Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Alien Inside Of Me

These are the pictures from my Total Body Thyroid Scan. This was after I was radioactive for a few days. A and B are full body and C is the area of my thyroid only. The triangle of lights are the markers they placed on my forehead and on both shoulders so they would know the approximate location of where my thyroid used to be. However, it's not that hard to locate where my thyroid should be - all you have to do is find the large glowing ball of light! Seriously! That thing that is emitting rays out from around it like a star are all of my residual thyroid cells, and there are A LOT of them! So it is more radioactivity for me! They are going to try and ablate it with a small enough dose that I don't have to be in isolation yet, but if it doesn't get them all, it's the isolation chamber for me! One cool thing is that on A and B you can see my digestive system where some leftover iodine is! You can just see my stomach, intestines, etc, which as a science teacher, I think is so cool!

The worst part is the non-iodine diet they have me on! Here is what I had for dinner:

100% wheat pasta (because I can't have egg yolks)
I smothered it in tomato paste that had no salt in it (iodized salt and sea salt are not allowed)
A fruit smoothie
Not too bad. Here is breakfast:

Scrambled eggs made of only egg whites
Two pieces of 100% Rye bread - one covered in peanut butter that we made ourselves because we had to make sure it didn't have any salt or butter and the other in this raspberry honey that we had to check to make sure it didn't have red dye #3 because that's not allowed either.
One banana

I wasn't too hungry for lunch so I had some plain popcorn (remember, no butter or salt) and some plain nuts.

This diet is no fun, but I'm only on it until Monday morning when I become radioactive again. Then I am going to the nearest fast food place and gobbling down foods that are covered in salt and artificially flavored and colored! All with a big glass of milk because I can have absolutely NO dairy!

Oh yeah - and if anyone has access to a Geiger counter, please let me know! I want to know just how radioactive I become! And yes, I am a science geek and totally proud of it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Addicted to the Tour!

So, I am addicted to the Tour de France. I have dutifully watched it for several years, but this year I watched every single day! Usually, I would wake up in the morning and sit in my bed while I flipped on the TV and caught the last hour and a half of that stage. I love pretty much everything about the tour, except for those dumb cyclists that think they can cheat the system by doping. They have seriously ruined the whole sport, because now after I see an amazing performance, in the back of my mind I always think, "Well, he was probably doping" instead of just recognizing and wondering at his amazing talent. Anyway, after 21 days and over 2000 miles, here is who won: Carlos Sastre from Spain won the Yellow Jersey (he is the overall winner) Oscar Freire won the green jersey (he was the best sprinter) Bernhard Kohl won the polka dot jersey (he was the best mountain climber - this is the weirdest looking jersey and thus my favorite) Andy Schleck won the white jersey (he was the best rider in the tour under 25) Team CSC won the team competition meaning they were the best overall team.

Well, that's how the standings went, but if it were up to me, here is how it would stand: Cadel Evans of Australia would win the Tour (he placed 2nd overall) Mark Cavendish of Great Britain would win the green jersey - watch for him in the Olympics because he is a sure bet to win gold! Thomas Voeckler from France would win the King of the Mountain (aka the polka dot jersey) and I wholeheartedly believe that Andy Schleck should have won the white jersey and CSC win the team competition!
I also would have liked to see Christian Vandevelde on the podium - maybe next year!
***PREDICTION*** Andy Schleck will one day win the Tour de France! This kid is simply amazing! And he is only 23 years old!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stand back! Keep the Geiger Counters away! I am RADIOACTIVE!

Here are my rules for the next 2 days:
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance as much as possible from other persons, especially those under 18. The greater the distance you are from others, the less radiation they will receive.
  • Minimize the time you remain close to others.
  • To minimize the possibility of contamination of others, use good toilet hygiene and thoroughly wash your hands several times a day.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to help the radioiodine leave your body more rapidly.

Sounds fun, huh. Not really. This round isn't as bad as it could get. Depending on what they find, I could have a dose that requires me to be in total hospital isolation for a few days where they have to burn the plates and sheets and cups I use and dispose of my waste in a lead container! Ah, the beauties of radioactivity!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The most frustrating part of this whole experience is that even after 3 1/2 weeks, I still don't have my voice back. I can talk, but it's not my normal voice. I can sing (and I love to sing) but I only have about 3 notes to my range now. But the worst is that I have no volume. I simply can't talk loud. The more I try, it seems the softer I get. I am seriously thinking about investing in one of these to help me be heard:

The worst is at restaurants like Bajio's where I try to tell them that I don't want onions and they can't hear me and the person next to me has to tell them. Talking is one of the things I do best :) and now I can't even do that. Ugh.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cancer Updates

Holy Cow! (No offense to the Hindu's)

SSSSOOOO much has happened since I wrote last! The biggest and most imposing one is that I have been diagnosed with follicular cancer which is a type of thyroid cancer. I had 2 surgeries in about 3 weeks. The first was to just remove the tumor and when it turned out to be malignant (when the doctor told me it was malignant I had to think in my mind, "Now, is malignant the good one or the bad one?" which is probably why I took it so well!) it was back to the hospital to remove it all! I was in the hospital for 3 days with the second surgery and the service was horrible! I was so glad to get out!

I now have to take thyroid hormone medication for the rest of my life, but really it's not too bad. Right now I'm not on any medication at all because they want to see what my body is still producing and where the remaining thyroid cells are in my body. Next week I will have a total body thyroid scan to find those remaining cells and then to blast them away into oblivion using radiation! I can only hope it is as cool as it sounds!

Thyroid cancer is one of the easiest cancers to treat and pretty much everyone survives it so it's really not a big deal. Now we just have to hope that the cancer didn't spread to my thyroid from somewhere else. We are pretty sure it didn't spread from the thyroid to anywhere else because there were no traces of cancer in the left side of the thyroid. Only time can tell!

It's already been a long process and it will only get longer! I am hoping that this whole waiting around thing won't be so long after this next test (I have to be off medication for two weeks prior for it to work correctly) but who knows. Honestly, the only information I'm getting is from people who have known people who had thyroid cancer, and the internet. My doctor's are really not very helpful as far as telling me what is going to happen to me! My primary doctor after this will be one that we already know and he's great so I'm hoping this lack of communication will end.

I'll update more as more comes in!