Friday, June 29, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
On to other news, I'm still being spoiled with meals, entertainment options (books, magazines, etc), and visitors. When my treatment is over, Peter may move out to live with Sherri Ingman who brought us fancy (and tasty) meals two nights in a row. Thank you, Sherri, and everyone else who has stopped by with something to make my jail time a little bit easier.
And one more thing before I find myself some nourishment (is Oreo ice cream a good breakfast food?)...Alexander talked to me on the phone today. At the end of our conversation he said, "See you later, alligator!" Before I had the opportunity to add the crocodile part, he said, "After a while, crocodile!" He cracked up over the phone and it was like music to my ears. Have I mentioned that I miss that kid?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
News from a fellow patient: My daughter was recently diagnosed with Grave's disease. When she went in for her radioactive iodine treatment, the nurse went over do's and don't's. Do sleep alone, do flush the toilet 3 times after using,etc. The last thing she said was, "Get up at 3 a.m." When my daughter asked why -- the nurse replied, "Don't you want to see if you're glowing in the dark?"
I certainly want to see if I'm glowing in the dark!! Seriously, though, here is what I know:
I'll begin the iodine therapy in a couple weeks. I must wait until my TSH level reaches an all-time high. The TSH level is a measure of the hormone that the pituitary gland sends to the thyroid, telling it to work. Now, obviously, I don't have a thyroid anymore so the pituitary gland will be working overtime, yelling at the thyroid. As those messages are sent out, any thyroid cells that are left in my body will 'light up.' So, that's when I take the radioactive iodine. Because your thyroid gland is the only one in the body that absorbs iodine, all the thyroid cancer cells will absorb the radiodine. As with anything that absorbs radiation, the cells will be destroyed. I'll stay in the hospital for at least three days as my radiation levels go down. I won't be able to receive any visitors for longer than about 20 minutes per day and they have to stay at the opposite end of the room from me. When I am released, I will still be excreting the radiodine and will therefore be unable to see Alexander for at least five more days. Children and pregnant women are the most susceptible to the affects of the radiation. I'll be on restriction when I arrive home - I'll eat from disposable plates, sleep in a different room from Peter, and flush 2-3 times after using the toilet. They don't want you to take any chances! I have a first-hand account of what it's like to be in isolation and it doesn't sound like much fun. The treatment makes you feel very nauseated and the medication that they give you to relieve the nausea makes you feel woozy. Of course, I'd much rather sleep my way through the three days than feel nauseated the whole time. In theory, the treatment will work and will destroy all the remaining cancer cells. I have met one person who had to do the treatment twice so my next major hope and prayer is that this one treatment will eradicate all of the cancer.
I'll go in two weeks to have my TSH level tested and hopefully I'll be ready to move forward with my treatment. I'd like to try to get my life back to normal, if there is such a thing. One thing is for sure, I'll be caught up on all the celebrity gossip, new films out on DVD, and will be well read in the chick-lit department. I should probably enjoy all this time to myself but I really do miss Alexander and his need to get up and go!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I'm happy to say that I didn't hit the floor and I made it through the most dreaded part of today! I'm allergic to the adhesive in tape and bandaids so I'm red all around the incision. But overall, it's not too gross looking and I'm hoping to get out of the house today. Peter says he's taking me to lunch - he's suggested Cracker Barrel but that just doesn't strike me as the first place that I want to go after being stuck in the house for almost a week.
I wonder if people will stare at me and wonder what happened. I do like getting attention but that sort of attention is not the type that I'm after. It will probably be a good learning experience for me and will probably make me appreciate being healthy even more than I already do. Actually, most people probably will avert their eyes and I'll be the one feeling self conscious. I shall let you know how my first outing goes.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
Get yourself in a bind lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare
This is where the rubber meets the road
This is where the cream is gonna rise
This is what you really didn't know
This is where the truth don't lie
You find out who your friends are
Somebody's gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get there fast
Never stop to think 'what's in it for me' or 'it's way too far'
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are
Everybody wants to slap your back
wants to shake your hand
when you're up on top of that mountain
But let one of those rocks give way
then you slide back down
look up and see who's around then
This ain't where the road comes to an end
This ain't where the bandwagon stops
This is just one of those times when
A lot of folks jump off
When the water's high
When the weather's not so fair
When the well runs dry
Who's gonna be there
Thank you so much to Tracy Lawrence and whomever wrote this song. It's so true...you do find out who your friends are when you're down in the valley. Our Drees Home warranty representative came over yesterday to check on me. This is a guy whose job it is to make sure we're happy with our house and that any problems get fixed. I wouldn't have considered him a friend, really...but he does know what it's like to go through a major surgery and he mentioned that you really find out who your friends are. He even offered to talk to us or bring us food. I'm in awe at the number of people that have offered help and followed through since I found out about having cancer. Tonight, someone that I've never met is scheduled to bring us dinner. I'm sure that she's not wondering what's in it for her...it's just nice. I appreciate the friends who have been so busy at work, just stopping by for a visit or sending an e-mail. I know that you're too busy...but you did it anyway!
