Tuesday, May 7, 2013

After treatment


I'm still feeling extremely weak and am afraid to drive. I'm sure that my current state has nothing to do with the radioiodine therapy but more to do with the fact that I am still going to have to climb out of my hypothyroid slump for the next few weeks. A normal thyroid (TSH) should register 0-5. Anything over a 5 is considered hypothyroid. Last week, after three weeks of Synthroid withdrawal and on the low iodine diet my TSH was at a 112! Obviously it will take me some time to get that level as close to zero as possible.

I'm on a bit of a roller coaster ride because I wake up in the morning feeling pretty awful: nauseated, exhausted, weak, foggy. But then mentally I get so excited because I know that Sean and the kids will show up to the hotel to spend a few hours with me and suddenly I don't give a shit if I feel lousy, I am lugging diaper bags and an infant car seat up three flights of stairs. When I'm around my husband and kids I can't help but smile the whole time and feel so filled to the brim with joy. As soon as they leave I crawl into bed and stay there until the next visit. By the end of the night my voice is very hoarse and as far as I can tell this is the only symptom of the actual RAI treatment.


I haven't weighed myself--I don't think we own a scale, even--but I would bet the bank that I am down below 100 pounds. Without diets and radiation and the like I struggle to stay above 103 and after this ordeal I have loose skin on my stomach and even on my hands from where I've lost weight. I've been keeping my hotel room at 75 degrees but am constantly freezing. When I get too cold I head down to the parking lot and sit in the car with the heat on.


I've been frequenting the ThyCa Inspire forums a bunch lately and chatting with people at all stages of thyroid cancer, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and remission. I never meant for this blog to focus so much on my battles with thyroid cancer but after scouring the Internet myself trying to find pictures of scars and plastic-lined hospital rooms I realized that the stories were few and far between. The variable of the unknown is scariest for me in this journey and I needed to see photos of what my neck might look like, to hear how I should feel after losing a thyroid, to know what to expect with my treatments, to inquire if I would turn into a human glow stick. I stumbled on a few blogs in which my fellow ThyCa friends documented everything with their cell phone cameras and I stalked those pictures of lead-lined pills and celebrated those monthly post-op photos with these strangers. Suddenly I felt less alone and much calmer.

So I want to return the favor with this blog. I'm sure some of you are quite over hearing about what I've eaten each day and fast forward right through to the next post on your blog readers, but I hope some of you can feel a little bit better at night knowing that this cancer thing is very doable. We can do this. Sure I feel a little tired now, a little skinnier and a little hoarse (neigh), but friends, the color is coming back into my face and the joy is back in my heart.