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Not All About Me

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My last several blogs have focused on my experiences with thyroid cancer, but I realize life is not all about me. Stuff happens to the rest of the family too... 😉 However, I was just reviewing a blog post I wrote almost a year ago , and realized that some things have changed very little in the last year or so.  Josh is still working concessions at the Mile High Flea Market on weekends. He enjoys the job and has impressed his managers with his responsibility. School has begun for Josh and Peter. Josh is taking a class at Front Range Community College and Peter began his junior year of high school. Thankfully they are both able to attend classes in person this year! Peter again got a part in the school's fall play. This one is called "Done to Death" and from what I understand is a spoof on murder mysteries. Peter was disappointed when last year's fall play was cancelled due to pandemic concerns, but we have high hopes that this year's production will be performed a

Thyroid Cancer - Part 5: Full Body Scan

(This is part 5 of a series.  Click here to read part 1 ) Last week I went to the hospital to take a radioactive pill. ( See here for more on that .) Over the next five days I read, did some crafts, binge watched Merlin on Netflix and reveled in solitude. (That being said, it was nice to come out on Saturday and be able to interact normally with my family again. Many thanks to those who brought meals, gifts or called to chat during my time in seclusion!) This morning I went back to the hospital so they could see the results of my taking that pill. The check-in process at the hospital was very easy since this was essentially the second half of the same procedure. The concierge at the front desk just checked my name off his list and sent me to the waiting area while he called the folks in nuclear medicine to let them know I was there. Just a few minutes later the same guy who gave me the pill came out and took me back to his domain where we met another guy who took charge of this part

Thyroid Cancer - Part 4: Iodine Radiation Therapy

(This is part 4 of a series.  Click here to read part 1 )  Did you know there is a branch in the medical field called nuclear medicine?  I didn't until today. Cool, huh? So a week ago I received a call from my endocrinologist to tell me my Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH) levels were high enough that we could go forward with the radioactive iodine therapy. Shortly after that I received a call from the hospital to schedule, and not wanting to miss my first week of teaching seminary, we settled on today.   So the way the radioactive iodine therapy works (as I understand it) is like this:  The thyroid is the only body tissue that uses iodine. It sucks up iodine (which usually comes as an additive to salt, but also could come from fish or daily vitamins) and uses it to produce hormones and stuff. When the hormones the thyroid usually produces (T3 and T4) get too low (for example, if the thyroid gets removed and all the T3 and T4 it produced before it was removed get used up) the pitui

Thyroid Cancer, Part 3: After the Surgery

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(This is part 3 of a series. Click here to read part 1 )  The couple weeks following my thyroid surgery were quiet ones. I was tired and didn't do much. I wasn't sent home from the hospital with any kind of thyroid hormone replacement, so I didn't know if my lack of energy was because I was recovering from the surgery, or lack of whatever the thyroid usually does, or just because of the 90+ degree weather we were experiencing.  So about the thyroid hormone replacement... When my cardiologist told me I had thyroid cancer and referred me to Dr. Peller, I assumed that Dr. Peller was going to take care of all the thyroid stuff from there on out. It wasn't until just before I was wheeled into the operating room and Dr. Peller asked me who my endocrinologist was that I realized that I needed another doctor! Dr. Peller, as an ENT, would do the surgery and take care of the incision and what not, but I needed an endocrinologist to take care of the hormone balances and stuff. A f

Thyroid Cancer, Part 2: Surgery

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(This is part 2 of a series. Click here to read part 1 )  On Friday, July 23, after a nerve wracking morning of waiting and with nothing but butterflies in my stomach, Hannah drove me to Good Samaritan hospital in Lafayette, CO. This wasn't my normal hospital and it was a good 20 minute drive from home and I had never been there before, but we arrived safely and pretty close to being on time. (We got a bit lost amongst the many parking lots trying to find the right building.)   When we arrived, there was a lady standing near the front door who took our temperatures, checked my name on her list, and then sent us upstairs to the surgery waiting area. When we arrived upstairs, the lady at the desk there asked for my paperwork and when she discovered I didn't have anything, she sent us back downstairs to registration. There we found a lady who checked us in, scanned my ID and insurance cards, asked a ton of questions about my phone number, my address and SSN, my next of kin and liv

Thyroid Cancer, Part 1: The Health Insurance Battle

 Last month I got to experience my first hospital stay since Peter was born 16 years ago. Here is what led up to it. On Tuesday, June 8th, my cardiologist, Dr. Haffey, informed me that I had thyroid cancer. (See this post , for more info.) He assured me that it was very common and completely curable, but I would need to have surgery to remove the nodules that had been discovered on my thyroid. He would give me a referral for a doctor who specialized in that kind of surgery. The following day I received a call from the office of another doctor, telling me that I had been referred to them by Dr. Haffey, and I made an appointment with him for the following Monday. On Thursday June 10th, Steven lost his job and we discovered that our insurance coverage would end at the end of June. On Monday, June 14th, I met with Dr. Peller. He hadn't seen the test results from the ultrasounds I'd had of my thyroid, but he explained what to expect: I would have surgery to remove part or all of my

Fathers' Day and Peter's Birthday

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The day Steven first became a dad This year, Peter's birthday coincided with Father's Day, but both Peter and Steven were good sports about sharing their special day.  The morning began with the kids getting up early to make breakfast (quiche that was nearly saturated with bacon, and cinnamon rolls) for Steven before he had to leave for a meeting. At church, John gave an awesome talk about gratitude (It wasn't written down anywhere so I can't post it here... sorry.) All the men folk were given packages with microwave popcorn and Kit Kats in honor of Father's Day.  Peter's first birthday After a dinner of lasagna (Peter's choice) we opened presents. Steven opened his gift first (a set of knives) and then Peter opened his gifts which included bow ties, a couple card games, a game for his DS, and microwave popcorn. Here is a video Josh took of Peter opening one of his presents.   Once all the gifts were opened, Peter blew out the candles on a pie (one of Steven