I've been meaning to write this post for a couple weeks now. Every time I've started, I wrote about 6 words then quit. I don't even know how to begin or where to start....what's going on is very complicated and confusing, but I'll do my best to explain!
I came home 3 weeks ago when my mom was really sick. We're not sure exactly what was going on, but she ended up in the hospital. After she got home, it took a few days to see any improvement but she did eventually get better and (almost) back to her usual self. Two days after I came home, we found out that my Pawpaw had to have a pacemaker put in. When it rains, it pours, right? A few days later, Pawpaw had his surgery and it was a success!
So here's the next part of the story. I decided to stay here until my mom found out what she had to do for her next round of treatment. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a year ago and was coming up on her 1st year scan. About two months ago, her doctor told her that there are 2 different ways to prepare for her scan/treatment and she may have to do the more difficult path. (I'm trying to explain this as simple as possible, but it's so complicated!)
Basically, here's the whole story. Last year when she was diagnosed, she had her thyroid removed and also part of her lymph node, which the cancer had spread to. She went on a low-iodine diet (no dairy, soy, wheat, etc.) for 2 weeks then had radiation (radioactive iodine) to kill the remaining cancer cells. During the radiation, she had to be isolated from everyone for days and had to throw away everything she touched during that time.
Now that a year has passed, it's time to see if the radiation killed all of the cancer cells. There are two ways to prepare for this, getting a Thyrogen shot (like she did last year) or the "old-fashioned" way where you go off all thyroid supplements and become hypothyroid (commonly referred to as hypo hell). We found out that my mom has thyroglobulin antibodies (Are y'all completely lost now??) and because of this, her doctor felt it was best if she went the hypo hell route. I cried a lot the night we found this out, but we knew it was the best thing to do.
So here's the timeline for the next month:
-she has been on the low-iodine diet for 5 weeks now and will remain on it until the end of treatment
-they put her on a lower-dose supplement (Cytomel) for 10 days to reduce the amount of time she would feel all of the symptoms
-this past Sunday was her first day off of everything and she has definitely started to feel the side effects
-she goes in Thursday for her first blood test. Her TSH levels have to reach a certain number, and it usually takes a few blood tests until it does
-Once it reaches that number, she has a low-dose of radioactive iodine, more blood work, and an ultrasound
-Two days later, she has a whole body scan (the iodine makes the cancer light up)
-If there is no remaining cancer, she is DONE for a year!
-If there is still cancer cells, she has a higher dose of radioactive iodine and then will be isolated for (I think) 5 days
So many of you have texted/emailed me to see how we're doing and to let us know that you're praying for us. You have no idea how much that has meant to me. My mom's friends have also been incredible...she seriously gets at least 2 cards a day. We really look forward to the mailman coming now! And Doug has been SO supportive throughout all of this. I've been here for 3 weeks now and he has completely stepped up and taken care of everything at home. As you can imagine, it's killing me to be away from him and my babies for this long, but at least they have such a good dad to look after them! It's hard to be gone for this long, but I know without a doubt that I'm supposed to be here right now.
If you are one of those wonderful people who have been praying for us, I'm going to ask that you please keep it up! We need it now more than ever, especially for these next few weeks of hypo hell to go quickly with minimal pain and for the CANCER TO BE GONE!