Monday, October 26, 2009

The Next Level

Ah... been a while. Laziness and a lack of anything new to report are mostly to blame. Things have been pretty good: feeling fine, not really getting around to exercising, eating better in fits & starts, you know, the usual. I'm slightly worried about hair loss, since I feel like I might be coming away with a bit more hair after I comb out my post-shower tangles, but honestly it's hard to say. I don't think it's really a big deal, and if it were it'd be more noticeable.

I am launching into a new treatment phase, tho: Preparation has begun for my radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy. When I met with my doctor last a plan was sketched out between us as to how we'd proceed so I would be most likely able to celebrate all the upcoming holidays. We were going to start getting ready in early October, and hopefully be all wrapped up by Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, I was under the impression he would contact me (the first step was to switch my medication, so it seemed like he'd initiate that), but that never happened. It's partly my fault, since I was still uncertain whether I wanted to go thru with it. Long boring story short, I got ahold of him last week, and we started in on the whole plan a bit later that I would've liked.

Here's how it will go:

Pt. 1 [began Oct. 24th]: Switch from T4 pills to T3 pills. I will need to go off the medication for the RAI, and T3 drains out of the system much faster than T4. End result: I won't have to sit around being hypothyroid (i.e. "feeling gross") as long.

Pt. 2 [begin in a week or two, still under debate]: Start low-iodine diet. My radiation will be combined with iodine in pill form. The thyroid is the only organ in the body that uses iodine - if there's any remaining bits of thyroid tissue in there, it'll latch onto the radioactive iodine, which will glow in the scans. Then the radioactivity will kill off that last bit of thyroid. [edit: this is my best understanding of how it works, but I suspect there may be some incorrect facts in there. I will know more after I go thru with the treatment.]

Pt. 3 [two weeks after starting the diet]: Stop meds. Yiiiiikes.

Pt. 4 [a week after that]: Get a blood test. Wait another few days for results to come back, hopefully saying all levels are where the doctors want them.

Pt. 5: take the pill, get the scan. This I will have to report back on, as I still have plenty of questions.

So, it's looking like I'll have to miss out on Thanksgiving this year, due to being sickly and possibly radioactive. Bummer. But it's not the end of the world, and I'm still stoked for Christmas and a healthy New Year.
I've certainly been having a great time of it this month, what with birthday celebrations and such. Trying to get a bunch of fun in before being housebound for a while.

As mentioned in "Pt.1" above, I did start my new T3 pills. It's been three days, and I think I feel about normal. Extra tired this evening, but I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. I'll try to get a good eight or nine hours tonight and monitor my energy tomorrow. My heart has been a little jumpy, but it's always had phases where it does that, so I'm not too worried yet. The most awkward part about this is that I have to take one and a half pills a day, now. One in the morning, then a half about three hours after lunch. Then I can't eat for an hour after that. My whole afternoon's eating schedule has to be planned now! Crazy!

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