start to think about how I am going to react once I get the results. I know this may sound silly because, of course, I am pretty optimistic that everything is going to be ok and show that the tumors have shrunk in my lungs (see Post-Therapy Scan Results for previous information)…BUT Thyroid Cancer is different than any other cancer when it comes to “remission.”

There is no doubt that I am ready for this cancer to get out of my body. and I couldn’t be more excited to finally get the good news I’ve been waiting for since I was diagnosed. First of all, after you receive the RAI (Radioactive Iodine), it takes a full 12 months for the radiation to do it’s job but because they found I had metastases in my lungs AFTER the determined the correct dosage to handle what was left over in my Thyroid bed, any additional lymph nodes that my Surgeon may have missed (I mean come on, he removed 56 of those suckers so I didn’t hold it against him when they found 2 more in my scans that he missed during surgery), and in hopes to find, if any, additional locations that my cancer may have spread to. In my initial scans, prior to the full dose, the Nuclear Medicine doctors were honestly surprised that nothing else was found. So they typically don’t do any follow up scans until 12 months because that will be when the radiation has fully been able to do it’s job. When they said they wanted me to come back in 6 months for follow up scans, I was a little anxious when the doctors decided that if there was any “uptake” in my lungs still, then they will go ahead and do another dose of the RAI. I mean do what y’all have to do to get the cancer out but the thought of going through all of that again, just 6 months later was not what I wanted to hear at the time as I just got most of my side effects to go away from the RAI.

Papillary Thyroid Cancer is typically slow growing and most commonly does not spread outside of the immediate area of the neck but because mine has, it gives me over 30% chance of reoccurrence in my life – even decades later. Of course, this is no excuse for a negative outlook – just a more cautionary one. I have my fingers crossed and even put in a few prayers to have a “NED” (No Evidence of Disease) scan results. And when I get those results, we will definitely have a celebration in our house – to have a NED result for the first time in 11 months which was the start of my ThyCa journey, would be amazing prior to celebrating my 1 year of being a Survivor next month. But for the next 5+ years my body will be checked every 3 months for my Tumor Marker. Eventually, I won’t need to be checked as often but I will still have to worry with every blood work that I come in to do and with every 12 month Whole Body Scan, which will require me to put my life on hold for 5 straight days of appointments in Washington, DC.

I will continue to live day by day and celebrate each and every positive thing that comes my way as I put some of this behind me. I start my Low-Iodine diet tomorrow to prepare for my scans so I am just hoping to lose some additional weight so that, for sure, will keep me distracted for the next few weeks. I will always hope and pray for the positives but will constantly prepare myself for the worst whenever these tests come around as that is what I need to do to move forward.

Until next time…. 🙂

End of your rope quote

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month 2015

I just can’t believe I’ve been on this ThyCa journey for just over 10 months now. And now with Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month here – I wanted to think back for a minute.

I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer on October 23, 2014 and what an eventful 10 months it’s been. As I said in one of my firsts posts on this blog, I didn’t even know what the Thyroid was, much less what it controlled in my body. I believe wholeheartedly that everything happens for a reason and we are all put through trials and tribulations in our life to test how strong we are and to prove that we can overcome just about anything we put our minds to. Obviously, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone because the lack of a thyroid causes a battle that you body fights on a daily basis. But with time, patience, and the right Endocrinologist to back you – it is possible to get your hormones stabilized to feel somewhat “normal” again.

With all this being said, I urge everyone to know their bodies and trust their gut if you feel that something is “off” or wrong. You know your body better than anyone else and you don’t need a degree to know that something needs to be checked. I went to my doctor for 3 years straight complaining of my weight being an issue and the fact that it didn’t matter what I did or changed, I couldn’t lose anything. I have always had a really good metabolism so this was definitely a new thing. Of course, the first thing he did was have my thyroid levels checked but there is now research that states that all of your thyroid levels may or may not reflect any change or dysfunction if you have Thyroid Cancer. Your levels only tell if and/or how your thyroid is functioning, not necessarily will it detect cancer. So that is part of the reason why my doctors think that I probably had ThyCa for over 4 or 5 years without knowing. So that’s why we must trust our instincts and not give up when you question something.

