Friday, November 30, 2012

"Grandma got run over by a reindeer. walking home from our house, Christmas eve. you can say there's no such thing as santa, but as for me and grandpa, we believe. she'd been drinking too much eggnog, and we'd begged her not to go. but she forgot her medication, so she staggered out the door into the the goose is on the table, and the pudding made of fig. and a blue and silver candle , that would just have matched the hair in grandma's wig." Grandma got run over by a reindeer, by elmo and patsy

after you have thyroid cancer, and lose your butterfly, your body goes into full blown  hypothyroidism. before i found out that i had thyroid cancer, and before my surgery, i had some of the classic hypothyroid symptoms, but not all. now, i find that i have every single one of them. so, along with dealing with the challenges of have had( hopefully) cancer- both physical and mental changes, i find that my body is on turbo-hypothyroid mode. this has presented challenges for me- i am still trying to adjust to  and deal with some of the changes. 

since i am now a proud, first time grandmother, i feel that i can use the lyrics of this humorous holiday song to illustrate some of my problems.i honestly think that it the grandmother in this song had thyroid disease- maybe she was distracted ( another symptom) and that is why the reindeer got her.

first example: the title, or "grandma got run over by a reindeer". i feel like that reindeer ran over me,too. i get so tired, well sometimes, beyond tired. i know this is a busy time of the year- so many things to do, even if they are fun things. but these holiday errands or chores( hate to use that word) are just added onto work duties, house cleaning,etc, and all the other things that we all have to do everyday. i have been trying to go to bed earlier, but i find that this time of year i tell myself, well, i will do  just one more thing before bed...... and of course i end up getting less sleep.being tired is probably the number one hypothyroid "problem" for me.

next, she'd been drinking too much eggnog. well, i do like to have a glass of organic wine now and again. but i read in one of my thyroid books, that the "hypothyroid liver", to quote the author, metabolizes alcohol in a different way than a normal person's liver does. guess i will have to pass on the eggnog this year.

"she forgot her medication". oh the horrors of that! that is truly a disastrous event for me, or any other hypothyroid patient. i forgot my thyroid supplement the other day, and i just had to drag myself through work. amazing how much thyroid patients depend on that one little tablet in the morning to get us through the day! and of course, it must be taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, to get the full effect. i had that fuzzy( but not warm) feeling the day i forgot to make my medication.

about hair loss ( grandma's wig). i lost quite a bit of hair, actually, after my surgery and I-131 treatment. it has mostly grown back in, but some days i feel that i could use a wig! the texture seems to have changed also. this is an important issue! you only have to glance at the magazines in the store to realize how much hair matters to women( and i secretly think to men,too. even if they are not going to admit it) 

so grandma had an untreated thyroid problem, and as a result, got run over by a reindeer. hopefully this grandma can make it through the holidays without incident. and by the way, i have ALWAYS believed in santa. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

" i have climbed the highest mountains, i have run through the fields, only to be with you, only to be with you.,,,,but i still haven't found what i'm looking for. i still haven't found what i am looking for. " i haven't found what i am looking for, by U2

i STILL did not get to see the wizard, but i did get good news yesterday! my diagnostic mammograms on both sides were unchanged, no monsters present, i guess, so i get to go back to yearly, not bi-yearly mammograms! yippee!!! perhaps someone thought that thyroid and skin cancer were enough for me to have to deal with. i really was not worried about the results of the test,though. i was just afraid that things would snowball, and i would be having a biopsy,etc. like i said, i am sick, sick, sick of testing and would like to take a break from it for a while. my next thyroid ultrasound/blood work tests are in march- i will deal with those at that time.

i talked to a friend of mine the other day. she had breast cancer and i asked her how she was doing. she said that she was doing great, feeling great and for the first time in eight years she actually did not spend a part of every day thinking about having or having had, cancer. wow, that is my goal! i am not there yet, being a two year cancer survivor. i was looking forward to the  "the five year" all is clear, shout hooray, mark, but my endocrinologist spoiled it for me. when i asked her if the five year mark was the end of worry, so to speak, she said no, that  unfortunately she had a patient who had a recurrence after seven years. darn. this lady has to repeat the I-131 and add on a little radiation. i have not had the heart- even if she could/would tell me- how this patient is doing. my endocrinologist told me( she knows what a worry wart i am) that if my cancer does come back not to worry- " we will get it".

