Friday, September 28, 2012

Finally there are dates!

I had 2 appointments yesterday. One was because I've had an earache off & on for years and no one ever saw anything wrong with my ear. Guess what? That's because there wasn't anything wrong with my ear! I have something not quite right with my jaw, which is causing pain in my ear. The remedy? Pain killers & a liquid diet. At least, that should help it recover from being so irritated. There really is no permanent cure. Mainly I'm just happy to finally know what's been going on.
  The other appointment was with the radiation oncologist. Everything looks good, so we have scheduled the radiation. I have to stop taking my thyroid medicine on October 13th, and begin a low-iodine diet. On November 1, I will have my blood drawn to make sure my iodine levels are low enough for the RAI to be effective (basicly, as long as I don't cheat on my diet, that should be no problem). Then November 5th (a Monday) I will be admitted to the hospital for treatment. I'm receiving the highest dose they're allowed to give (it's double what most thyroid cancer patients get), so my doctor expects me to need isolation until Thursday. A couple weeks after that, they will do a full body scan to see if all the cancer was killed off. I have dates. It's a bit of a relief to know "for sure" when I'm going in. Also, I will be home to enjoy celebrating my anniversary on October 23. That was my biggest concern, so I'm greatful that my dates are set where they are.
  There are lots of other things on my heart, but I seem to be short on time, so they will have to wait. I know so many of you are praying and waiting for updates. Thank you for loving so much!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Not much news is always nice

  I had another check up with my surgen yesterday. I told him about the acid reflux medicine upsetting my stomach, so he switched me to something else. Hopefully I won't have to switch too many times before we find something that works. :-) He felt along my incision and said that everything in my throat is tight. I have scar tissue, of course, so that's thicker than normal tissue, therefore everything in that area is squeezed a little tighter together. He said that will improve with time. It's also probably making everything a bit more sensitive in my throat, and he said my cough will improve as I continue to heal.
  I see the oncologist later this month. We will do blood work then to see if I'm ready for radiation.  If my levels are right, I will be taken off my thyroid pill for 3 weeks in preparation for the treatment. This (being off the med) will make me miserable, according to everyone who's gone through it before. My surgen said sometimes, in cases as advanced as my cancer got, that additional radiation is needed after the RAI treatment has been done. The RAI is a pill, and one of the easiest and most effective radiation treatments available. But it's possible (actually, he said it's probable) that cancer was headed down from my that area into my chest. So sometimes traditional radiation (actual beams of radiation) is done in the chest area (just below my collarbone). No one is certain that this will be needed, but it's a possibility.
  Things you can pray for: one, that the additional radiation will not be necessary. Two, that the new reflux medicine I'm on will both control my acid and not upset my stomach. Three, that I will get my household prepared (meals, babysitting schedule, etc) for my absence during RAI treatment. And last (and most selfish) that I will not be having my treatment or be sick because of it on our anniversary, which is October 23 (very close to the time I expect to be in isolation). Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Productive Girl Night

  I had fun tonight. I haven't written in a while because I hate to feel like I have nothing both new and positive to write about. I know people want to be updated, and in that area, I'm sorry for not posting in a while...however, tonight was great, and I feel like sharing.
  I mentioned before that a dear friend of mine spent a week at my house to help me out. While she was here, she cooked up a storm! She left several meals in my freezer (some are still there, but many were so good I didn't wait to eat them!), along with cookies and muffins and frozen veggies from the garden. Mostly what she left me with, however, was knowledge and encouragement. I watched her do way more than I had energy for, but she did it in an efficient way. I knew I could do more, if I followed her example.
  So often I have thought of the Proverbs 31 woman and been humbled and discouraged. Where do you start so that in the end you can laugh at winter and not fear for your household? How does purchasing a field for profit translate into our non-agricultural life? I get so overwhelmed that I give up before I begin. But it doesn't have to be that hard, and the Word of God is not just true today, it is still relevant to our lives...even the passage, written thousands of years ago, about a woman of great value.
  So back to the "doing" part of all of this. Tonight some friends and I planned for the future. It want much, but it was something. It was fun, it was economical, and it was beneficial. We made 3 meals for each household to be frozen for future use. Not a huge deal, but it has big potential. I'm planning for the days I will be away or not feel like cooking because of my radiation treatment. Other women are planning so they can have a homecooked meal even on super busy days. And how awesome would it be to always have something in the freezer that you could take to someone who is sick or had a death in the family? To be a blessing to someone without stressing out?!
  So that's what I did tonight. Thank you, my dear Maggie, for the wonderful example you set and for all you have done for my family. For the rest of you, feel free to join us (the first Thursday of every month). And for those of you who want to know the latest health news, you'll have to wait until tomorrow after my appointment. As far as I know, things are going as well as I can hope. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your encouragement. I do have things on my heart that I will share, but tonight I wanted to just tell you about this. I love you all and thank the Lord for you.