Macmillan booklet

My 6 month post-cancer check up with my consultant oncologist got a little bit delayed, due to a bout of depression and a phase in which I kept cancelling my appointments. It ended up being a 10 month post-cancer check up.

I dutifully popped to the hospital to get my bloods taken the week before, which was actually quite funny. The twins were being really loud and naughty. Fluffy kept leaving the toy area and running off, so I strapped her into the pushchair and chaos ensued. There were 11 people in front of me in the queue, when the nurse came over to me and quietly said “shall we pretend you’re next – would you like to come in now?”. To be fair, she was probably just saving the eardrums of the other patients in line.

Anyway, the point of the bloods…

1) To check I am on the correct dose of Thyroxine. This is the hormone your thyroid produces, but since I had my thyroid cut out, I now have to take those hormones by tablet. To prevent the Cancer from returning, I have to always be slightly overdosed on Thyroxine. When Thyroxine levels drop, something called TSH, tells the brain to produce more. My brain forgets that I don’t have a thyroid and sends out signals anyway. If Cancer cells are present in the body, these signals would encourage the Cancer cells to grow. So I have to make sure my TSH is constantly surpressed. Still with me? Right…

2) To check for Thyroglobulin. Thyroglobulin are indicators of thyroid cancer. So basically, cancer markers. The aim is to not find any Thyroglobulin in the blood. Thyroglobulin is a bad sign – we don’t want it.

So my results…

My Thyroxine is at the correct level.

Thyroglobulin… completely undetectable!

This is the best news.

I have however, still been finding it hard to recover, physically I have a lot less energy that when I had a thyroid, and lately I’ve been suffering from headaches, palpitations and high blood pressure. All of these things are unusual for me. Mentally… I have off days. In light of this, my consultant agreed, that my results were SO good, that we could take a little more risk and lower my dose of Thyroxine. This will hopefully, make me start feeling better in a few months time.

All round a great result.

My consultant said, “Well done, you’ve done really well and I’m very pleased with you”. I found this a bit strange… afterall, I didn’t do anything! Him and his team treated me. I was just there for the ride (and to get rid of the Cancer). I was a bit sad I didn’t get to see my favourite radiographer, but… maybe next time. I will have these tests every year for the rest of my life, but until I’m feeling 100% back to normal, it will be every 6 months.

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