Thursday, April 14, 2016

you know that feeling you had in school when you had an important test coming up and you felt that had not studied enough???.........

this week and next are test weeks for me. i only had one thyroid cancer testing session last year, due to the whole breast cancer issue. for the past five years, i have endured twice yearly testing- ultrasounds, blood work, and new this year, bone density tests. i get about as nervous as a caged tiger at the zoo when these tests are coming up. you might think that after five years i would be a pro, and it would not bother me. i was slowly getting there, but the fact that i had breast cancer a few months ago sort of set me back, you might say.

it would be nice if i could find some way to deal with this "scan anxiety" as i have heard it referred to. one good thing about my thyroid cancer  testing is that i get to visit my daughter and her family who happen to live four hours away. my endocrinologist's office is in the same city , so it is a kind of reward for me. i try to focus on the joy of seeing my daughter, grandson, and son in law. that does help a lot, but the bottom line is, when it comes to test day, it is me alone in that room. well, the ultrasound technician is there- looking for goblins in my neck. but of course she is just doing her job.

as i mentioned, the bone density test is new this year. i have had two in the past- five years apart- due to the fact that thyroid medication can cause osteoporosis. so far this year, i have had two bone density tests. the estrogen blocking medication that i take to hopefully prevent a breast cancer recurrence  also causes osteoporosis. i take a prescription dose of vitamin d to hopefully help my bones. i can not take calcium because i  had a  kidney stone last year which was probably, at least partly, caused by the calcium supplement that i was taking. calcium from dairy foods and a few other sources  are best- they are absorbed better by the body. i try to include enough of them in my diet, but not too much. my cholesterol has been good so far, but dairy foods can certainly affect your cholesterol.

another thing that helps prevent osteoporosis, is weight bearing exercise. i am walking now, fairly often, and i have re-joined a wellness center. i am hoping that adding some more exercise will help,too. no, i have not been able to return to zumba yet! i will probably have to have my knee fixed before i can go back to zumba classes. but  i am tired of doctors, no offense, and surgery at the present time, so shaking my booty, as i loved doing, will just have to wait a while longer. i did buy a tai chi DVD. so far, the DVD and i have just had a staring contest( it is sitting near my TV). to paraphrase a john prine song, " the DVD tried to stare me down, and won"- for now that is!

so i have the big reveal show with my endocrinologist next week. i get another chance to visit with my daughter and her family. that is the good news. i hope there will be more good news when i get my test results from my doctor. i feel like i should have done more, somehow. test anxiety, i guess.

of course, i also have a CAT scan with contrast dye scheduled for next month with my oncologist. this is to check to see if my breast cancer has spread to my lungs or bones. i think that i will plan on visiting my son, daughter in law, grandson, and granddaughter after this test. they live near my oncologist. spending a little time with them is another good thing for me to  look forward to.

so my overall plan is to focus on the good things in my life, and let the chips, or in this case, tests, fall where they may.

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