Something Like That

This heatwave that we’re currently going through… it’s a pretty good way to explain how I’ve been feeling over the past few days. Just go outside, walk around your property for about 15 minutes, then stand there a while… and that’s basically how I’ve been feeling each day all day. Again, not bitching, just trying to describe it in a way that people can understand.

Thankfully I’m almost half way through the process, so at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that I can look forward to. No matter what results I get, at least I can get back on my thyroid meds after the scan has been completed. It makes me feel bad for folks who have suffered with thyroid issues all of their lives, because the constant nausea, overheating, and dizziness… it’s no joke. Not thrilled that it has been made crystal clear that this will indeed be a medication that I’ll be taking for the rest of my life though.

I’m a cheap-ass, so I usually wouldn’t do this, but last night I turned the thermostat all the way down to 68 when I went to bed. I knew I’d be sleeping at least part way into the day and the house would heat up quickly, but despite it staying that cool in the house – I woke up early and completely drenched in sweat again. (Also… gross.) That’s why I mention how far along I am in the process… because if I didn’t know that there was an end to this, it would be some scary shit.

I’ve been drinking a lot more water, so the muscle spasms and dehydration hopefully won’t become an issue. It’s pretty shitty though, that the insurance industry has decided that this is an acceptable thing for patients to go through while preparing for their second radiation dosage. The alternative way, staying on your meds and just getting two injections before the scan… that costs several thousand dollars, so I guess you can’t blame them for trying to find somewhere to cut costs in what has likely been a very expensive surgery.

Again though, knowing that this is a temporary thing for me, it really makes me feel for those folks who don’t have insurance at all, and even for the people that do but have a chronic condition that still isn’t covered by their plan for whatever reason. As with most things like this, it’s something that we don’t think much about until it starts to affect us personally. So, yeah… still feeling super awful… and I feel like it’s continuing to slowly get worse, but I’ll be good as long I just keep reminding myself…

“It’s only temporary. It’s the lack of meds, not anything more scary. You’ll have more answers soon. Just (n) more days and this will all be over. Consider yourself blessed that you’ve made it this far. Plenty of other people have it worse than you, and it’s not temporary for them. Yeah, it sucks… but don’t be a pussy. It’s only temporary.” etc…

I’m trying to stay positive. I need to stay positive.

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Checking Off Boxes

Typical “workers comp, beginning of the month, get my scripts filled” day today. Three different calls to the pharmacy, issues with my information in the computer, problems with certain ones not being approved… same bullshit as usual, except due to the incorrect information in their system I even had to stop in myself, with receipts and printouts and crap from last month. The folks that work there are great. It’s never the people there that I have a problem with… and after my visit we think everything is now updated, correct, and in process of being authorized – so maybe sometime today I’ll actually be able to pick them up.

I had to be out today anyway, so stopping in to get all this stuff sorted out wasn’t a big deal. I mean, I actually feel kinda bad for them – with how much of a pain in the ass “my case” is for them each month. It makes me wonder if any pharmacies have ever decided that certain customers’ situations were just too much work, too many calls, and too big of a PITA – and just told them to take their business elsewhere. ‘Cuz I can see how they could feel that way about me, if they weren’t such understanding and helpful folks.

But at my other stops, along with having several vials of blood drawn, we’ve started getting a lot more things set in stone. I’ve now got dates (if not exact times, yet) for the next blood draw, the administration of the radiation dose, how long I’ll need to stay away from people (which included rearranging another unrelated doctor appointment), when the full scan at FMC will be, and then the followup with my main thyroid doctor after all of the results are back and interpreted.

It’s surreal… how this is such a “big deal mind fuck” thing for me as I’m going through it, yet I’m just one of many. There are enough people needing this kind of treatment that once a week, every week, it’s radioactive “dosing day” for thyroid patients at FMC. But for whatever reason, even as you’re out in town, seeing other people doing whatever… it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person going through this shit, while actually we probably pass by people each day who are going through the same thing or worse. Working in nuclear medicine, giving the doses… I can see how that job could start feeling pretty heavy after a short while.

Hands Off The Controls: Autopilot Has Been Engaged

I didn’t get to sleep until almost 6am this morning, and I had posted a somewhat moody blog entry about an hour before that… but I went ahead and deleted it when I woke up, deciding that I should wait until I had a little more sleep, time, and information under my belt before commenting on the stuff I was commenting on.

