02 January 2016

Stupid Thyroid...or...WTF??

First...Happy New Year, Everyone.  May this year bring happiness, prosperity, and good health to all.  That last bit, I'd really like that for me, too.

I know not many really read this blog.  I mostly have it just as a place to do a bit of "Doogie Howser" journaling.  If it touches a chord with anyone, great.  If not, that's fine, too.

That being said, I'll update with news of my thyroid issues.  I haven't really written a lot about it of late mostly because nothing hugely notable has been going on.  Well, there was a bump.  About a little over a year ago, Levoxyl (my thyroid replacement drug) was pulled from the shelf to be reformulated.  I was pretty horrified at that since that was the only brand that didn't send me into a weird tailspin of odd symptoms because my body didn't care for the other formulations.  When it finally was re-released, I was pretty happy, and was able to go back on to my regular dosage. 

Unfortunately for me, because of the new formulation, it was a bit too strong for me.  I had the craziest symptoms, anywhere from weight gain (oh joy!), to odd reactions with my eyes.  My muscle control was all off to where one of my eyes wanted to try and shut on me.  I couldn't stay focused straight on without one eye wanting to do this weird thing and look upwards.  It was kind of scary.  Opthamalogists couldn't figure it out, even my doctor and her PA were puzzled. One opthamalogist ventured a guess that I might have MS.  Scared the crap out of me.  I  tried to explain to them that this has happened before and to please check back in my file.  Finally, the PA reworked my dosage to 100mcg Levoxyl 6 days a week and a 1/2 tablet once a week.  That did the trick and I started feeling and looking normal again.  

Near the end of last year (weird saying that already), my endocrinologist ordered a routine ultrasound for my neck.  I thought nothing of it.  So on Dec. 7, I went in. I was just lying there on the table while the tech was scanning my neck and doing her notes on the images taken.  I noticed she seemed to be taking more scans and making more notes than usual, but I thought that was all in my head.  We finished up, and I left.

About a week later, my primary care doctor called and left a strange message for me on my voicemail. I thought it strange because it has been years since I saw her personally.  Usually when I go in for phycsicals, it always seems to be her PA's.  She left a message saying that she had a copy of my ultrasound results (routine because we've always sent copies from my endocrinologist to her so everyone has the same info on me).  However, this time, she said she needed me to make an appointment with her if I hadn't already made one with my endo.  This made me nervous, but I figured my endo was a great doctor and would call me if she noticed anything abnormal.  

That Thursday, I got that dreaded call.  It was 8:30pm.  The caller ID said it was my endo doctor's office.  I knew this couldn't be good because she only calls me that late if something is up.  She tried to break the news to me as gently as she could, but there it was.  The ultrasound results showed that there was an anomaly in the left thryoid bed.  It appeared that there were thyroid cells growing back!!  This doesn't happen very often, but leave it to me, as par for the course of my wacky 'out of the norm' thyroid history...i was that unusual patient who's thyroid is trying to grow back.  Just great.  I THOUGHT she said it was 1-2 mm big.  Unfortunately for me, I was wrong.  When I went in for my follow-up appointment, I discovered that the actual size is 2cm x 1.1 cm x 1.1cm.  CENTIMETERS!  That's 10 times the size I originally thought it was.  

My doctor tried to reassure me that we were going to do whatever tests we could to find out what is really going on with me.  I have a biopsy scheduled for Jan. 15.  We're starting there, and will figure out what to do depending on the results.  Either way, I know the drill.  Somewhere along the line, there may be surgery to removed whatever thyroid cells are in there.  The other thing is that there may be another RAI scan test, possibly RAI 131 where they kill off the thyroid cells.  It could be even both the surgery, PLUS RAI 131.  I'm not happy.  The gamut of emotions are so up and down, mostly down.  I know we can take care of this, and I know what to expect.  However, that still makes me mad that I have to go through things like "low iodine diet" plus being off my Levoxyl for a month.  Surgery, and all that crap.  Anyone who's done that knows that is about the most uncomfortable thing to deal with.  This is an understatement.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.  I find myself tearing up a lot, but then being sarcastic about what's happening.  Like I said, rollercoaster.

I'm dealing with this the best way I can.  This isn't to say I don't have my moments (see above).  I'm trying to keep busy.  I may try to do something creative to get these emotions out.  I'm just having such a hard time focusing on anything.  I keep talking myself into trying to be positive, but it's just so damned hard.  I thought after 2 surgeries and treatments, I wouldn't have to deal with fucking thyroid cancer again, and here I am wondering what the hell that stupid anomaly is in my throat.  

That's it for now.  Hopefully my next posting will be better.

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