December 22, 2011

Cancer story

My cancer picked wrong person, just like cancer always does, and many other diseases for that matter. Mine was follicular variant of thyroid cancer, such a fancy name, I thought it would be nice to have it printed on a T-shirt. Two operations and RAI, and I was supposed to be feeling as good as new. The doc said "this is one of the best cancers you could ever wish for"- yes, and what are the other cancer types that I could also wish for..??? He had no answer to that question- proving my theory right that doctors don't know everything after all. I felt very pleased with myself; my doc has limitations and knowledge gaps. I don't have the world's best/easiest cancer after all!
Thyroid scans and Synthroid followed, and it was incredibly challenging to find the right dose of Synthroid. 8 months after the second operation I developed severe chest and upper abdominal pain (What now!?!?) and I was admitted again. Fever, iv antibiotics, Morphine, constant nausea, vomiting went on for two days and ultrasound exam revealed I have gallstones. Three giant stones, and "hundreds" of small. How many stones can you squeeze in gallbladder? At least three giant, and hundreds, if not thousands of "small" stones? I begged the doctor to operate, and on a Friday morning I underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Pathology report showed I had both acute and chronic inflammation of the gallbladder.
This all felt almost worse than the entire cancer episode! I had a JP drain in thyroidectomy incision, it came out easily, but not the one in the vicinity of the old bladder. Aaaarrrrgggghhh! One of the worst pains I could have imagined. But the drain is out and it is no longer part of me.

Cancer days are over, but it does not mean they have been forgotten. Thoughts of recurrence appear sometimes, especially when I go for check-ups. I had a chat with my oncologist two days ago, and he said he would be happy for me to pop in and see him once a year. He felt that recurrence would be very unlikely- and I am going to hang on to those words.

I am feeling ok, most of the time, no longer depressed as I was after the diagnosis and inbetween all the treatments and operations and scans and seemingly endless blood tests. The balance between hypo/hyperthyroidism is still difficult to find, I seem to slide between the two all the time, no matter how we try adjusting the dose. Crap! I feel much better without the thyroid, it was annoying me, but small white Synthroid tablets don't seem to work that well either.

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