Monday, April 30, 2012

Rational

I am afraid to go to the dentist.

The last 3 times I have gone to the dentist, I have gotten horrible health news immediately following.  Last time I went to the dentist on Monday, found out I had cancer on Tuesday.

I actually moved my dentist appointment last time to try and avoid the inevitable link between my nodule biopsies and my semi-annual teeth cleaning.  But the biopsy ended up being moved a bunch of times, and the two things STILL ended up back to back.  I almost didn't go to the dentist at all, but was told (by several people) that that would be kind of irrational (stupid was actually the word choice I believe).

Now I know the two events aren't actually connected.  The schedule of my teeth cleaning is totally arbitrary and has nothing to do with my other health news.  But since I am currently waiting to hear about my scan results, I am totally freaked out that it also happens to be time to schedule my next dentist appointment.  No matter how irrational it sounds, I really don't want to do it.

Somehow, it has ended up that all of my annual health things are around the same time of year.  It must be because that is when I had time during college.  I don't know.  But my eye exam, skin check, and annual are all in the June/July time period.  Now throw in the endless endocrinology appointments.

And the damn dentist.

I don't want to go.

The dentist I have been seeing just left the practice and even though I really liked him, a part of me was really relieved.  Maybe he took the dentist/bad health news curse with him.  But I am hesitant to test this theory.

I may not go to the dentist until August.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Links and Thoughts

I am currently sitting in a coffee shop, reading a book about the birth of the HIV epidemic (yes, I am reading this by choice) and sipping on a chai tea. It is a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon alone. And it greatly relieves my mom who was worried I would spend my weekend curled in a ball in bed while I wait for my thyroid meds to kick in.




Since Phil has his head buried in a computer screen, I have been entertaining myself with the internet.  I thought I would share some of my favorite links and random thoughts from the week.

- I need to have twins.

- Do you think Ryan Reynold's is upset that Ryan Goslin has taken over as the pinterest man-candy?

- When exactly is Jessica Simpson's due date?  Taylor thinks it was sometime in early 2011 and I agree.

- I was able to get out of bed Friday morning before 10:30 (it was 8:30 actually) which is a HUGE improvement.  Granted I needed a nap come 11:00, but still... I think I am recovering.  I have high hopes for my appetite to make an appearance some time soon.

- Grace's husband says THE FUNNIEST stuff.  Seriously.

- I reallllllllly want to make THIS this weekend.  Hopefully my energy level will rise enough for me to do it.

- I freaked my husband out with my calm behavior and positive outlook on how my scan would turn out. To be honest, my calmness is kind of freaking me out too. You read that right... I am a little anxious because I don't feel anxious. I am so rational. I think it is proof that all your prayers are working. So keep 'em coming!!

- I had a really good hair day yesterday. Or at least I thought so. Those are pretty rare for me so I had to take a picture.




Another bathroom picture. My specialty.

Ok... This post was really about nothing. Happy Saturday people!

First Date

This weekend is about to get REAL rowdy.  Kind of out of nowhere, Phil got crazy busy.  I'm sure it didn't come out of nowhere, but it kind of did to me.

You mean the world doesn't revolve around me?  Weird.

He's been working super late into the night at home and then getting up really early to head back to campus.  He has to work all weekend.  And we are talking ALL weekend.

Today is the 4th anniversary of our first date.  It was the evening of David's baptism.  We'd been texting each other constantly for like a week and he had been gone all weekend at a friend's beach house.  I went back down to my office on campus to do homework (aka I was just trying to be available in case he "happened" to ask me out for dinner).

Since I was in town and he had just gotten back into town, he asked if I wanted to go to dinner.

Sure.  After all, all that homework I had been doing had made me hungry.  :)

We went to dinner and had a super awkward good-bye in the parking lot.  I don't remember why it was awkward, just that it was.  I called Joanna on my way out of town (since I didn't live in town at the time) to tell her how awkward I had made our parking lot good-bye.  I was prepared to not hear from him for a couple of days because that's how the dating game is played, right?

Before I even got out of town, Phil had already sent me a text message... apologizing for making the good-bye super awkward.

No games.  No 3 day wait.

I think we met for coffee the next day.  We talked/texted/or saw each other every day after that.  We've been pretty inseparable ever since.

I guess two awkwards make a right.

To celebrate the 4th anniversary of our first date, I proposed that Phil and I get a quick dinner and come back to our place where we can sit on different couches and do completely different things.  I can watch Big Love while he continues to work.  It will be insanely romantic.  :) 

Gotta love graduate school.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My rant at Nicholas Sparks

The other night I turned to Phil and said, "Hey remember when I was funny?"

He turned and looked at me with a side-eye and said, "Yeah..."

"That was nice, huh?  Hopefully I will be funny again."

His reply was, "Well, life hasn't been that funny lately."

"True that."


