You may have noticed I’ve not posted for a few days. It’s been a long and hectic weekend.
On Friday I got my second set of pathology results from my thyroidectomy operation.
The Good News
No Cancer was found on the left side of my thyroid!
The Bad News
Due to the size of the Cancerous tumour on the right side, I will still need to have Internal Radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy & Isolation
The type of internal radiotherapy I need to have is Radio Isotopes, also known as Radioactive Iodine Treatment. Basically I drink the isotopes and the radioactive iodine travels straight to where my thyroid used to be, and the surrounding area. Cancerous cells absorb iodine more quickly than other cells and the radioactivity will destroy them.
This will mean I have to stay in an isolation unit for a few days, as my body will be radioactive, to a level which is dangerous for people coming into contact with me. Therefore, the only visitors I am allowed, are over 16’s and they must stay behind a lead screen, so as not to risk being contaminated themselves. I don’t think I will bother with visitors. It would upset me not being able to hug my Jonny and difficult for him to get someone to watch the girls. Aside from which, I just don’t want him taking any risks.
I will be regularly scanned with a Geiger counter and when enough radiation has left my body, to mean I don’t pose a threat to others, I will be discharged. Having young babies at home, this could be a bit longer than normal.
I’ve also been told that anything I take in with me, I will have to leave behind for up to 2 months, as it will be contaminated by me and my radioactive body!
It shouldn’t make me poorly, just tired for a few weeks, but my big issue is leaving the girls for so long. It will break my heart, but it has to be done. Without this treatment, I am at risk of another tumour growing in my neck.
Overdosing on Thyroxine
On another note… I’ve not been well since my surgery. I’ve been suffering a non-stop headache, dizziness and breathlessness, which combined, have made me feel very poorly. After many extra unscheduled hospital trips (including one to A&E), I eventually found out that my medication dosage is too high for me. I’ve been overdosing and that has caused my blood pressure to go up and I have been at risk of having a stroke.
The tablets I am on, replace the thyroxine that your thyroid would normally produce for you (as I no longer have a thyroid). I am taking the active hormone, known as T3 (your body makes T4 – which is basically T3 in packaging – which your body unpacks). I was taking three a day. My T3 level should be between 2 & 7. Mine was 16.
I dropped to two a day on my consultants advice and after retesting a week later, my T3 was still levelling at 12. I’ve now dropped to one tablet a day, which I am told is an unusually low dose, but hey… when have I ever been normal? They want to get me down to 5 or 6, which is a safe level, yet if I drop too low – I am in severe danger. It’s tricky, but the doctors explained my dosing as “trial and error”.
So I’m expected to feel “crap” (which two doctors have told me is a great adjective), for quite a while yet.
Meanwhile, I’m set to meet my Oncologist for the first time on Friday. I have said goodbye to my lovely head-and-neck consultant and I get an Oncology consultant instead. I will meet with him for many many years from now on, even though my Cancer should be cured in a few weeks time. So I really hope he is as lovely as my other consultant. He was my surgeon, so it was great to have built up an honest and trusting patient-doctor relationship.
Raising money for Cancer Research UK
Once again thank you all for your ongoing support and special thanks to those of you who have sponsored me to run Race for Life. I am so pleased to have already reached my target and raised £222 for Cancer Research UK. So how much should I change my target to??? I’d love to raise £500 but I don’t think that’s very realistic! If you would like to sponsor me, even just £1. Click here to sponsor me!
Also if you want to enter my giveaway to win some little girly Race For Life goodies, click here. I have bought the prizes from the Race For Life website, so that Cancer Research UK get the profits! 🙂 xx
My mum had exactly the same thing a few years ago. After the “trial & error” sessions the correct dose was finally achieved. Please to say that mum has made brilliant recovery although we always joke that the radiation took away some brain cells 🙂
Oh yeah & mum took books with her, ones she’s read before & puzzle books, kept her occupied & they were disposable.
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Emma Day says
Thanks for sharing. I am really pleased to hear your mum is doing well now. It will take time, but I’ll get there too! That’s a good idea, thankyou. xx
That’s excellent news about the left. I hope the right side gets sorted very quickly and the isolation bit flies by. Sending you lots of hugs and good wishes xxx
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Oh Emma you are such a strong strong lady. You have been so very brave, I can only imagine how hard it’ll be to leave your little girls. I guess you have to face each thing, one thing at a time, otherwise the prospect of it all could get pretty overwhelming.
If positive vibes and twitter-love could replace the iodine, then I’m sure you wouldn’t need it with the support you have from us all.
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Verily Victoria Vocalises says
Bless you Emma, this must be SO hard for you. You are so brave and are coping so well. We will all be sending you lots of virtual hugs and thinking of you. Do you know when your isolation treatment might be? X
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Emma, I have no clue at all what you must be going through but wish you and your littlies all the best. When you get back to them, those cuddles are going to be infinitely more precious. Keep strong – you will be out sooner than you know it.
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(((Emma))) am so sorry hun, but you are strong and brave, and you will have a little rest and make yourself all better again.
If you do change your mind and want a visitor I am over 16 promise. xx
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Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says
So sorry to hear that you have been going through all of this. I cannot even imagine.
I hope you can feel the support of all your readers even though we are not physically close we are sending healing thoughts.
Faded Seaside Mama says
There are no words to describe the strength you share through your words. It sounds like you have some pretty tough times ahead still but from what I’ve read so far, you’ll come through it all shining bright. I truly wish you the speediest recovery possible and the biggest hugs from your wonderful family as you continue on this journey. Take care of you. X
Oh honey you are so brave. I will be thinking of you and your family and sending you healing thoughts and much love xxx
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Oh Emma, thinking of you! Also following closely because my sister is currently facing some of the same problems and surgery/treatment options due to Addisons Disease which is not responding well to drug treatment. Your information and experience especially of radiotherapy is very helpful to her xx
Erica Price says
The hospital stay sounds really hard. Will be difficult to be away from the family. Can understand why you’ve decided against visitors. Guess you’ll be doing lots of reading – the chances are you won’t want to reread a book for a least 2 months. I’d be plotting to find a way to take in something to access the internet too, but difficult if you won’t get it back for 2 months.
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