Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's that time of year again ...

Edited to say: I think I have scared you all off. Anyone can vote in this poll, it doesn't ask for any info from you - it's anonymous, you don't even have to have a google account. So vote already.

I'm slated to begin going off my thyroid medication so I can get my cancer scan. It usually takes about 5-6 weeks for my blood levels to get where they need to.

Let me tell you, it's not a pleasant 5 weeks. The first couple aren't bad. I have to eat an iodine free diet for the test results to have the best accuracy. Did you know that iodine is in just about everything?

So basically, I can eat chicken (fresh from the butcher only), some salads with oil & vinegar dressing, and some fruit. No milk products, no chocolate, no eggs, no seafood, no iodized salt (therefore no eating out), and so on. It is a pain!

At the same time, I begin to get really tired - and I mean really bone achingly tired, my hair falls out & thins, I get really cold, I gain weight if I so much as look at food, and my already non-existant short term memory becomes laughable.

I tell Blaine the same stuff over and over and the only way I can tell that I've told him already is the glazed-over look in his eyes. I will be standing in a room and have no idea whether I was just coming in to get something or leaving.

Can you tell that I really dislike getting ready for this test?

I have had to do it the last two years, and because the cancer was still around I had to do a treatment both times. The treatment is equivalent to swallowing 6 weeks worth of radiation treatments. I am allergic to it and am covered in a rash for as long as it's in my system (5-12 weeks), I lose my taste buds (they do come back), my salivary glands swell up and hurt like the dickens (& that is a very attractive look akin to Chip or Dale storing up nuts for the winter). And I have to be away from my kids for at least two weeks - because I actually emit radioactivity. I guess you could say I'm "hot," but only for two weeks. Sigh.......

I know I am whining, but this cancer thing is a pain in the butt. I guess I figure that if they haven't killed the cancer by now, they probably won't be very effective with the regular treatment anyway. The only thing that has me hesitant is that every once in awhile, I can feel something on the opposite side of my throat when I swallow. It's probably just scar tissue.

So, here's where you come in. I'd like to hear what you would do, and it may or may not influence my decision (Oh my gosh, I feel like a Clinton).

Please vote in the poll below.

What would you do?
Skip the scan, nobody dies from this cancer anway
Put it off another 6 months
Get the scan, take the treatment (if needed) & get on with life
Why are you asking? Do it already!
Poll starter: Corrie See Results


Summer said...

Oh Corrie, this is heart wrenching to read what you'll have to go through. I am so so sorry. I'll pray for you during this difficult time.

Elizabeth-W said...

Dang it!! I tried to skew the data by voting multiple times!!!
You know how I voted, right? Get the DAM_ scan!! Your babies will thank you twenty years from now when you're dancing at their wedding!
That being said, I think this is the kind of time to call in favors. This is the time to let stuff slide in a big way.
I wish I lived a bit closer :(

Elizabeth-W said...

Oh, and you'll stay away from your kids during the two weeks and not mess around with that rule, but how much danger realllllly does that put them in? But neglect your own health? You are showing your Mom-ness :)

Montserrat said...

Like Elizabeth said, don't neglect your own health. The choices though aren't terrific, are they? Darn these necessary evils!

Corrie said...

Can you tell which way I voted? I am all by my lonesome.

You are very sweet to encourage my sorry little butt, but I'd really rather not. Did I mention that the cumulative radiation and the fact that I did it before I stopped nursing has increased my chances for breast cancer? Isn't that a good reason to skip it?

Adria said...

It's late and I have mommy brain. The scan is to see if the cancer's back? And they can't scan unless you go off your meds? And if the cancer is there (as it was the last 2 times) you will need radiation which didn't work the last two times? I want to make sure I'm understanding it.

What's the cure rate for radiation for this type of cancer? Have you tried goji juice? What do you WANT to do?

Adria said...

Does really nobody ever die from this cancer? What's your worst case scenario if you skip the scan? What does your mom tell you to do? (Moms usually know best.) Have you had a blessing?

(Now I'll shut up and go vote. With what I *think* *I* would do, but who really knows.)

Corrie said...

adria - you function pretty good on mommy brain, you've got it exactly right. Although the scan is to see if the cancer is still here, basically to see if the last time worked or not.

The cure rate on this cancer is something like 95% if you're diagnosed under 45 years of age - that's why it's called the 'good' cancer.

Once I've had two clean scans, they will just check my bloodwork once a year.

The people who die from it are those who are resistant to the radioactive iodine.

It wouldn't surprise me if I am stubborn on a cellular level too.

Like nobody is allergic to iodine because it's in everything, but I am. Go figure. (sheesh, and now I'm talking like Shaggy).

Blessing-wise (not yet this time around). Good idea. I'm thinking mom would say 'do it' - 'cuz that's what moms do.

b. said...

You know what the answer MUST take care of you. That is all.

Corrie said...

It still stinks, but yes I'll probably start my thryoid abstention soon.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, you do have some challenging things to handle but why not squeeze in a little road trip with the family before you are completely off the meds. Best to do this before you have the go into isolation because Tyler's surgery will probably follow close on it heels. The children would love to pile into the RV and take to the road. It you do plan to do it better hurry up so you can still find something to rent. Love Mom