I guess this edition of my blog is to say that I'm moved. I'm surprised. I'm thankful. Without you, I would be hungry, bored, and lonely! I feel very blessed to have friends like you!
Thanks so much to my visitors yesterday! You are keeping me from going nuts!!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I woke up and it seems that I'm still sore and my calcium levels are dropping (my face, fingers and toes are all tingly as if I sat on them for a long time). I guess this Kansas is my reality. It must be the lack of ruby slippers. Anyone have any ruby slippers that I can borrow?
Until those arrive, I suppose I have to pretend like I'm happy to be cooped up in my bedroom with bad movies and no telephone...the plus side of my recooperation is that the doorbell continues to ring. I've just received another beautiful vase of flowers! Thanks, Scott!! I do have the best realtor in Nashville, I'm sure of it. If you need to sell a house or buy a house, drop Scott a line - here's his website: http://www.scottevansproperties.com/ He's young, personable, and is almost famous (he was on one of those HGTV Househunters shows)! Aren't I lucky to live so close to the stars?
Anyway, I've discovered that I can't quit. Maybe I'll just nap instead.
I met a girl online who had thyroid cancer and had the same endocrinologist and surgeon that I have. She's doing very well and has beaten her cancer. She's supposed to e-mail me later to tell me more about her treatment and recovery. I'll let you know what she says.
Each day, I feel a tiny bit better. I'm still quite sore and obviously get tired very easily. I'm ready for my nap and all I've done is shower! This is what they mean by taking it easy, I guess?!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
1. Cheer up! 2. I hate Mondays (especially after this past Monday) 3. You rock (my personal favorite)
Peter found one that says, "Kiss someone." The next one he found says, "Oops." I'm not going to read into that.
I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and am pleased that 3 minutes after I got the phone call from my doctor, I received 4 more flower arrangements! (Photos to come) Boy, am I spoiled!! Thank you to Irene, Neil, Robert, and David, Peter and Alexander, John and Linda, and Clare, Steve, Amy, and Charlotte!!
I'm still feeling quite sore and worn out. I'm having trouble getting comfortable enough to nap. Might have to move out onto the couch this afternoon.
Peter's working from home the rest of the week. Since I'm not really supposed to have marathon conversations, I think it will work out well. I'll save my voice for my visitors (yes, that means you)! And, Peter won't get too behind in his work. He's been a trooper so far - he's really been helping me a lot. I haven't had to lift a finger, aside from typing, of course.
The one thing that I miss about the hospital is the the adjustable bed. It's hard for me to go from a lying position to a sitting position. I really had no idea how much I used my neck muscles until now. I'm still really in shock that my surgeon didn't give me any good pain meds to bring home. As Judy said, "one would think that after having an organ removed, at least a week's worth of meds would be prescribed!" I like the way that Judy thinks!! I'm totally missing out on the prescription pain drugs!
I've read an entire book already, thanks Holly! Chick lit is a perfect way to pass the time. For those who have never ventured into the realm of chick-lit, you must try it. It's not for men and it's not for those who like to be deep thinkers during reading. It's light and easy to read. I just finished This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I find that most of the stories are a bit far fetched, although not quite as much as those Harlequin romances. Those are just outrageous! I read one while on vacation in the Smoky Mountains...not worth the paper that it was printed on!
I'm nervous to find out about my results this afternoon. I guess they'll call Peter since I'm not allowed to talk on the phone. I'll update you as I have news.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Today has been spent almost entirely in bed. I'm positive that I've spent more time sleeping in the last two days than Alexander. Of course, Dad says that Alexander only took an 1 1/2 hour nap today so I guess I'm beating him as far as the naps go.
I'm in mild discomfort - my throat hurts from the breathing tube that they used, my neck is sore where they did the actual surgery, and my muscles are sore all around the surgical site. I feel like I need a massage but I'm sure that's probably not the greatest idea. I'd probably end up feeling worse than I already do. The bad thing is that my doc didn't send home any good pain meds so I'm stuck with tylenol!
I should get the results of the pathology tomorrow. They'll look at my whole thyroid and all of the lymph nodes that they removed. My surgeon did mention that the cancer looked pretty nasty - she said something about tall cell papillary carcinoma which is a more aggressive type of papillary carcinoma. This means that there is a greater risk that the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes. The positive thing is that they will treat any remaining cancer the same way, no matter if it has spread. I'll receive the radioactive iodine in either case. The pathology will determine the amount of the dose of iodine that I receive.
My appetite seems to be fine, that's a bit of a disappointment as I was hoping I might lose a few pounds during all of this!
The story of the week is really Alexander's bed at my parents' house. Right after we left on Sunday, my dad heard Alexander making quite a fuss (he had just gone down for a nap). Turns out that the crib had come apart in one of the corners. Alexander told my dad that the bed was bad!! Luckily, they haven't had any trouble putting him back to bed after the incident. They fixed the problem and he's been sleeping like a champ ever since.
Well, it's off to la-la land for me. I'm getting worn out and have run out of things to say!! More tomorrow!