So this September, I urge you to check your necks!!! 🙂

A graphic showing the location of they thyroid and how to perform a self-check.

A graphic showing the location of they thyroid and how to perform a self-check.

My Fight Song

So I just recently posted on Facebook that I have started a new chapter in my life – I have decided to be happy again and not let ThyCa get to me anymore. I would do my best each day to get up and make it a good one.

“Learning to live with ThyCa, not letting ThyCa dictate how I live my life.”

Well part of what helped with that, is a song – most people can relate with songs. That’s what helps bring us together. I first heard this song at Relay for Life as I was walking my “Survivor Lap” and I was brought to tears. I can honestly say I didn’t even hear most of the words because it took all I could to get around that track and back to my family and friends. But the next day when my neighbor and friend posted it online so I could hear it, I listened and that’s when it became MY SONG.

What I love about this song is it can be used by so many different people for so many different types of struggles in life. For me it was cancer, for another family member it was her divorce and depression, it can be a getting through college and making it into the real world, etc. It’s whatever you have found difficult to where you couldn’t get out of bed or you have felt you couldn’t talk to someone or maybe you have talked to someone but they couldn’t relate and you feel alone. But now – now you FINALLY feel like you can be set free. You are ready to take on the world and get through whatever you are going through and even though you may not be able to beat it – it’s the sole fact that you tried and you fought and you lived your life to the fullest.

For me, I had so much anxiety in the day-to-day life that I felt out of control and crazy, I really felt crazy. Everyone kept telling me to trust my judgement and if something didn’t feel right that I needed to go back to the doctor and if that was the case, I would be back at the doctor once a week – I started to feel as though I couldn’t trust my own judgement and that is scary. I was once a confident and independent person but am now lacking the ability to trust myself and having to rely on others so much that it doesn’t really do much for in self-esteem department. Do I know that it’s going to be ok and that it’s ok to ask for help? Absolutely, but it’s still an adjustment that I’m learning to live with. After I started seeing a therapist that specializes in traumatic life events – such as cancer, anxiety and depression, I got my medications stabilized through my Endo and PCP, and I realized that I couldn’t change whether my cancer was still in my lungs nor would there be anything I could do until we hit the 6 month mark after radiation – I soon started to become more “OK” with my new normal. I am still always tired and I think that is just part of it so I’m just trying to stay busy but still allow myself time to rest, all at the same time.

In the mean time, I have my Fight Song – it helps me get through my hard days and helps me celebrate my good days. I get to blare it out loud in the car with my Hubby and kiddos when I am happy because it’s my feel good song. It comes on the radio like every other song, when before I never heard it and my kids ask for it all the time as well. My daughter even knows all the words now! But it’s also there when I need pick me up and I am having a hard time getting through the day and can’t seem to get out of bed or if I am having baby fever and wishing that we didn’t have to wait so long to try again.

Either way, it’s a beautiful song and everyone should take the time to listen to it! If you are struggling – just know that everyone is going through something!

Fight Song

By: Rachel Platten

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years
I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

A lot of fight left in me

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

This is my fight song (Hey!)
Take back my life song (Hey!)
Prove I’m alright song (Hey!)
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong (I’ll be strong)
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

No I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

The Worry Wart in me will never stop….

So as you can imagine, I have had a hard time getting the whole cancer stuff off my brain as it’s definitely affected my life in a big way over the last 8 months. I went for a follow appointment to see my Primary doctor just last week to discuss my anxiety medications (which had to be upped…again…ugh). And the last few weeks I have been discussing my breathing issues with my Hubby – ever since my surgery (in December 2014) I haven’t been able to do a whole lot of physical activity without becoming what started off as heavily winded then turning into wheezing/hyperventilating/unable to breathe. My surgeon said that because the surgery was pretty invasive and extensive, it was going to take a while for the inflammation to go down, so it could be 2 months or it could be 6 months for things to settle down. Just give your body time to rest! Well he doesn’t know me, haha.