Between the low-iodine diet, the RAGING hypothyroidism, Phil's dissertation and research, and his dad's Liver Cancer, life just hasn't been funny these days.  But I think that is ok.  Life isn't always funny.  The depths of our sorrows are offset by the heights of our joy.  And I find that I am so overly excited about the joy part.  I know it is coming (I hope).  Fall and Winter are needed before Spring and Summer.

I've gotten some new followers over the last couple of months (Hi New Followers!) and sometimes I seriously wonder why you all keep stopping by here.  I kind of think it might be the train-wreck effect.  Everyone loves a good drama now and then and as long as it isn't happening to you, it is ok.  I think that is why Nicholas Sparks is able to keep selling books, because let's be honest... they are all the same*.  Something tragic happens to someone, most likely in North Carolina, and then they find love again.  And then they die (Message in a Bottle, I will never forgive you for that one).

Case and point:
{image found HERE.  I tried to find the original source, but it was buried on tumblr so I gave up.}

4 different Nicholas Sparks books-turned-movies with the EXACT same scene.

I am really terrified my life is a Nicholas Sparks novel.  I don't want to be the set-up for Phil to become the next Nicholas Sparks protagonist.

I should seriously get off this topic.  Phil will read this and tell me how dumb it is to be worried about our life turning into a piece of fiction. (Phil agrees with that statement)  I blame his [Nicholas Spark's] latest movie trailer.

By the way, I know that isn't why you read my blog.  You are wonderful people and I really appreciate all of your support and care.

Ok... topic change.

Since I have felt like GARBAGE lately, the funny things that I DO say aren't really appropriate for the internet.  This is partially because my swearing has gone THROUGH the roof.  It is out of control.  And it is partially the things that I say.  For example:

When the neighbor kids were standing RIGHT next to our windows (like in between the bushes and the windows), I turned to Phil and said, "How have these kids not be kidnapped?"  I wasn't allowed to play in my own front yard as a child.  My mom would had DIED if I was playing in a stranger's yard.

So yeah.  Today is my first day back on my thyroid medicine!!  Can you hear the angels singing?  :)  It is so wonderful to know that this is the worst I should feel for a while.  I know it will take a while for the hormones to build back up in my system, but they are headed in the right direction.

I apologize that this has been totally random.  Eventually I will be able to focus again for longer than my 4-year old nephew.


*I have read like 8 Nicholas Sparks books, so I feel like I can say this with some authority.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Phil can't dress himself

Phil has been very distracted recently.  Between taking care of me (which he has done wonderfully) and his research, his mind has been elsewhere.  The poor guy hasn't been coming to bed until 1 in the morning.

Want proof?

He put his socks on the wrong feet.


Apparently Nike socks are SO ADVANCED that they must be on the proper feet.

Didn't realize that you could put socks on the wrong feet unless they were toe socks. 

Remember toe socks?

Scanning

My whole body scan was this morning.  As I mentioned yesterday, I am REALLY nervous about it.  I was not nervous for the actual scan part.  They use the iodine they dosed me with last week as the contrast and I just laid on a table for an hour and a half, real still (while listening to a movie on my phone).  I am just really ready to find out that my cancer hasn't spread.  That's kind of a duh statement, but whatever.

My go-to outfit when I am nervous/anxious/exhausted/upset is fleece pants.  Fleece pants with a zip up sweatshirt, thermal shirt, and slippers.  But I decided I would shake things up a bit.  Show cancer that I'm the boss and that even if I have to do scary stuff like get a scan, I am not going to do it lying down.  Well, I was lying down for the scan, but you know what I mean.  Metaphorically speaking.

So here's the uniform:

- New Toms
- Skinny jeans
- Orange and White striped tunic
- Comfy sweater (for warmth)
- Hair done
- Full make-up


AND... most importantly...

{Not the best picture.  My hair looked better before the scan.  Laying down for an hour and a half can really mess up a girl's coif.}


Red Lipstick

I'm not sure if you can tell from the second picture, but I am exhausted.  Between having to get up early fro the scan, feeling horrible, and now waiting for results, my mind isn't super focused.  I'm really not sure why I am trying to work this afternoon.  But I will give it an honest effort.

I need to not get freaked out by every mention of cancer that I hear now.  Since I have been back at work today, I have heard 2 references to cancer (one real, one fiction) and both times the person died (real life from cancer, fictional character from a broken water main).  Seeing how both types of cancer are NOT the kind I have (testicular and leukemia, respectively) it shouldn't bother me, but I am little extra sensitive these days. 

I warned my husband to expect extra freak-outs.  He's thrilled.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reunited

Iodine and I have been reunited for about 5 days now and it is nothing like I thought it would be.  You read about my Food Lust last week and I seriously thought I was going to be so busy eating this weekend, I would have time for nothing else.

In a sick twist of irony, now that I can eat I really don't want to.