It was just really bad timing last night… first, forgetting to drag the trash buggy out to the road, so I ended up doing that around 3:00am. And of course since I was out there, I grabbed whatever was in the mailbox from the past couple of days. And the letter on top had to be from my WC attorneys, letting me know that my mandatory “independent” WC exam has been rescheduled. That was the appointment where I got up at dawn to drive to the NW side of Columbus, with my bum knee at the time, and they cancelled on me about five minutes away from their office. 🀨 Yeah, so that’s now rescheduled near the end of the July.

It had actually slipped my mind, since my brain has been in a state of constant anxiousness regarding my lengthy but (hopefully) finalΒ thyroid cancer treatment beginning. So with that and other other crappy stuff on my mind, having had to deal with the kitten situation yesterday, and then just not being able to sleep because of all of it – seeing that envelope pushed me past sad, mad, frustrated, nervous, or whatever… eventually to just numb. 😐 It’s happened before… I’ve simply “felt” to the point of no longer being able to feel. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜• And I don’t know… with the way I’ve been, numb is probably better.

I’ll let my attorneys know that the appointment is just days before I’m due to begin the radiation part of my treatment, so we’ll see if WC still demands that I show up – or if they’ll decide to wait until it’s over and I’m at what they’d consider my “normal” physical self. The latter would give a more accurate representation of how my disability and meds affect me, but who knows what they really want.

The last handful of entries should give you a good idea of where I’m at and where things are heading. I don’t know how much time I’m going to be spending online in the near future, and there’s a good chance that I’m going to be even more difficult to reach than usual. I apologize that I’m probably going to come off as more inconsiderate than typical… but I can’t really do anything for anyone, I can’t see how my presence right now could possibly be a good thing… so I might end up in my bubble for a while. 😐 If anything significant happens though, good or bad, I’ll make sure I at least make a small post – just to keep the people who still care in the loop. Try not to worry about me though. Whatever happens next is all out of our hands.

Trying To Not Read In To This

I got a message two days ago from the doctor’s office that is handling my thyroid cancer treatment. My next session with the radioactive iodine treatment, which should be my final session (if everything goes well), was scheduled to start near the end of July… but they now actually want to schedule that as soon as possible. 😐 They asked me to call in yesterday so we could start making a plan, but to be honest the message had me a little too shook… πŸ˜₯ and since I was actually having a decent day yesterday, I didn’t wanna risk nuking that by bringing all of my thoughts back to the “unknown” about what’s remaining inside me, if anything.

That’s also why I took advantage of the day yesterday to get caught up with some things around the house, because I know that this next step is gonna be a bit of a nightmare. 😣 I have to completely stop taking my thyroid meds for a couple of weeks, and they were clear about how it could have drastic physical and mental side effects. (Also part of the reason that I stopped the Paxil, so I didn’t have one crap thing on top of another.)Β Then once the thyroid medication is completely out of my system, that’s when I’ll go to the hospital for the radioactive pill and another full body scan about a week later. πŸ˜•

Confession… I didn’t call them back today either. 😞 Instead, what I’m going to do is just go into the office tomorrow and talk to them in person. To be sure that I understand the details of the plan, to be sure that everything is scheduled properly… and also to see if I can catch some kind of vibe by the way that they speak with me about it. 🧐 Like I said, I’m trying to not assume that something has gotten worse just because they want to start things sooner. 😳 It could be as simple as being easier on their schedule, and just better for me (or anyone) to do all of this “second phase” stuff sooner rather than later anyway.

So yeah, that’s the next thing on the radar… movin’ in fast. 😟 And lemme tell ya’ something. πŸ˜’ Uncertainty, when it comes to something like this… it’s a special kind of slow, drawn-out torture. I’m ready though. I was doing good at keeping it out of my thoughts up until now – but whether I got that call a couple days ago, or whether we stuck to the original end-of-July starting point… either way the anxiety was gonna come. So I agree… let’s get this shit started. 🀨

Unrelated: I just updated my Windows 10 and all of my emojis now have thick black outlines. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Good? I Guess? Maybe?

Got the fastest call-back from a doctor today about those knee x-rays. I was thinking I wouldn’t hear anything ’til the start of next week, but nope… scans are back, and there’s nothing abnormal that can be seen in the x-rays. πŸ˜πŸ˜’ Of course that doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong… I mean, it could mean that, but it could also mean that it’s going to take an MRI to actually see the problem. But as I was warned, they said that they can set me up with some physical therapy appointments.