As time has gone on, I think I just became more aware of this happening as I wasn’t even able to go up the stairs with a heavy basket of clothes or cleaning my van or vacuum the house without this happening. So after my Hubby brought up the fact that it had been so many months, it was time to say something. With my grandmother, my dad, and my son all having asthma, that was the first conclusion. He gave me a rescue inhaler and told me to keep him in the loop as to how often its being used, as I might end up needing a preventative. He also wanted to eliminate any other sources to the problem so he ordered blood work, a lung capacity test, and a x-ray to be sure that there wasn’t any fluid in my lungs. My blood work came back all normal – they were worried that I may have been anemic or something along these lines. My lung capacity test came back normal for someone that has asthma. They were concerned that because I was known to have lesions in my lungs that I wasn’t able to get a full breath or that the radiation may have caused damage to my lungs when trying to shrink the lesions. Finally the x-ray was done and that came back with no fluid, only showing whatever is going on in my lungs, whether that being scar tissue, or the same lesions, or whatever the case.

With that being said, I felt my heart sink in my chest – in the CAT scan of my chest, they said that the lesions had shrunk so small that it couldn’t be seen or it was now microscopic. So I was really confused why they would now show up on a x-ray which isn’t as detailed as a CAT scan. I called and left a frantic message for my Endo prior to my appointment yesterday and once again…..wait…..

Getting to my appointment yesterday, I had to force myself to eat prior just so I could take my medications and was just exhausted from the anxiety of everything going on in my head. I swore every time they said that I didn’t need to worry about something, I ended up having to deal with that one thing – doesn’t matter what the ratios are. 1 of 10, 2 of 3, or 1 of 100. I’ve heard them all and I’ve been that 1% or 33% each time. Yes, I am a worry wart but I need to know – it’s so much better than NOT knowing. But once I got into the office, I knew I was finally going to get some answers. They took resting heart rate – 118 – yep that’s not good and I couldn’t stop shaking from my anxiety but that’s becoming my new normal. After the pleasant 30 minute wait in the room, my Endo finally came in and the first thing she noticed how tired I looked – yep, sure am, exhausted. She explained that it’s one of the things that I will feel when they have to suppress my Thyroid so much to keep my cancer from spreading, this is what they have to do. We talked about my breathing and what is going on and found out that I might also have asthma but it’s another side effect of a suppressed Thyroid is a rapid heart rate, which causes rapid breathing and the rest follows. I knew the anxiety is caused by all of this but I had no clue it would be this bad – I honestly have been a basket case and have no clue what to do with my self. She also explained that my dizziness and the one time I passed out came from that as well. So all those times that I felt so out of control and “crazy” and hypochondriac – I’m not. This is just my new normal and she basically said she knows it sucks – and maybe after a few years we can pull back on my meds once my cancer gets under control which will help how I’m feeling.

After my doctor finished telling me all of this, she just looked at me and knew I was just done. It’s been a very, very long few months emotionally and mentally more than anything. She said I need to de-stress my life as much as I can. I need to spend time with my kids and family. Enjoy my life and know that we are doing everything we can for my health and there is nothing we can do at this point. We are waiting for my 6 month mark after radiation and then we will know more. And at that point we will make sure we do everything we can and she will send me anywhere in the US to make sure I have the best medical care I need. She will make sure that I am taken care of from the medical side, so she said I need to make sure I take care of me and get my anxiety/stress down. She recommended that I see a counselor (which I’ve already started doing).

Overall, I needed to hear that from my doctor and it’s still going to be VERY hard for me to let things go and to de-stress my life but I have to. For my family’s sake, I need to make sure I am healthy enough to be there for them.

Thanks, Kat

P.S. I want everyone to know the following: I KNOW that I have sooooo much support and love from all of my family and friends. I am writing this blog for other Thyroid Cancer patients, awareness and for myself. I don’t want this to be misconstrued as anything else. Thanks! 🙂