Wednesday, December 22, 2010

End of Year Updates

Yeesh, no posts since July? I don't feel particularly guilty as there hasn't been much to report, but I'd like to have a more consistent flow of updates here. Ah well.

Again, no news = good news. Nothing thyroidy going on as far as I can tell. But what brings me here is: I'll be having my second scan next month. This is a similar scan to what I had last November, with a few differences. The one thing that'll be exactly the same: I have to go on the low-iodine diet for two weeks prior to the scan. Joy. I have January 10th marked down as the first day for that. But the main difference from last time: I don't have to go off my meds. That's pretty cool I guess - they'll give me two shots to raise my TSH levels right before the scan. And less radiation than last time. No isolation!

The second scan was mostly an optional deal. My doctor says I show all signs of being cancer-free (I almost typed "scanser") so would probably be fine going on my merry way. Regular blood tests would show if anything was starting to look different in my system. But a scan is more sensitive, and given my past history with second tests proving critical (the second fine needle biopsy is what detected the cancer after the first came back clear) I think I'll feel much better being thorough.

So the last week of January will be full of adventure. Blood tests, shots, radiation pills, scans. At least I'm familiar with the procedures, aside from the shots. Will report back as things happen.

One interesting non-medical development this week: I realized a book I started reading (an awesome book, by the way) was written by the man giving the TED talk in the sidebar there on the right. ("Daniel Gilbert's TED Talk on Happiness.") That talk was immensely helpful to me after my diagnosis: it reaffirmed my belief that we all make the best of our situations, and that even when things seem completely dire we have the innate tendency to feel pretty pleased with things, eventually. Trust me, this is GREAT NEWS to someone newly diagnosed with cancer.

So, yeah, this book is basically the TED talk in longform. The author is a clever writer, and the book is a fun read . Give it a shot if you like sciency facts about humanity. No, it's not a self-help book, but if you're like me maybe just reading about how the brain works is a little therapeutic.

More details to come in an upcoming post, which should happen within a few weeks. It's been lovely to be able to fully enjoy the holidays this year (as opposed to last year, when I was feeling all poopy from worry and such). And I'm told that if this scan comes back clear (as is the expectation) I don't have to have any more! Yes, blood tests into forever, but that's no biggie.

p.s. re. my last post, my scar is still red and hasn't seemed to change at all. Frustrating. But ultimately I'm ok with it. A constant reminder of.... I don't know. Something. Important.