Friday, April 22, 2016

the results blog.....

not a very original title for a blog, but here goes! i saw my endocrinologist yesterday afternoon and got my six month test results. i was hoping that she would let me go to once yearly testing , but she is not ready to do that yet. as i have said before, i had an aggressive type of thyroid cancer, and the beasties in my neck are prone to return when you least expect it. i asked my doctor one time if, like some other cancers, thyroid cancer had a five year "expiration" date . she said unfortunately no, i will have to be tested for the rest of my life . my doctor had one patient who had a recurrence after seven years. when people say that thyroid cancer is the" good "cancer, they forget the forever testing and the fact that patients have to take a thyroid replacement hormone for the rest of their lives. it is hard to determine a good dose of thyroid replacement hormone - one that will not make the patient feel terrible, yet one that will be effective. i thought that my dose might be too low, but i was mistaken.

my labs were good- no measurable thyroglobulin. that is the one test  that all thyroid cancer patients hold their breaths on. my thyroglobulin levels were measurable and i had antibodies (also bad) for about three years. then one day..... poof, they were gone. did it take the RAI treatment that long to work? did my immune system finally tell those sarah palin, aka rogue thyroid cancer cells, to pack their bags and leave? who knows, but that certainly was a day to celebrate!

as i said earlier, my TSH and T4 levels indicated that my thyroid replacement dose needed to be reduced, not increased. i have been struggling with fatigue lately, so i was sort of hoping that i just needed an adjustment up  in my dose to feel better. my doctor and i  negotiated a deal- one of the many reasons i love her- and i am to take a half tablet once a week. this  does not sound like much, but it may be enough to get my TSH up and my T4 down  enough to satisfy everyone. one of the many troublesome things about having  an extremely  low  TSH, with the resulting high T4  can do is to precipitate osteoporosis. this is especially important  since i am on an estrogen blocking medication that can also increase the risk of osteoporosis. my next testing is in october so hopefully things will settle out enough  to please everyone.

my bone density test actually  showed improvement  since last time. my doctor was flummoxed as to why this was. she kept staring at my results. my doctor's expression sort of reminded me of  how i look when i am searching for something at the grocery store, and they are out. i just keep staring for a few minutes as if that will cause the product to magically appear. my doctor thinks that maybe i have not been taking the arimidex long enough for the drug to negatively affect my bone density. i think that the fact that i take a pretty large prescription dose of vitamin D ,and have  increased my dairy food  consumption( calcium  in foods is  better absorbed by the body as compared to supplements , and less likely to cause kidney stones), has been helpful.  i  have also added more exercise to my routine. i believe that the combination of these things might explain the improvement.

so one cancer out of the way for a while! if i can get through my CAT scan next month, i should be worry free( i hope) until october. then we begin again.

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