The Cancer Center was an eyeopening experience. Reality check and very humbling. I am sure I did not absorb everything they told me yesterday, but here is the gist. 🙂 Excuse my non-medical lingo!
The Cancer Plan
1. I’m not healing quickly from the first surgery. I still have a lot of inflammation and scar tissue forming. So, second surgery is being postponed till October 12th.
2. Because of the delay in surgery, I have been put on thyroid hormone medication to suppress my TSH. This is suppose to help keep any cancer cells from growing or slow them down. There was a glimmer of maybe not radiation, but that quickly went away after the doctor did an ultrasound yesterday of my right side lobe. 2 tiny tumors forming on right side (not sure if cancer) but radiation (RAI) is a have to now.
3. After surgery I will go through a body preparation for radiation (RAI for thyroid cancer patients). I’ll be immediately be put on T3 only medication for 3 weeks. Then, for 21 days I will come off all hormones and go on a low-iodine diet. Blood work will be checked at the end of this with the hopes my TSH is above 30. If above 30…radiation (ablation) proceeds. If below 30, continue with no meds and low-iodine diet until TSH is above 30. From my understanding, we need the TSH to be above 30 because this hormone, if high enough, wakes up any thyroid cells (cancer or not cancer). Goal = kill all thyroid cells.
4. Once I take the RAI pill, I’ll only have to be away from my family for a week (not 3 like originally thought) and then I just have to be careful for the following couple weeks. Washing hands good, not sharing utensils or cups, not sleeping in the same bed etc. Glow worm I will be.
5. I’ll then be put on hormone medication to 1. replace the hormones my body will not have because my thyroid will be gone 2. suppress the TSH to a .1 for the rest of my life “if I can tolerate it”. They do this to help with reoccurance. High TSH = wake them up and Low TSH = keeps them asleep.
6. Blood tests and RAI scans periodically afterwards to make sure they got it all. If not repeat steps 3 – 5.
I did walk away with a feeling of “they know what they are doing here”. They even called my pathology slides up from the pathology group here. They want their pathologist’s to confirm diagnosis. Will find that out on Monday. Till then…we move on with the important stuff..kiddos, family, and fun!