I'm not sure if it is the result of even higher TSH levels (I get to take my medicine again starting Thursday morning), the radioactive-iodine treatment, or my brain's own defense mechanism from being on the low-iodine diet.  Either way... it is lame.

My stomach growls and the thought of eating makes me want to vomit. 

Yesterday's lunch:

{I have LOVED Fruity Pebbles since I was really little. 
My Grandma always had them when I came to stay at her house.}

Another reason I might not have an appetite... I am a wee bit scared about my scan.

I know I shouldn't be.  Phil and Rikkie went over and over with me all the logical reasons that I shouldn't be worried:

1.  My endocrinologist and surgeon BOTH recommended I not have the second surgery and radioactive iodine.  My tumor was small, fully encapsulated, with clear margins, and minimally invasive.

2.  The Mayo Clinic guidelines for treating cancer with the size and type of tumor I had said I didn't need the second surgery and radioactive iodine.

3.  I am well under 45, but over 20 so the odds are in my favor that everything will be fine.  At worst, my cancer will be Stage 2 which still has an excellent survival rate.


Either way... I am freaked out about it.  And it kind of sounds like the endo's office has no plans to tell me the results of the scan until my next appointment... in a month.

Yeah that is SO not happening.  Especially since the imaging lab told me that my doctor should have my results by Friday.  Basically my doctor's office will be hearing from me at least once a day every day until I get those results.

You know what does sound good?  An ice cream sandwich.  I think I will have one of those a little later.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Dexter Room

After I got all admitted to the hospital, we walked over to my cell hospital room.  On the way there, the nuclear med tech says, "Have you seen Dexter?"

I've seen a couple of the episodes, but couldn't actually watch it.  The premise totally freaked me out.

I replied, "Just a couple of episodes."

Tech, "Ok... the room you will be staying in looks like the room Dexter prepares for his victims."

O-kay...  Not sure how I feel about that.





I kind of get it.

Phil also said to me, "Do you feel like a dog?  You have to stay on the paper."  Very true.

I also kind of felt like a kid.  Every uncovered surface was like lava and I couldn't touch it.

Across the hall from me was a patient who had some kind of airborne illness that required the nurses to wear respirators into their room.  Phil was kind of curious what other kind of secluded patients they had on the floor with me.

In the Leper wing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Food Lust

Wednesday at approximately 11:30 in the morning (PST), I stopped the Low-Iodine Diet.

*Insert cheers, choirs of angels singing, and me doing cartwheels down the street*

Side Note:  Technically, the doctor said I could stop it the day before, but I gave it an extra 24 hours for good measure.  I don't think I missed out by not eating hospital food.

And it wasn't a moment too soon.  The other day we were walking through the grocery store and I totally embarrased Phil.

This is a hard thing for me to do.  This guys knows EVERYTHING about me.  We tell each other absolutely everything.  Nothing is off limits.  While we may have had some boundaries in the past, this whole cancer process has definitely broken down any walls we may have had in the past.

Through out the entire shopping trip, I was telling Phil all of the food items I was excited to eat again.  Sandwiches on normal bread with mayo and mustard.  Milk.  Coffee with creamer.  Potato Chips.  Pickles.  Bacon.  Eggs.  Cheese (on anything).  Bagels with Cream Cheese.  Ranch.

We were walking down the frozen food aisle and when we past the frozen pizzas.  And that is when I let out a longing groan.  I guess it was loud enough that people turned and looked.  Whatever.

He thinks I may have developed an unhealthy attachment to food.

Living on basically fruit, vegetables, and nuts for a month will do that to a person.  Especially when the people around them keep flaunting food in front of them.  Still bitter about that one.

In case you want to reach me for the next few days, you may find me at one of the following restaurants:

- Padington's Pizza
- Hawaiian Time
- American Dream Pizza
- Sweet Tomatoes
- Big Town Here
- Red Robin
- McGrath's
- Sushi Restaurants
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Thai Restaurant
- Any Italian Restaurant
- A diner for multiple breakfasts
- Every coffee shop I can enter
- Five Guys
- Burger Basket
- Konditerai

Of course I may also be vomiting from my gluttony.



{All pictures from my past posts of food.  Maybe I do love food...}

Iodine... I have missed you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Home Alone

What do you do when you aren't supposed to go to work, be in public, can't really do any housework (cause I am still a little radioactive), your husband is at work, and are too tired to actually do anything?



You play with your hair.

Not sure how I feel about this look, but it doesn't really matter.  Not like I was going anywhere that day.

Please ignore the lack of make-up.  And I seriously think the lack of iodine is what my my face so puffy.  Seems way less puffy looking to me.

Our Infertility Story PART 2

(continued from PART 1...)

The next Thursday was my annual. It had been a year, so it was time to get it done. And I figured I would just get it out of the way. Afterall, the fertility clinic was going to insist I have a recent pap smear done and in their file.

