Saturday, January 7, 2012

1 year ago today I became cancer free... maybe

1 year ago today I had cancer surgery.
Child birth was less scary.

At the time they didnt even *know for sure* if it was cancer but decided to remove a major organ from my neck to check and see.

They took out part of my thyroid, the right side, sent it to the pathologist while I lay on the table unconscious. When the results came back that the cells were still abnormal, they took out the left side and only then closed me up and sewed me back together.

They told me I would only need to spend 1 night in the hospital, but after that first day I was still so groggy and scared to move that I requested 1 more day to heal and regain my strength. There was no way that I could go home and not hold my child and be told to rest instead of play. There was no way I would have the strength to play. I stayed. Later that day Gabriel Giffords was shot outside of a grocery store, a little girl and several others died.

It took 8 months for my medications to get straightened out and my thyroid hormone levels to get to an acceptable level to be given a "green" light to get pregnant again. The next day I stopped pumping in hopes of getting my cycle back. To date I have donated 12,442 ounces of milk to Get PUMPed. I have 600 more ounces in the freezer out of fear that I could dry up and still want to give Atlas my milk. One day short of 4 weeks later, my cycle returned and 3 weeks later I was pregnant.

At our baby's first ultrasound I also had my 1 year thyroid ultrasound. I had had the previous ultrasound 5 month prior and there was no thyroid and no parathyroid damage. This time however they discovered that my thyroid was growing back. There was a nodule the same size as the encapsulated cancer nodule. If I were not pregnant now, I fear they would tell me to wait.

As soon as this baby is born (Due July 4th) I am having another biopsy and then they will decide from there if I will need more intense procedures.

My endocrinologist wants me to have the iodine scan. They give you a small dose of radioactive iodine to see where the thyroid cells have floated off to throughout the body. This radiation is specific to the thyroid as your thyroid is the only organ that will attract the iodine that the radiation is connected to. That also means that nursing might be out of the question.

That is a big deal to me.

There is no test to prove that it has all made its way out of my body. Not if I have the low dose "scan" or the mega dose "2 week isolation"... the radiation is not a light, it is a pill and it can seep out with bodily fluids including things as simple as sweat. Not hot and muggy jogging sweat, but even sticky finger or hot neck kind of mild sweat. If that radiation come in contact with another being, then what organ in their body can attract the radiation? Their thyroid. Then what can they end up with? Thyroid cancer. Yes, nursing will be done.

The whole thing scares the hell out of me. For one, my "cancer" is gone and not coming back. it was fully encapsulated and removed. Nothing spread. Radiation destroys your bones. I don't even want to risk my health further by doing something I don't need.

The whole situation sucks. And I am scared.