Friday, October 24, 2014

" one, two, three, four....... i just want to celebrate another day of living; i just want to celebrate another day of life. ..... don't let it all get you down, no, no. don't let it turn you around, and around, and around. ..... the sun is shining down on me, and it's here to stay. " i just want to celebrate, by rare earth

some of you might have read about this on facebook, that my six months testing is over and i got a good report. ultrasound looks good, and no cancer markers in my blood. i have been hoping to move to yearly testing, but my endocrinologist said that because one type of the thyroid cancer that i had( i had two kinds- papillary and follicular variant) was very aggressive, i need to stay on the six month testing regiment. my doctor said for a while longer, but i am not sure for how long. my doctor is also keeping my TSH suppressed, at 0.006 uIU/ml.  wow, how do they even measure a number that small? the reason for this is that my TSH ( stands for thyroid stimulating hormone) needs to be basically zero, because since i have no thyroid, any thyroid cells that could be stimulated would be thyroid cancer cells. sounds great in theory, and i appreciate the fact that  my endocrinologist is taking such good care of me. but being suppressed brings some interesting side effects. my free t-4 is high, 1.95 ng/dL, and this puts me in the hyperthyroid category. so, while i do not have heart palpitations, as yet, i have a few other interesting things going on. i feel jittery a lot of the time, i am literally hyper at times, i get grumpy ( sorry, jeff), my vision is a little blurry sometimes, and i do not sleep as well as i once did. and of course the main concern is osteoporosis. with a t-4 this high, my risk for osteoporosis jumps quite a bit. at my  next visit, my doctor is going to do a bone density test( oh, goody). i had one a couple of years ago and found that i have a little osteopenia in one of my hips. this is nothing i am extremely worried about, but it is a precursor to full blown osteoporosis.

so, what do i do now? well, i can not take a calcium supplement anymore  because i had a kidney stone this year.( while i was supplementing with calcium tablets ). my calcium was low when my doctor did my tests this month. i am going to have to get dietary calcium somehow. i do take a large dose of prescription vitamin D as well as an estrogen supplement- both of which are beneficial to bone health. i also try to exercise as much as my work schedule allows. got to have that zumba- for more reasons than one it seems.  i bring this up just in case there is anyone else out there dealing with these issues. i will certainly keep everyone informed of my progress, but i will really not know how well, or poorly, things are going until my next round of six months tests- which will be in april.

i included the " one, two, three, four ," part of the song lyrics because next month i will be a 4 and a half year cancer survivor. i am grateful for every day that i have, and i try to celebrate and enjoy life as much as i can. really it is the simple things in life that make me happy. my family and  my friends being at the top of the list. i have never wanted a big fancy house, but i love where i live. it is out in the boonies where i can breathe fresh air and relax when i get home from work. my job is stressful, and i worry about adverse health effects from that, but i like to help people take care of themselves. i like to try to help my patients make good health care choices, and i want them to be educated about their medicines and what they need to do to be healthy. if i can do that, it makes me happy, so i guess that i will continue working for a while longer.  my parents were, and now my children are, in education. i used to think that i was the " which one thing is not like the others?" like they say on sesame street. but now, i look at myself as being in health education, so maybe i am not so far removed from my family's profession as i first thought.

i got to visit with my daughter, son in law, and of course one of my grandsons wednesday and thursday- when i went down to raleigh for my tests. today, jeff and i are visiting with our other grandson for the day, and i get to see my son and daughter in law. the weather is beautiful, it is not raining for a change, and i have a lot to be thankful for. it just does not get much better than this.

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