I was so anxious for the appointment. At the time I had no idea why. Now I know it was a surge of thyroid hormones which had caused my extreme anxiety. I told the nurse doing my exam about our struggle to have a baby and our recent appointment with the fertility doctor. She decided that since I had been struggling to get pregnant, she was really going to do a thorough examination of my thyroid (which had been enlarged for at least 10 years).

That's when she found the nodule. Which turned out to be nodules. But I am pretty sure she found the cancerous one.

{Snoqualmie Falls, June 2011.  Our anniversary trip. 
A much needed break for us during the infertility stuff.}

I still remember the shot of anxiety that went through my body. Of course she reassured me that 95% of all nodules are benign, but I needed to get it checked out to be sure.  What followed were some blood tests, a neck ultrasound (can I just say waiting for a diagnostic ultrasound when you are infertile is like torture.  I saw AT LEAST 4 couples coming out with huge smiles on their faces and pictures of their developing fetus in their hands), and a referrel to an endocrinologist.

It took all my strength to not cry right there.  I was so afraid and at the time so SURE something was wrong.  It could have been intuition, but honestly I think I was driven by my anxiety and fear.  Some of the posts about my journey to the thyroid cancer diagnosis can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I just can't believe how much has happened since last Easter. I had no idea what was ahead of me. I had no idea the pain and fear and craziness that was awaiting us.

I looked at Phil and said, "I am so glad it isn't this time last year." And then I thought about this next year. At the very least, we will have to wait this year next year to start fertility treatments. But I will take it. After everything that has happened this past year, I can take a year of waiting.

I pray and pray and pray that my scan comes back clear. Assuming everything comes back alright, Phil and I are starting to come up with quite a wonderful list of things to do in hopefully our last year without a baby (or pregnant if you will).

I am hopeful that, eventually, I will get pregnant and have my baby. And when I do, I will be able to look down at him/her and thank him/her for taking so long to get here. He/She may have saved my life in doing so.

So please, if you will, send some prayers my way. Prayers that the Radioactive Iodine treatment kills any and all remaining thyroid and thyroid cancer cells. And prayers that the scan comes back clear (that the cancer hadn't spread).  Prayers for peace and comfort during the next couple of weeks.

Phil and I are so appreciative of every kind word and prayer that is said for us.  Your support means a lot to me.  Thank you so much from the bottom of my radioactive heart.  :)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Infertility Story PART 1

I haven't talked much on here about our infertility story.  The "I" word has been dropped a few times and definitely alluded to, but the details haven't been shared.  For a while I think it was because Phil and I were a little ashamed.  After we got over that and realized the only reason infertile couples feel ashamed is because it isn't talked about enough, we branched out a little.

Since I am currently in one of the last steps of my thyroid cancer treatment (God willing), it seemed like a good time to discuss how I found out about the cancer.  And in our case, infertility helped in finding my cancer.  Not to be too dramatic, but infertility may have saved my life.

..................................................................................

Easter Sunday we went to church and then to my parents's house for dinner.  After dinner, we went to my dad's cousin's widow's house (did you follow that?) for an Easter egg hunt and dessert.  The drive to the Easter egg hunt was about an hour.  During the drive, Phil did his weekly phone call with his parents and drove (hands-free, don't worry) while I sat.

And it got me thinking...

I remember Easter last year.  We had just found out again that I wasn't pregnant and I had a feeling that things just weren't right.  Even though statistically it can take up to a year to get pregnant, for our age, it really shouldn't take longer than 6 months.  And we were past that.  We had decided we were going to explore some fertility tests to figure things out.

I remember thinking how sad I was that day.  Talking to my family was hard because I was just so upset that I wasn't pregnant.

Oh how little I knew at the time.

{The Columbia River Gorge, Oct. 2011.  I just think every post needs a picture.}

A couple of weeks after that, we got some of our fertility tests back.  Things weren't normal.  And nobody would really tell us what it meant.  We would need to see a reproductive endocrinologist for that.

For about a month and a half after that, we could hardly look at each other without bursting into tears.  There is something so fundamentally heartbreaking about having fertility issues.  I still can't figure out exactly why that is.  I think it could be because reproducing is such a basic human ability so many take for granted.  I mean, 16-years-olds can get pregnant in the back of cars.  Surely a responsible, financially stable, married couple should be able to have a baby.

When we had finally dealt with the news, we decided it was time to move forward and find a reproductive endocrinologist.  We are fortunate enough to live close to a couple of wonderful fertility clinics who offer several open houses and free seminars.  And since this is a HUGE decision to make (I think everyone is aware how expensive fertility treatments can be), we wanted to be completely informed when we picked a clinic and a doctor.

