Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whole body scan

I had my scan today and it was reletively uneventful. Aside from the fact that it was really quiet at the hospital (being Christmas Eve and all!), I had no lines and no wait. It took over an hour but I should have the results soon.

More waiting (which if you don't know me- I detest more than anything)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Radiation - Round One

Friday I went in for my RAI (radiation) treatment. Once the Nuclear Medicine came, my family was asked to leave. I was given a pile of garbage bags and some signs that I would use as a makeshift sorting system for discarding waste in a safe manner. She quickly explained to me how to use the system. She explained theat I might feel quite ill, but encouraged me NOT to throw up if I could avoid it. Vomiting would result in a top up dose of radiation. Then I was brought a cast iron pot containing radioactive pills to swallow. My dose was 200mci (relatively high). As soon as I swallowed it they left, sealing me in my room alone for the duration of my isolation. Mostly I felt very ill as I was warned. I tried to sleep through it as much as I could.

My meals consisted of:

Roast Beef slices, a fruit (only apples or bananas)rice cakes, horrible fruity juices, and black coffee.

This was what was brought to me for 3 meals a day for al lthe days I was there. After it was actually brought to me for BREAKFAST of day two I started declining the meal trays with one exception, the fruit. Fruit was the only thing I could stomach and only small bites of them. I now have a huge aversion to roast beef.

My room was like a fishbowl. People were constantly looking in at me to see what my room was on lockdown with radioactivity signs plastered to the window. My view was of the hospitals bleak roof, not a person could be seen from it. That was hard because I am, by nature, a people watcher.

WHile I asked for friends and family to call me to keep me from getting lonely, I didn't hear from many of the people I expected to hear from and that was disappointing, but the people who did call were willing to spend lots of time talking with me and encouraging me to stay positive.

I watched TV and read a bit, but I lacked the focus to commit to anything that require real attention. In an effort to ensure my release from the hospital ASAP I really stuck with drinking the water and eating the sour candies. Monday morning the Nuc Med team came back and took my readings- finally I was good to go home.

It was a horrible experience and I pray I don't have to do it again.

My Christmas spirit is still MIA......

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today Part 2 - Look Good Feel Better

Once Jen and I we done with the appointment at PMH it was getting late and I still had to get to Wellspring to meet up with Shanny for the Look Good Feel Better workshop I was enrolled in. We stopped so I could treat her to a quick bite, then we were on the road again!

I met Shanny at Wellspring and we got started with the workshop. There were women of all ages and colours at the works shops and while breast cancer was prevelent among us there was an aray of cancers within the group. I was the youngest and the oldest lady was 68. We were all there to learn how we can look our best while going through cancer treatments, many women had no hair and were learning about caring for and wearing wigs. Some of us had major skin/hair changes since starting treatments, and I was the only one with a visable scar, though some had scarscovered by clothing.

My franken thoat was unique among the group because I was the only one battling thyroid cancer. I felt inferior even amoung people like me. Why? Because there is still this stupid stereotype that thyroid cancer is "the good kind". 2 women said that to me  tonight. I always politely respond by saying "well in my opinion here  is no "good kind" of cancer",  then I just leave it at that. It seems to do the job.

We each got a big box full of cosmetics, lotions, cleansers, toners, and much more. They explained the changes in our skin and went further to explain the types of products to avoid based on our specific type of treatment.

Very informative, and fun. Best of all I walk out of there looking (and feeling) like $1 000 000.00

If any readers have or know someone with cancer please tell them about his program, it's FREE!

Today Part 1 - PMH

Today was a very very long day. It began with Jen picking me up, and off we went to PRincess Magaret for my long awauted appointment with my new oncologist.

There was very little wait and we were in the office to see Dr. Brierley. Actually we never did see HIM. We did however see his team which began with a lovely french Dr (can't remember her name now) and She talked with us (me mostly) and collected some info, then the rest of the team came in, including Dr. Tsang who it seems will  be in charge of my "case". The appointment was much like you see on the show "House". Where you see the team, but rarely have contact with the Doc at the top. Although they did reasure me he reads allthe info and makes the final decision based on his teams info.

Dr.s Tsang was really confident that I should proceed with my RAI that is already scheduled at OTMH, no need to push it back just to do it at PMH. (Drat..) ANyway, he was also very confident that while clearly I need a new surgical oncologist, my endo is right on track. Good news on both counts. If I require more surgery he'll refer me to a surgical oncologist that is part of the Brierley team.

Oh, and as for that pesky second type of cancer I have been stressing out over and hounding my Surgeon about? Well turns out it was never a "second kind of cancer". The confusion stemmed from a term that the pathologist used. "Adenocarcinoma" they generally don't use that term, and even PMH had to question it, but basically he wxplained that it means cancer originating in a gland. I was feeling skeptical and I think he could sense that, so he went on to further explain that because it confused them too they had the pathologist at PMH (one of the world's leading pathologists I might add!) request to view the actual slides containing my original cells for a second opinion. She agrees no second cancer was found.

All the worry for nothing. Jen and I were elated. It was terrific news, although it just reafirmed my distrust in my surgeon. She's fired....

They finished off my appointment by telling me things were looking good and they expect the RAI to do what it needs to to finish off this cancer for good, and have the first of many clean scans.

Hoping to be cancer free by this time next year!!! Whoo Hoo!
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