I told her that I felt like I have been on a slight upward path, and that I was gonna see how things go through the weekend – then if it doesn’t seem like it’s getting significantly better I’ll probably call (or stop) in on Monday and get that scheduled. Not looking forward to that idea, but it’s better than continuing to hobble around and possibly make whatever-the-problem-is worse. πŸ˜• And then, of course, if a full round of PT doesn’t work, then we can ask for that MRI. Cripes… fecking MRIs… πŸ™„

In unrelated news… I have a tractor in my back yard. 😳 Lawn d00d sent a couple of his guys over late this afternoon to drop it off and size up how they’re gonna go about things tomorrow. I’m assuming tomorrow… unless it keeps raining, which is what chased them away today. The line of bushes have grown a surprising amount since we originally made plans, so I don’t know if he’ll end up plucking them with the claw on the front of this tractor or if they’ll just have to go down the line with a chainsaw, getting them one by one. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Either way works for me, so hopefully they don’t stress on it too much if I’m not awake or not here. πŸ™‚

Saws and Claws

Finally got a decent night of sleep last night. It helped that right before dark the guy that owns the company that handles my mowing stopped by and we came up with some plans for some of the other things in the yard. It’s one thing when I was younger and just didn’t like doing yard work, but it’s a different thing now that I own a house with a half-acre of stuff growing on it that I just can’t physically tackle myself. My grandparents always made the place look so beautiful too, which makes it feel a bit heavier to me that I can’t keep the place up like they used to.

So it just helped me rest easier last night, knowing that everything will be taken care of… including bigger projects like removing a couple of unused clothesline poles, across-the-board weed whacking of everything once a month, and most importantly – the removal of an entire line of spirea bushes along the back of the property. They’ve grown out of control over the past many years, and having them trimmed up at the end of the season is an expensive all-day project in itself.

I don’t think he even remembered that that project was on my potential to-do list, but it worked out nicely because over the winter his company had purchased a new tractor with attachments for just such things. And since it isn’t something they’ll have to do completely manually now, it helps to make the cost of it more reasonable. Hoping to have it done within the next couple of weeks.

Oh… My Scan / Blood Tests

I guess I never got back on here to update about my follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist. πŸ€” Before the doctor even came in, the pre-doctor person took my blood pressure and asked me if a student and intern could join the doctor when he came in to talk to me. Meh… what do I care? Sure… all are welcome, all are welcome… 😏 Gotta let the young people learn so they can fix the old people like me in the future.

He’s an interesting guy… doesn’t seem bothered to convert “data” into user friendly word blurbs for the average schmo to understand, but that’s actually okay with me. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ I’d much rather have a shitload of numbers and charts than a generic “You seem fine.” or whatever. πŸ€“ And with four tubes of blood, and more than four different comprehensive tests – I was surprised to hear him read off all of the numbers while also saying that almost all of them fall within the appropriate range for someone who is getting better. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

And then the full-body scan, which looked for glowing remnants of thyroid tissue that had absorbed all of the radioiodine 131 or whatever it was… this one is more subjective than objective, since it’s looking at an image rather than something that produces numbers against a chart. πŸ€” But on the scan, he said that he saw nothing that indicated that there were any stray thyroid cells left in my neck, which also means that if the cancer truly started in the thyroid and hasn’t spread to anywhere else… then it’s pretty good news, eh? πŸ™‚

He did make sure that I understood that even though the results of the scan seemed ideal, that it doesn’t mean “Woohoo! Cancer free!” of course. But it does mean that as of right now I’m in pretty good shape, so when I go through my next round of treatment in about five months, I’m starting off in a better position than a lot of folks that have had the same surgery as me. But yeah… five months from now… 😳

This next round of treatment is actually going to be worse than the first. Something to do with having the thyroid medication in my body for so long, so I’ll have to actually stop taking it for at least three weeks before they can even consider moving on to the next step. πŸ˜’ Several more blood draws, another round of radioactive iodine treatment, another full scan… and at that point, if the results are the same as this last one, they can feel pretty confident about saying that I’m cancer free. I mean, as much as anyone, even a doctor, can really “declare” something like that. πŸ˜•

I’m sure it’ll be one of those deals where if I’m good on the next one, then we’ll probably wait a year until we do it all over again… I dunno, I’m just assuming at this point, but you’d figure that each time all this fuss comes back as “Looks good.” they’d let me wait a decent bit longer before we start at the beginning with the treatment and testing. So, yeah, pretty good news… I just wish I physically felt better than what I do. 😟 Seriously, the way I’ve been feeling over the past few months, I’d have put money on the results coming back with something concerning. But I’ll take the good news and try not to dwell on it too much. I’ll just put this one behind me, and when it’s time to worry about round two, that’s when I’ll start worrying about it.