Need to catch up?
All right, I’ve spent all morning trying to write this post. I’m a little paralyzed here because I don’t know how you want to know about all of this thyroid business. It is a part of my blog story though because 2008, they year I began my blog, was just a crazy year for our family. I read back on my family blog and can’t believe all that happened.
Here we go:
I chose a family doctor after doing some research online, and found one that actually emphasized thyroid issues. He had me do some blood work, which showed I was hyper-thyroid, meaning my thyroid was making too much thyroid hormone, and most likely this was a hyperfunctioning nodule on my thyroid. This explained some of the symptoms I had felt in the last couple of months: racing heart that would take a long time to come back down after exercise, fatigue, yet it was hard to rest, always feeling hot, just not feeling myself, etc. He sent me to get an ultrasound of my neck to get a feeling of what this nodule (growth) was on my neck.
I got the ultrasound, and found out it was a solid mass about 1 cubic inch around. The radiologist said that he'd get it taken out and not mess with it. Dr. Robinson felt the same. Nodules are actually very common on thyroids, 95% are benign, and most everyone will get some at some point or another in their life and never have to do anything about them. But, they were worried if this grew, it could interfere with my breathing or swallowing and felt it was just best to get it out and rule out cancer.
(Okay, I really have to start condensing this part) Basically I would have surgery, my surgeon would take out the right half of my thyroid where the nodule was, my left side would still be able to produce enough thyroid hormone for my body. I had the surgery, it went well.
I got a call from my surgeon the next Wednesday on my way home from Target, she said that the large nodule was benign, but there were smaller nodules around it that were malignant, I had stage 1 papillary thyroid cancer. She went on to assure me that we caught it very early, for someone my age the cure rate was almost 100%, it would be okay, etc.
I went back into surgery that Friday to remove the rest of my thyroid. I have a sweet scar on my neck, so you will almost always see me wearing a necklace or scarf to cover it. The next common step for thyroid cancer is a radioactive iodine treatment to kill the remaining cancer cells. You basically have to live without any thyroid for a month or two so that your thyroid cells are so thirsty that they will suck up the radioactive iodine and are killed. During those months leading up to the treatment, I was so tired of being tired. I remember pushing my dinner plate aside one night and just laying my head on the table and taking a little nap. When you do the actual treatment, you cannot be around children or pregnant women and everything around you has to be disposable, so they had me stay at the hospital.
They gave me the treatment (you just take a pill), and left me for a day and a half completely by myself. It was kind of funny being an outcast in the top floor of the hospital with the radioactive signs around my room and food trays being left outside my door. But I just wanted to be normal and to have a metabolism and to be at home with my kids and doing projects around the house. You know what I did all radioactive and lonely?
I sat in that hospital room and sketched. I made my plans for our shabby little house and could not wait to be let loose. I used my cheapie, disposable corded phone they gave me to call around to price out tile, doors, paint, etc. I made a to-do list and was rearin’ to go.
They did another full body scan after the treatment, it looked like they got everything, I wasn’t radioactive anymore, so I was finally able to begin thyroid medication (armour thyroid) to get some energy! I felt like a new woman, and I took off. Enough of that cancer business.
and then the living room next,
Okay, and I do shudder a bit at my picture taking skills and some of my choices here ^^, but hey!
And THEN, someone on my babycenter birth board started talking about blogs. Not just personal family blogs, but blogs where people shared their projects and love of home stuff. There were other people out there like me that went to yard sales, and hot glued fabric, and devoured Pottery Barn catalogs to see how they could re-create the same look on the cheap??
I couldn’t believe it.