i started using my imagination and tried to figure out how they would "get it". perhaps a trap? what bait would they use? perhaps they could offer up my last two parathyroids- sorry, boys, someone has to do it. they took out eleven lymph nodes,too. i am still getting some salivary stones two years after my I-131 treatment. they cleared up for a while, but THEY'RE BACK! of course, i have to remind myself that the painful lumps in my jaw area are  just that-   salivary stones- and not the nasty thyroid cancer  cells invading my lymph nodes. i would feel more comfortable about my blood work  if i did not have thyroglobulin antibiodies. this condition is very confusing to me. i have read and re-read the section in " my favorite" thyroid cancer book by sara rosenthal. i even asked my endocrinologist about it. ( i actually pointed out the section in the book during my last visit with my endo) . my endo said, well, it says here your body makes the thyroglobulin antibiodies. o.k. i get that part- but where? why? is there a better blood test available for those lucky people like me who mysteriously manufacture those antibiodies? bless my endocrinologist. i know that i am a pain in the butt.

so i am not" one with my body" again. i do spend some part of most days thinking about my cancer. there, i admitted it. but i have so many great things going on in my life now. i have a wonderful family- including the cutest grandson on the planet- and there is my faith, of course, and last, but not least, Zumba! yes, that exercise class keeps me from totally losing it. i enjoy my work, most of the time, and i have some great friends. until the time i can truly say i am rid of, done with, over that, had enough of , etc, cancer , i will live my best life. whoops, sorry oprah. i think that you said that first.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"....go with the funk, it is said. that if you can't groove to this, you probably are dead. so wave your hands in the air, bust a few moves, fun your fingers through your hair. that is it for a winner, dance to this and you're going to get thinner. move, slide your rump, just for a minute, lets all do the bump, bump, bump. break it down! stop. hammer time!! you can't touch this! " can't touch this, by mc hammer

boy, just typing these lyrics is not nearly as fun as listening/ dancing to the song! it is not a zumba song, that i know of, but it would be a really good one! zumba has indeed made me thinner- or at least toned me up. i have noticed that is the case for many others in my class. it is so much fun, we hardly know that we are exercising. of course, i get so red in the face- no matter what i happen to do. i look like i have just completed the boston marathon or something. i used to be so embarrassed about this, but there is nothing that i can do about it- to prevent it from happening,etc. ( it is the red hair/freckles thing). there is a woman in my husband's spin class who does the same thing, so at least i have company.

next week i get to go to the imaging center for a double diagnostic mammogram. i am not sure why the radiologist is picking on me..... six months ago, i had a diagnostic mammogram on one side, and at that time he told the nurse to tell me that i would be having it done on both sides in six months. is it because i had cancer? is it because( some people believe this, some do not) i had a rather large dose of the I-131? and that may cause  me to  have a slightly  higher chance of having  breast cancer? i have questions to ask, and i believe that i am somewhat better informed this time. i wish that " the wizard" would come out from behind his curtain( he communicates with me via the nurse) and talk to me! perhaps i can smuggle toto in there to help me. he may in fact be the same " wizard" that administered my dose of I-131 two years ago.( well, he calculated the dose and had his space suit clad assistant bring it to me )  i decided not to go for the " deer in the headlights" look this time. i have questions, and by golly, if i have to pull back the curtain myself, i intend to get some answers!

you might be asking yourself why this song popped into my brain. i have decided that no matter what the doctors do to me- biopsies, surgery, I-131, ultrasounds, blood work, mammograms,etc, THEY CAN'T TOUCH ME. of course, they physically touch me, but " myself" inside belongs to me and me only. i am still the same person no matter what. i appreciate that the doctors are trying to take care of me, and i realize the importance of testing, but i am pretty sick of it.

so next week, while the wizard is hiding away in the next room, and the technician has me clamped down to the machine, i am going to be humming " can't touch this". if i get bad news i will deal with it. if i get good news, well..... i will go shopping of course. maybe i will go shopping anyway. then on to zumba class. maybe i will suggest this song to the instructor.