After 2 months of research, we had picked a clinic.  A couple of weeks after that, we had an appointment.  The appointment was excellent.  The nursing and administrative staff were so helpful.  The doctor walked us through every possible procedure.  And we left with the doctor saying, "We are going to get you pregnant by the end of the year."  We left feeling totally optimistic and with instructions to call on the first day of my next cycle.

That was a Thursday...

(It was a super long post, so I split it in 2.  Come back for PART 2 tomorrow...)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I've got a certain GLOW


{image from here}

I am headed to the hospital for what I am calling my "Thyroid Cancer Prison."  I will be in the hospital until my radioactivity levels drop to a level that is deemed safe for the public.  It can take between 18 hours and 3 days.

Everything I take with me into my "cell" has to stay there indefinitely.  They will hold everything I touch for 3 months and then dispose of it.  The room will have a TV and a phone.  No visitors.  And still on the low-iodine diet.  So here is what I am taking:

{Just some of the loot I am trekking to the hospital}
- My mom has been saving me magazines
- Sudoku book
- Crossword puzzle book
- Matched
- Two tennis balls (to play catch with myself)
- Fleece blanket (just a big piece of fabric I got for cheap)
- Socks (my feet get cold)
- Some low-iodine snacks
- A toothbrush (even though they are providing one, I wanted a good one)
- Soap (I won't be able to shower, but I can wash my face)
- Pens
- Phone numbers
- Lemon drops and Green Apple Jolly Ranchers (to help keep my salvatory glands working, a side effect of the RAI)

I had quite a bit of anxiety a couple of weeks ago about this part of the process.  Something about being kept in a hospital room and not being to leave, even if I wanted to.  I am guessing that is what jail feels like (without the yard time).  Or maybe what being committed feels like (without the fun crazies to talk to).

Phil will have my phone and is going to read me any of the comments you guys send me.  If you get a response, it is coming from me via my wonderful husband.  Not sure who is more looking forward to this process being over: me or him?

I've written some posts for the rest of the week, so I hope you will check back.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another WILD Weekend

I got a call from the hospital Friday afternoon regarding my radioactive iodine treatment this next week.  They asked if I had any questions regarding my treatment.  I mentioned that I hadn't heard from my endo's office regarding my the results of my bloodwork.  He looked for me and told me my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was above 50 (they stop measuring at 50) so I was good to go for tuesday.

Side note:  Normal TSH should be between 1.0 and 3.0.  For radioactive iodine, you have to go off your thyroid medicines to elevated your TSH above 30.  But it makes you feel like garbage.

My last weekend on the low-iodine diet was spending gearing up for my radioactive iodine treatment.  We ran errands Saturday morning which included a trip to Costco to get a book Tegan had recommended called Matched.  On our way to the book section, we found this:


Otherwise known as Phil's worst nightmare.  He is getting his PhD in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and his dissertation research focuses on pesticides in watersheds.  He isn't anti-pesticide, but he is pro-educated pesticide management.  He has a problem with Round-Up because it is so readily available and people over apply it.  Even though it degrades relatively quickly in the environment, the constant use provides a steady concentration of Round-Up in most surface waters constantly.

We got the book, watched some more Big Love and then went to my brother and sister-in-law's house for Canasta, boys vs. girls.  We have gone 3 full rounds (5 hands in each round) and the boys are slightly ahead of the girls.  But we didn't lose any ground, so it was a success.

Sunday morning, we got up to head to church.  As I was getting ready, I made the unfortunate mistake of yawning.  My entire left side seized up, from my hip up through my shoulder and I was in so much pain.  I managed to yell for Phil who found me on the floor of the bedroom.  He gently rubbed my side, ribs and shoulder until the cramp went away and I was able to get back up.  But for the rest of the day, breathing was painful and I felt like the muscle cramp could come back at any minute.  Stupid high TSH!

I can imagine that is pretty close to what a heartache feels like.  Let me tell you... Not a fan.  I definitely don't want to be having one of THOSE any time soon.  Or ever.

After church and a few more errands, I worked.


Using leftover plywood from my DIY Chalkboard, I set up a little lap desk in my recliner.  With Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince playing in the background, I spent over 4 hours designing some buildings.  Awesome.

I finished the bulk of the work I needed to do to be gone all this week (and probably most of next week).  I can't start taking my thyroid meds until the 26th, so I can't imagine working will be very easy, even after the diet is over.

And I fully intend to take the afternoon off today.  :)

That was a long post about nothing.  Thanks for hanging in there.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cherry Trees

I have been telling Phil since probably last year that I wanted to go take pictures of the cherry trees near the Capitol Building (Oregon, not Hunger Games).  Oregon weather has been a real witch with a "b" these days.  We've hardly had any sun, but TONS of rain, wind and hail.  Well, the day before Easter, we woke up to sunshine.  And Phil and I decided we needed to seize the day and go grab some pictures.

