This past week, Tuesday, I headed down to Charleston for my 6 month after radiation appointment. It was a different experience. I wasn’t the same person who walked through those doors October of last year. I was stronger, healthier, happier, and cancer-free (so I had assumed). I strolled up to the counter to sign-in and then sat in the waiting room for a bit. A younger girl came out with a bandage across her lower throat. I wanted to jump up wrap my arms around her and say that people will not understand what she is going to go through, live with, and it will be hell at times, but she too was going to be okay and get through it stronger and healthier.
But, I was then called to triage.
Hop on the scales – SURE! By their scales I had lost 14lbs since end of March. Yes, I was totally thrilled. My blood pressure was rock bottom and my heart rate was 69. Ya’ll, this is the first time in years I have not run high on my heart rate. Skinny or chubby. I had been told that because of suppression therapy I would continue to run on the high side and that diet and weight loss would not help. That there was a good chance I would have to be put on beta blockers. I was determined not to have to go on those meds again. I was on them before for SVT. So, I was tickled that my rate was down (down for me).
As I waited in the examining room, I was in a really good mood and place. The nurse went through my current medication, asked lots of questions, and called up for my lab results. The whole time I thought, well this is a pointless 3 hour trip. Thinking the doctor was going to come in look at blood work and say you are good see you in 6 months. Something she could have said over the phone. Then it was like everything went in slow motion as the doctor talked.
– “Your non-stimulated TG is undetectable which is good, but we will know if the cancer is gone when we do a stimulated TG in November.” How did I misunderstand this! There is a difference between non-stimulated and stimulated. Ugh.
– “Your ultrasound shows a couple of lymph nodes, but they look benign. We will know more with your scan in November.” Really? but but..surgeon in April said I was clean..nope “thinks”. Really?
– “There is a shortage on Thyrogen, which means there is a 90% chance you will have to go through what you did last year for testing in November.” Lovely.
– “Looks like suppression therapy is making your arthritis flare, need to see a specialist and change your diet even more.” Come to find out tomatoes can aggravate arthritis..who knew and I have been eating 2 a day for the past month!
So, with a new set of labs, ultrasound appointment, and a tentative schedule for testing in November I walked out of the cancer center a little beat up and down, but bring it on November!