Yikes, four months since my last post! Well, for the most part, no news is good news - nothing has seemed interesting or traumatic enough to write about lately, and that's a good thing.
Only two complaints: Since the radiation treatment I have had more stomach aches than I ever recall having before, but it's really hard to prove that the two are connected, and it's nothing crippling - just the occasional sharp pain. All I can say is that I hardly ever had stomach aches before December, now I have them a couple of times a week, regardless of the food I eat. (Tho I do feel I've been having them less often lately.) Secondly, something that had cropped up in my past (once before my thyroid drama, once right after surgery) has come back to annoy me: my lips are super chapped all the time and peel like crazy. Maybe it's stress-related, maybe hormonal, I don't know. But again, it's mainly an annoyance, and I probably should just make an appointment with a dermatologist.
I mention these relatively minor things to point out how little things have changed with me in the eight months since my surgery - the eight months I've been without a thyroid and have depended on my daily pills. I don't love taking the pills, but I never expected to, and it's certainly become a habit - so much so that I still fear forgetting sometimes. It's such second nature to take a pill first thing in the morning that sometimes I can't remember if I did it or not. Oh, human brains.
In early February I took my first blood test since the RAI therapy, and the results weren't totally ideal. For the first time ever, it showed less-than-optimal thyroid hormone levels. (As a reminder, the RAI scan came back clear, so theoretically I'm cancer-free: the blood test mostly gives me an idea of thyroid stimulating hormone [TSH] levels, thus guiding how much medication to take.) My doctor wants me to be under 1.0 uIU/mL, but I showed a level of about 7.5 (my highest ever pre-drama result had been 1.9, and after surgery I was at 1.22) - so I had to up my thyroid medication dosage. That was frustrating, since I'd gotten used to coasting along at an ideal TSH level. I started taking 125mcg in February, and made plans for another blood test after a couple of months. (For better and worse it takes forever [i.e. several weeks] for TSH levels to change.)
That next blood test happened last Thursday, and so far results look good. My TSH level is at 0.51 so I expect to not have to change my medication. Tho maybe that's in the "too low" range - I don't know. I haven't heard back from the doctor yet - I expect that email will come in a day or two. My vitamin D levels were low in my previous blood test, so it was recommended I start taking supplements. You can imagine how thrilled I was to start taking another pill. (Not very.) I haven't seen any results yet re. vitamin D from this blood test, and I'll be bummed if the doctor didn't order that - I want to know if this supplement business is making any difference, dammit!
But again, I have felt more or less fine & normal throughout all of this. Some days I'm tired, some days I have a bunch of energy, and ultimately the most direct link I can find to any of this is that I need to get plenty of sleep if I want to feel good. I know, what a revelation. I'm constantly amazed how how well my body has been able to adapt, to surgery and to random amounts of radiation and thyroid medication being thrown into it. Some of it might be positive mental vibes, but I think I was really lucky to get this particular model. Keeps on ticking! Which is good because I'm sure life has plenty more in store for it.
I'll update again once I hear back from my doctor.