I tried to back out at least 3 times (stupid lethargy) but with Phil's prompting, we still went.  And I am very glad we did.  Here are some of my favorites:




{almost the same as the second picture, but not quite and I couldn't pick}


Don't worry, the rain has come back.  Explains my Vitamin D deficiency.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Phlebotomy Hell

To prepare for my Radioactive Iodine Treatment, I had to have some blood work done.  In case you were wondering, thyroid stuff means you have to get your blood taken A LOT.  Anyway... the blood tests included thyroid panel, thyroid cancer marker tests, CMP (whatever that is), and a blood pregnancy test (please...).

Now, I am not someone who is afraid of needles.  I'm not a huge fan of them, but getting my blood taken doesn't invoke a panic attack or make me want to vomit/pass out.  I think it is because whenever I had to have my blood taken when I was little, my mom bribed me with a Happy Meal if I was a brave girl.  Which I always was.  Loved me my McDonald's.

Usually, the tech that draws my blood does a wonderful job.  Can't even feel it.  No bruise.  She is wonderful.  So there really hasn't been any need to be anxious

But my last blood draw from the lab at the endo's office was SO PAINFUL.  I had a different tech and she was horrible.  It was one of those where they dig around and say, "Oops!  I went too far."  And thyroid tests take like 6 vials, so it isn't a short process.

So when I went in on Tuesday, I was really hoping for my previously wonderful phlebotomist.  I got a different lady.  My previous interactions with her haven't been that stellar.  This is mostly because she lacks any people skills.  And partially because she was wearing a Star Trek pin.

I sit down and she asks to see both arms which she then proceeds to grope, trying to find the right vein.  For those of you who don't know me, I am white.  Like super white.  Practically translucent.  I make vampires and albinos look they are from the Jersey Shore.  She finally finds a vein and it is a SUPER PAINFUL blood draw.

At this point, I was kicking myself for not requesting a different phlebotomist.

The one redeeming thing about this woman was when she said, "It must be scary to think about them cutting into your neck like that."  That is nice.  She then followed it up with, "Hopefully the doctor has a steady hand."  Yes.  That very sentence caused about a month of panic attacks before my first surgery.

My arm hurt for the rest of the day.  Literally 10 hours of arm pain.  And she left me with this:

{I told you I was white. You can see my veins in this picture.}

I love looking like an intravenous drug user.  Good times.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Basket

Question:
What does the Easter Bunny bring you when you are on a low-iodine diet and can't eat hardly anything?

Answer:

An Edible Arrangment.  I had never gotten one of those before.  Those are chocolate covered pineapple bunnies (which I couldn't eat).  Phil said they were delicious.

The rest of the fruit was REALLY yummy. 

Thanks Dad! 

Oops. 

I meant the Easter Bunny.  :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lethargic and Random

My medically induced hypothyroidism is really starting to take the wind out of my sails.  I am really surprised at how I feel, actually.  I thought I would feel sick.  Kind of like I had the flu or something.  But it isn't really like that at all.

It is just this overwhelming lethargy (mixed with lots of other lovely symptoms).  Getting myself to do the smallest and most important things takes a HUGE pep talk from myself.  The day of the popcorn incident, it took my an hour to eat a banana.  And I was starving.  And then last night, I had to pee for like an hour and a half and just couldn't make myself get up and go.

It has to be getting on my husband's nerves.  Thankfully, I married up and he has been SO WONDERFUL with me this week.  Last night I was in bed and Phil was downstairs (I've been giving him some alone time to help him keep his sanity) and I started getting a headache.  There was no way I could get up and get my own Tylenol and I didn't have the energy to yell at him.  So I sent him a text message.

That's how we roll.

For those of you keeping track, I go in for my RAI treatment (or what I call "Thyroid Cancer Prison") next Tuesday.  I don't know how long I will be held hostage kept in the hospital.  It depends on how quickly the radiation levels drop.  Could be a day.  Could be 4 days.  We will see.  I started thinking that I should have been a little more proactive in planning my absence from the world, maybe arranged for some guest posts.  But I am pretty sure it is too late now.  Plus that would require energy to plan and organize it which I do not have.

I would have asked Grace from Camp Patton, since she has had Thyroid Cancer and been through all this jazz.  Although I don't think she whined about it, unlike me.

I would have had Tegan from EnLove with Life do a post since she and I are real life friends.

{Proof.  Tegan was in my bridal party.  And man... my friends are good lookin'}

I probably would have asked Jes from Two Smuppies.  We "met" through Tegan and I have determined that we are best friends, even if Jes doesn't agree (which she does).

But I didn't do any of that.  My bad.  You can always go read their blogs in my absence since they are all funny ladies.  However, it is my intention to plan ahead (a little) and post anyway.  I just won't be able to put the links one Facebook and Twitter.

This post had no purpose.  I'm honestly shocked I had the energy to write this much.  I should probably stop now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My coworkers are MEAN (part 2)

As if my post yesterday hadn't made my mood seem a little down, it just got better.

