Yes, there is something coming down the pipeline. For the last year we have lived in limbo. We knew these next few months were coming, but it’s easy to push it back when it’s months away. It’s not so easy to push back now.
Last year. Thyroid cancer recurrence. I had surgery and radioactive iodine treatment and 3 weeks separated from my loves.
This year. We find out if it all worked. They don’t know if there is still tumor in my neck or not. And because of how high my treatment dosage was, they had to wait a year to find out, because scanning my neck requires another, much smaller, dose of radioactive iodine.
It’s surreal, y’all, to know that in one month I will find out whether or not I still have cancer. To have a doctor possibly say those words for the fourth time. FOURTH time!
In order to have the follow-up and scan, I have to go off my thyroid meds. A refresher for those who don’t know or remember last year. Your thyroid controls your body metabolism, emotional centers, temperature, hunger, thirst, anger and circadian rhythms. I’ve been off my medicine for almost 3 weeks now, and just the past couple days I’ve begun spiraling downward fast.
What does this mean?
Well, I have little metabolism, which means I have little to no energy to get through the day without frequent rest or naps. I am twice as emotional as I usually am, and sometimes it’s like a switch just turns on and I’m crying or angry or depressed for absolutely no reason, and I have no control over it. I have no appetite. I am exhausted, but not sleeping well through the nights; however I do fall asleep by 8:00 which means Bri and I rarely see each other any more. I am freezing cold all. the. time. Blue fingernails, y’all. Pretty much, it’s miserable. And my brain can’t seem to make peace with knowing it’s not controllable, because, well, I’m a control freak.
When they dose me for the scan, I’ll have to be separated from the kids for 4 days. That’s mid-February. Both my boys have already started crying about it… they didn’t do this last time. They’re older. They’re getting it.
And then I find out.
I find out if there’s still tumor in my neck.
If it’s clear, then I’m done. DONE! (other than routine follow-up and monitoring, that is.)
And if there is still tumor, y’all, they don’t know what to do. Because giving me another super high dose of radioactive iodine increases my chances of getting leukemia. They could do surgery. Only the neurosurgeon doesn’t want to do surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary.
My tumor was located underneath scar tissue and resting on my vocal cords. If they do a third surgery, the likelihood of damage to my vocal cords is high.
It’ll be basically a lesser of two evils approach. Which has the greater risk?
I’m scared, friends. Very scared.
And I covet your prayers… for strength to get me through the next 6 weeks, for faith to cling when I’m so exhausted from clinging for 2 1/2 years already, and please pray for a clear scan, so that we can be done.
And pray for my family. Brian is overwhelmed, too. He takes kids to school, goes to work all day, comes home to help with supper and clean up and baths and bedtime, and car repairs and home repairs, and life in general that he’ll put on hold for a while to care for his family. And he has work at night to do, too. So I curl up on the couch next to him and I sleep while he sits with his laptop and does more work… because I am craving every moment together, just feeling his presence next to me.
My boys are scared, especially Asher. He has been melting down ever since our trip to Arizona. Melting down in ways we haven’t seen in years. He curled up on my lap last night and cried, and I rocked him and held him and told him we’d get through this. All of us. And he said, “Mommy, it’s just all scary, and confusing and out of control.” (Yes, the poor child has inherited my control freak nature.)
Bella is the only one. She still doesn’t get it, and she trots happily about the house singing and twirling and hugging me when I cry.
And speaking of Bella. I hear little footsteps bouncing down the stairs (who bounces at 6:30 a.m.?!). And now I see a little red-headed pixie peeking around the corner at me. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to catch some snuggle time before I fix breakfast.