It is 12:03pm. My DH is sleeping. My boys are sleeping. I cannot. My mind is racing.
We met the oncologist and his staff today. I'll try to think of everything we learned that you might want to know.
My tumor was 'medium' sized. It was 3.5cm. The oncologist said if it was 1, he'd say small and 6, he'd say large. But even though it was only 'medium' he still kept saying he wanted to test things because of its size, and because it was invasive.
They took my blood today to test my TSH. If it is high enough, they will schedule my I-131 (radioactive iodine) treatment for the week of July 13th and I will begin the sucky low iodine diet tomorrow. That will suck for me, because this weekend is the 4th of July when DH and I traverse to MN for our annual celebration with my friends from college. And I will miss all the great food at my friends' parents' homes. But, as DH pointed out so thoughtfully as he was perusing the low iodine cookbook today - beer IS an approved food during this time, so all is not lost. But still sucky.
The worst thing we learned today is that after I come home from my 1-2 night visit in the hospital, that I will have to be >6 feet away from all people, including my babies for about 8 days. So, we have to figure out what we're going to do about that. I'm thinking maybe volunteers to help DH in the evenings from like 6-9. And I'm thinking I will 'live' in the basement during this time. My boss will let me know when she gets back from vacation next week if she wants me to work from home those days, or if she thinks it will be okay for me to work in my office. It's a large enough office, but people can be weird about these things, so I'm letting her make call. She didn't like my first option - which was take the time off without pay (since I'm out of sick or vacation leave until October). That was very kind of her to share up front. And takes some of the stress off.
I can't imagine how hard it will be for me to be lying in my basement while friends and family hang out with my husband upstairs, holding my babies and caring for them while I'm perfectly capable yet poisonous to them. I would really rather not be here, I think, but then again, at least this way I could look at them from across the room or hear my husband's voice. I expect a lot of tears leading up to this, and during those days. Probably need to stock up on Kleenex. I feel bad for DH who got a clunker of a wife. Fool should have bought the extended warranty. Even though I know I didn't ask for cancer and this can't be helped, I will definitely feel like I need to make this up to him somehow. And that's just the 8 days. That doesn't count any days/nights I can't contribute because I'm so freaking tired from the hypothyroidism. Poor DH!
Ok, new topic. This is depressing me.
The oncologist said that I have had great medical care so far, and was familiar with both my OB and surgeon. He said I could have my treatment sooner, because although no surgeon in the world could get 100% of the cells, with my surgeon, there would be very little thyroid left in my body.
So, the goal for now is to get my TSH level high. Normal is 2-4. I need to be above 30 - preferable at 50. Two weeks before that anticipated date, I will start the low iodine diet. 5 days prior I will take lithium, which helps 'glue' the I-131 on my thyroid, and some salivary drug that helps my salivary glands to produce extra saliva to flush them so the I-131 does not stick there. If it did, I could swell up and perhaps suffer permanent dry mouth, and some other negative side effects. The other things I will do to prevent damage there is suck on lemon drops while I'm in the hospital to stimulate the salivary glands and drink water like nobody's business.
Side effects of the lithium include nausea and diarrhea, so I have some nausea medication prescribed as well.
The good news of these prescriptions is I have a coupon for Target for $20 if I fill a prescription there between now and July something. So, I will be buying myself some formula while I'm there ;0 Always the cheapskate!
8 days after the I-131, I will have a full body scan which will tell us if it has spread, and if so, where. And that will be good to know.
Let's see. What else? I think that's about it. Final thought is just that I was so concerned with the appointment for myself, I never thought about sitting in a waiting room with other cancer patients. All of them were older. All of the women were losing their hair and so were wearing scarves or hats, but you could see they were bald. It was sad to think I'm one of them. And yet I feel like a phony. Like I have some 'fake' cancer that isn't real. I will gladly take this 'fake' cancer. I will be delighted to get off easy. But at the same time, I am searching for the right level of concern. Should I ratchet it up and be prepared for the worst? Should I calm it down and stop dropping the 'c' word all the time. Oh this? It's just a little thyroid issue. It's nothing. Really. Struggling with that. And the weepiness that comes and goes.
A colleague who had a cancerous kidney removed 7 years ago stopped by my office today, because my boss had shared the news with him. He teared up for me. Which made me tear up then and does the same now. It's all very humbling. This outpouring of love and concern. I can't even return all the calls in one day, because I want to think of something other than cancer, and some people, well, I'm just not ready to talk. Like my grandfather. And my sister. But I returned a lot of calls today, and I'll get to more tomorrow. And lastly, it kind of pisses me off. Because I feel like I suffered more with our infertility and nobody showed me this much support during that. I understand IF isn't life threatening. But it certainly was all consuming. And threatened the life I wanted and saw for myself. I'll get over it. But I wish I could have had this much support a year ago.