My wonderful coworkers decided it was time to make popcorn.  We're not taking a bag of popcorn in the microwave.  Let me remind you what our popcorn machine looks like:


Just like they have at movie theaters, Targets, and Les Schwab (a NW Tire store chain).

This isn't the type of machine that ONLY produces popcorn.  It produces THE SMELL of popcorn.

Through out the entire office.

And everyone in the office eats it.

There is no escaping it.

Since I was too tired to even feed myself yesterday (no exageration), I kind of lost it.  Not to mention, I thought I had made my feelings about fragrant food known after the breakfast sandwich incident.

Apparantly not.

Turns out I should have done ALL THREE completely inappropriate reactions.  Live and learn.

I may have mildly lost it after the whole popcorn thing.  Excuse me for thinking that our engineering firm could be free of aromatic food (such as popcorn) for a month. 

What was I thinking?

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Sleepy Compromise

Saturday night, Phil and I made some Low-Iodine French bread and it ACTUALLY tastes like french bread!  Crazy.  Since I'm only allowed 4 servings of grains per day, I used 3 of them yesterday to have french bread and dip it in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

It was crazy good.  Almost made me want to cry.

Until it made me want to vomit.

About 10:30 Sunday night, acid reflux was raging war.  I am pretty sure it was the olive oil and whiskey.  Not the best combination.  I didn't go to sleep until after midnight and then woke up every single hour until 6 in the morning, when Phil had the alarm clock going off every 15 minutes until about 7:30.  THEN Phil was downstair wrestling in the kitchen or something.  I don't know but it was loud.  And after his shower, he proceeded to bump into the bed every 2 seconds.

After Phil left, I COULD.NOT.GO.BACK.TO.SLEEP.

{image found HERE}

I am tired.  And I decided to use my excellent mood this morning to call the hospital I had my surgery at to discuss the bill and then the hospital I will have my RAI to ask some gentle questions.

It was a resounding success.  Not really.

I confirmed that next week I WILL be headed to "Thyroid Cancer Prison" as I like to call it.  But I also found out that my LID diet can stop about 5 days sooner.  A little give and take.

The idea that I only have 10 days left on this diet makes me want to run through the streets rejoicing.  I probably won't be running though.  I'm too tired.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hunger Games Riot

A couple of weeks ago (exactly), my husband and I went to see The Hunger Games.  Yes... we are CRAZY and went opening night.  I wanted something to take my mind off how little food I could eat.

I kind of HATE going to regular movie theaters.  The ridiculous portions of popcorn and soda kind of make me want to vomit.  Not to mention the fact that people who open candy wrappers during movies make me want to commit a felony.  I've yet to do that (go me!).  Because of this, we opted to go to the theater pub, for a later showing, to avoid as many people as possible (man I am really playing into the engineer socially awkward stereotype here).

We showed up about an hour early.  The plan was to grab a drink and wait in line.  The theater had the movie on 3 screens.  Our show was in one of the smaller theaters right next to the other little theater (also playing The Hunger Games at the exact same theater time).  In an effort to clear up the confusion for the lines, they had placed colored duct tape on the ground.  The line we were in kind of snaked around the door.

Because we are awesome (totally not losers), we got there in plenty of time and were probably 10th in line to get into the theater.  Behind us was a group of young couples (about our age) who were probably all a part of the same church bible group or something.  This is just a guess, since I went to high school with one of them who also happened to be VERY involved in church and happened to marry pretty young.  Not an important detail right now, but just keep it in mind...

The staff cleaned the theater and we were super close to getting in, when Phil made the observation that it looked like the back of the line (the part that snaked around and was close to the front of the line) were not facing the right direction.  Rather than facing the front of the line, they were angled toward the door of the theater.

Big trouble.

The doors open...

And just like my brilliant husband predicted, the douches people in the back of the line CUT and rushed the doors.

The rest of us in the line were outraged.  My husband, who is normally extremely reserved (he is southern, after all) kind of YELLED at them.

The Christian couples behind me started yelling.

We all get in the theater and the jerks people who had cut in line took the row in the back of the theater.  By the time everyone got inside and sat down, there were still a bunch of seats open.

Why was it so important that they cut in line?  The theater wasn't full.

And why the back row?  My years in high school and every teen sitcom/movie has taught me that you only sit in the back row of the theater if you are going to make-out the entire time.  But why would you go to the opening night of the movie just to make-out?

I'm pretty sure karma will return the favor to the jackasses people who cut in line.  Flat tire in the rain or something.  I'm not too concerned about it.

However, if that had been a Harry Potter movie, my wine would have probably ended up in one of their faces if you catch my drift.
The movie was great, by the way.  Best book to movie adaptation I have seen in a while.


Today I am linking up with Hollie for Follow Friday!




Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful for the stillness



Last night, my friend Danielle sent me a text message with a picture attached to it. The picture was of a page out of her devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. She said she had read this and thought of me.

Case and point that God speaks to us in mysterious ways.


I think it was exactly what I needed.

I have spent a lot of time waiting and wishing for things to be done.  Waiting for test results.  Wishing for surgeries to be done, diets to be over, scans to be finished.  Waiting for Phil to be done with school.  Waiting (very impatiently) for babies.

I have at least a year of waiting until we can start fertility treatments (which will be more waiting and wishing).  And I do not want to wish away over a year of my life.  While I want a baby more than anything else, it would be extremely short-sighted and immature of me to just sit and pout, hoping time will pass by me more quickly.

Phil and I are not people who think everything happens for a reason (afterall, his brother died in a car accident, his dad has liver cancer, and I have thyroid cancer).  And I can't believe that God purposely wants people to get sick and die (examples would be children with terminal illnesses, people who are in terrible accidents and suffer, 9/11).  God is loving and protects us.  But I do think God uses circumstances in our lives to deliver His messages and draw us closer to Him.
I need to sit and listen and look for the things God wants me to do while I am waiting.  And rather than doubt and stress over what the future may hold, I need to sit, be quiet, and trust in Him.



A little H-2-0

There is some debate over whether there is iodine in drinking water.  Some doctors recommend only drinking distilled water while on the low-iodine diet.  This is probably overkill, but I would rather be safe than sorry.  After a little research, Phil told me that a granulated activated carbon water filter (a Brita filter) would work for home, but I would still need the distilled stuff for work.  So Phil and I bought just a few gallons of distilled water to get me started.

We looked like survivalists.


Since I was now having to drinking special water from gallon containers, Phil recommended that I drink it directly out of the container.  Just like the frat-boy weight lifters.  He said I should slam back the water, let the water dribble down my chin, and then when I finish yell, "WOO!" while flexing.

I opted for a different drinking vessel.

{Now that's some pure lookin' water}

My favorite part about the water is that it has an expiration date.

{Expires February 23, 2014 at 10:7. That's specfic}

 
Apparently after a couple of years on the shelf, the water needs to re-enter the hydrologic cycle.


{image found HERE}

Yeah I just nerded out there.

Since my stash of water is getting a little low, we went to Safeway to restock and found this:


Really?  REALLY?  There's been a big run on distilled water I guess.

This is why survivalists always have a back-up stash.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Top 10 Things I Need to Remember

1.  My camera needs to go with me everywhere so that I don't have to keep littering my blog with horrible quality iPhone pictures.  I know you are all nodding along with me right now.

2.  People are not really this annoying.  It is me and my hypothyroid irritability.  Maybe.

3.  In case people really aren't this annoying, best to keep my mouth shut.

4.  When feeling sad, watch Big Bang Theory.  If it isn't on TV which it almost always is, it is ON DEMAND.

5.  The low-iodine diet won't last forever.  I will eventually be able to eat cheese.  And egg yolks.  And all the bread I want.  And coffee creamer.  (Not all together.  That would be disgusting.)

6.  The puffy face WILL go away.

7.  Just because my dad is annoyed with me that I didn't want to pick up my nephew from his karate and baseball practices (even though I can hardly muster the energy to feed myself) doesn't mean I should feel bad.

8.  No matter how much I may want to, it is not appropriate to wear sweat pants and/or fleece pants and/or yoga pants to work.  Slippers are fair game though.

9.  Currently, it is okay for me to want to go to sleep at 7:30.

And lastly and most important...

10.  When I start to get nervous and anxious and scared about this whole "cancer" thing and the future, I need to remember:

{Silver Falls State Park, Oregon}


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The first cut is the deepest...

But the second cut takes WAY LONGER to heal.

Apparently.


{6 weeks post-1st surgery with my chest and circus jacket}

{7 weeks post-2nd surgery}

I had to make sure my face wasn't in the picture since all this crap with my thyroid has made my face puffy.  The gifts just keep on coming.

Today is 7 weeks since my 2nd surgery, which was 7 weeks exactly after my 1st surgery.  I am really glad it isn't 7 weeks ago.  And hopefully 7 weeks from now, things will be even better.
The surgeon used the same incision site for both surgeries which is good.  But the second time around, it is REALLY bumpy and pretty red.  It looks angry.  And hurts more than the first time around.

It will fade with time.  I am hoping the face puffiness goes away sooner though.  I'll take the scar as long as my face looks normal.

I am starting to really feel the affects of no thyroid hormones.  My goals for last night were to write a blog post, eat, and go to sleep.  And it was hard.  And it really bums me out because I have A LOT of stuff I want to get done.  There are a couple of posts I have been really wanting to get out and share (some serious, some funny) but I just don't have the energy to even type.

Maybe tomorrow...
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