Good news - I got discharged home this morning! My radiation levels were low enough that it was safe for me to come out of isolation. My nausea has been coming and going, and thankfully I was sent home with an Rx for Zofran to help. Being in the cancer wing, my nurses were self-proclaimed "nausea-queens" and knew exactly what to tell my doctor to order me each time I was experiencing nausea. They knew which ones to take for what time of day and when I needed something for nausea/vomiting prevention or for acid reduction. I was actually able to eat a little lunch and keep it down. Surprisingly, the thought of vegetables (especially raw) isn't very appealing to me at all. My body just wants soup, or the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) (the name is fitting huh?). When the nausea subsides I crave more substantial foods, but I'm only trying them in small doses. It is thrilling to be off the restrictions of the low-iodine diet. The thought of being able to eat food that someone else has prepared is so nice! I have really missed tofu and soy sauce! Hopefully by tomorrow the nausea will be mostly resolved; it has already improved so much since Wednesday night.
My incredible coworkers have arranged to feed me every night until I return to work on Wednesday next week! What a huge relief it is to not have to prepare any meals. I know and appreciate so much how lucky I am to be part of a team that cares and supports me so much. I haven't had to worry about missing any of the days of work that I've had to because they always find someone to cover me, even though I've long since used up all of the PTO I had accrued.
Having been a patient in the cancer wing, I saw many patients far worse off than myself. I saw patients walk by with no hair, toting their IV carts with four bags dripping into the ports hanging from their chests. This really put my symptoms in perspective, and a few days in isolation seemed like a fairly easy treatment. At the same time it was scary - this could become me. But don't worry, it just gave me the extra fuel I needed to fight this in every way I can, and most importantly, in the most natural ways possible. To me the radioactive iodine wasn't really a choice I had, if I didn't do it my doctor guaranteed that my cancer would "come back" - and from the scans, we know it never really was "gone," although my surgeon removed my thyroid and the nodes from my right neck, the scans showed more positive nodes still in there. The radioactive iodine is usually a very effective treatment for thyroid cancer after surgery, so even in my moments leading up to the treatment that I wanted to just quit the low iodine diet and have my thyroid hormones back, I knew in my heart that I needed to do this.
Next week I have another full body scan on Thursday 11am, and an appointment with my oncologist at the Cancer Care Alliance on Friday at 2pm to discuss the results.
Of course I will keep you all updated. Thank you for the amazing emails and phone calls, I can barely keep up with them all! Now that I don't have to type through a plastic bag and can actually charge my iPad and phone, I'll be able to catch up more.
All my love,
A photo from before going to the ballet last Saturday