Hey! Where’d you go?

Let’s start this one with something good.  I’ve lost 30 lbs in 7 weeks, I personally don’t really feel like I have, but people have noticed it so.  Awesome.  I haven’t been trying to lose any weight, but I’ll take it.  I think it has a lot to do with the thyroid hormone treatment prior to iodine radiation and the fact that I haven’t had any soda or energy drinks since Nov. 28th.  Not really by choice, but because of the diet I’ve been put on because of the Dysphagia (swallowing problem).  I have to thicken all of the liquids I drink and I just don’t think it would work well with soda, so I’ve been sticking to fruit juices, smoothies, flavored water (VitaminWater and Sobe Life Water for example). 

Moving on

Had a couple appointments this week with more good news.

First, follow up appointment with Dr. Short (Otolaryngologist) was on Tuesday afternoon.  He looked at the wound and said it looks like it’s healing just fine.  I pointed out one section that I was concerned about as it looked like it separated, but was a lot smaller now than it was previously.  He then sprayed a numbing agent into my nose and inserted a scope to see into my throat to look at my vocal chords.  He went through the information hat the right vocal chord is essentially dead because the cancer had spread to the nerve that controls it.  He also mentioned that the nerve that controls the stretching of the vocal chords was also damaged.  He said we should go ahead with the procedure of injecting something into my throat that will effectively push the right vocal chord closer to my working left vocal chord to give me some sort of a voice again, there’s also the possibility that it will help with my Dysphagia. The nurse came in and said the earliest we could do that would be Jan. 24th.  I told her, “oh man, that’s the day before my birthday…is there any other dates that could work?” I was worried that something might happen and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my birthday. Later I’ll talk about why this might prove to be irrelevant.  Turns out there is an opening on Jan. 28th at 8am.  I said, “I’ll take it!”  So, in just over a week I might have some sort of a voice even if it is temporary, it’ll be nice.  I don’t believe it’ll be the same as it was, so you’ll have to get used to that. 🙂
Dr. Short also mentioned to me that I had tied for 2nd as the largest tumor he’s ever seen, just barely behind 1st.  He’s been doing this for something like 25 years.  Probably one of those things that you shouldn’t strive for, but I’ll take it for what it is.  I was also diagnosed with Horners Syndrome due to the nerve damage that was done to the right side of my face, this is why I can’t sweat on the right side and my right eyelid can get droopy, these are permanent and nothing can be done to reverse it.

Onto Thursday.

Appointment with the Dr. Benson (Endocrinologist).  I think I was looking forward to this appointment more than anything as I was hoping I’d find out more about starting Iodine Radiation.  Turns out that’s exactly what we talked about.  But before he saw me, the nurse taking me in had me jump on the scale, I was going to ask to have this done just to see if I had indeed lost any weight.  I couldn’t believe my eyes with what it said.  That was awesome.
Anyway, we talked about what I’ve been doing to lose it, and I said nothing that I’m aware of other than no soda.  She agreed that that probably had a lot to do with it.  Hopefully I can stick to it when things are back to normal. 
Doctor came in and chatted about how things are going and making sure I was taking my Liothyronine as I was supposed to.  We went over the TSH numbers from the test on the 3rd compared to the test we did on the 15th.  Talked about how the Iodine Radiation works and what to expect.  He also told me that this pill isn’t readily available so it has to be scheduled to be on hand well in advance.  Turns out it’s made in Canada, then shipped to Swedish Medical Center where they then distribute it out to everyone else, and they have to be extremely careful with it since it is radioactive. 
So, I’ll probably go in to take the pill around Jan. 31st-Nov. 1st.  Come home and isolate myself from anyone else for 2-3 days as I’ll become radioactive as well.  Sweet!  I mentioned that I read online that depending on the size of the dosage that I might have to be admitted to the hospital for a day or two, but he said they don’t really ever do that anymore as long as people are able to isolate themselves from others.  I’ll then go back in on Nov. 7th or 8th for some CT and other scans to see if the Iodine treatment is showing up in other areas of my body, which is a sign that the cancer has metastasized and I’ll have to go through further radiation treatment.  If it doesn’t show up in the scans in other areas, I should be done with radiation.  I’ll have to go through tests every couple weeks to every couple months to ensure everything is working as it should and that I’m getting the correct amount of Thyroid medicine.  He took me completely off of the Liothyronine medicine that I’ve been taking since I was in the hospital in order to get the TSH levels at the appropriate place that they need to be to make sure the Iodine is taken up by the remaining Thyroid cells. 
Now for the not so fun part of the visit.  I’m told that I’ll need to start a “Low-Iodine” diet for around a week and a half prior to starting radiation.  This is a problem as I’m already limited on what I can/can not eat due to the Dysphagia diet.  Now I’ll be even more limited, and I mean extremely limited.  Luckily they pointed me to http://www.thyca.org which has a cookbook that contains recipes for a low-iodine diet.  Now, I’ll need to see what I can eat in there that meshes with what I’m allowed to eat already.  This diet begins roughly Monday or Tuesday of next week which means I’m either not going to be able to enjoy my birthday anyway or I might just cheat that night for dinner.  😉

Since I haven’t taken the Liothyronine for a day and a half I’ve been extremely tired since yesterday evening, hopefully this will subside soon.  I think my constipation problem has finally subsided, thank goodness.  That was not fun at all.  Alright, time to hit the pillow!  Until next time, I leave you with this note.  Don’t ever put off until tomorrow what you can do today, it’s cliché, but it’s entirely true.  I’m paying the price with my voice, swallowing, and the horners syndrome because I waited so long to get this checked out when I first noticed the problem.  Please if you notice something not right, get it taken care of.  It’s for the best.

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