Friday, July 29, 2011


Hi loves! It's a gorgeous, sunny week here in Seattle. What an amazing effect the sunshine has on everyone's moods. In fact, I'm blogging from my balcony right now. My body is feeling almost "normal" at last. I had my TSH tested and it was 0.07. Right on target! This means they got my dose of Levoxyl correct the first time. I've heard that some people don't tolerate being this "hyper," but I haven't had any of the symptoms such as tremors, insomnia, or heart palpitations. But now that I think about it, I really should check my blood pressure just to be sure. 

I've been maximizing my time off from treatment. I went to visit my mom, aunt, and grandma for a few days when I could escape from work, and it was a fabulous time. We all have the same sense of humor, so we can just sit around and laugh and laugh. This weekend Jesse and I are going cruising with my dad and Scott in the San Juans on a J/122, Anam Cara. 

While it's easy to pretend everything is normal again and try to forget about having cancer, I can't. It's always there, in the back of my mind. And I guess that's a space of my mind that I'm going to have to learn to share, because cancer isn't vacating it any time soon. Even when the docs will tell me I'm in remission, even when they tell me I'm cured, the small worry will always be there, and those memories will never go away. And although I'm living up my summer, waiting and seeing just isn't as easy as it sounds. September seems lightyears away, and yet also like it's looming over me like a deadline tomorrow. 

I just came across the blog Everything Changes in my daily research and reading. The author seems to see right into my life! I can't wait to read her book. 

For now, I'll keep reminding myself of my favorite quote from the Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor, Kris Carr, 
"I got news for ya, life is a terminal condition; cancer patients are just more aware of it. The real question is how many of us will choose to truly live."

me driving Anam Cara in the San Juans, July 2009

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Hello! It's been a fabulous weekend here, including yachting, celebrating my friend Jamie's bachelorette party, and my friend Amanda's birthday. I was telling my girlfriends that it finally feels like life is starting to get back to normal. Now that I have a couple of months without treatment, and my body is starting to normalize and my energy is coming back, I will sometimes realize that I haven't even thought about cancer in the past two hours.

In the past week I've been trying to focus on balance. I went from obsessing about trying to eat as healthy & raw as possible, to splurging on the 4th of July weekend and eating mostly just veggie dogs & veggie burgers. While still vegan and certainly much healthier than their dead-animal counterparts, they are not exactly the whole-food, raw diet I strive for. That weekend left me craving for a big bowl full of leafy green salad! And now I know that I need a balance of healthy foods, but not to the point of obsession. Although, this week will probably lean more towards the fun, splurging side instead of the healthy side, because Thursday is Jamie's wedding! I'd better do a lot of yoga tomorrow to balance it out :)



Saturday, July 2, 2011


Good morning,

It's a gorgeous long weekend here in Seattle! We've already been taking advantage of it with great friends and a BBQ and wine on our balcony last night. There is an air of festivity here in Seattle; I think everyone is so excited to finally have a summer on the horizon.

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment with Dr. Failor, my endocrinologist at the Cancer Care Alliance. I was so nervous going into the appointment, dreading more bad news, but really there was not any news. It was more of an appointment to establish care, as I'd never met him before, and review our plan, since he will be managing my care from here on out. He reviewed my bloodwork and our goals. My thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels should be at 0.01 and my thyroglobulin (Tg) should be 0 (or <0.02, which is the lowest the test can read).

Thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary and does exactly what it sounds like. In a normal person it should be around 0.5-2.5, although those numbers vary a lot depending on whom you talk to. Some say a level of 5 is normal, while a nurse practitioner I worked with before aimed to have every patient at 1.0. Because this value is the hormone that stimulates the thyroid, and not the actual thyroid levels, it is inversely proportional to the thyroid levels. For example, if your TSH is 7, you are considered hypothyroid (and experiencing the beginning of all the fun symptoms I just had. My TSH was 58 when last checked). If it is 0.2, you are considered hyperthyroid. The goal for my treatment is to keep my TSH at 0.1. Although it is considered hyperthyroid, it is done to suppress the thyroid stimulating hormone - we don't want it stimulating any thyroid cancer cells!

So this summer will involve a lot of lab work to determine if my TSH is at the appropriate level and adjusting of my levothyroxine dose. We'll also be monitoring my Tg level, hoping that post-RAI it comes down, showing that the ablation was effective at destroying those evil cancer cells. And as planned, I'll have my ultrasound in September. This means my next doctors appointment isn't until September 19! Blood draws are easy because I can have them done right in the office I work at, and my medication dose can be adjusted over the phone. I'm excited that when I look at my calendar for the upcoming months, the only appointments I see are for pedicures and massages :) Just kidding, I'll still be seeing my naturopath, but she only gives me good news and has a much more flexible schedule so I don't have to take more time off work.

Happy 4th everyone! Please consider not blasting off firecrackers - they terrify animals, including my Z dog. Wishing you all lots of sunshine.