A Visit to the Endocrinologist

 On Tuesday I went to the endocrinologist for a follow up visit. I had blood drawn for labs last week, so Tuesday I was hoping for some good news, but also looking for an explanation for why I've been feeling so tired lately. I'm not sure exactly what I wanted to hear:

"Yay, the cancer is gone and you can forget it ever happened!" would have been extremely wishful thinking. 

"Yay, the cancer is gone, but you still need to take your meds for the rest of your life and come in every six months or year for a check up to make sure it stays gone." would have been more realistically optimistic.

What did I really hear? I came away from that appointment in kind of a numb fog. Yes, part of that is because I was tired (I took a nap in the waiting room while waiting for the doctor to be ready for me) and frequently have brain fog. (What's Steven's boss's name again - the one he talks about all the time and I made that crochet bee for?)

In spite of the fog, I did come away from that appointment with three bits of news.

1. According to my blood tests, my TSH levels are normal. That means that I'm not hypo or hyper-thyroid at the moment. Whatever is causing my tiredness and brain fog, the doctor doesn't think it is my thyroid hormone levels. (I guess I'll have to go to my primary care doctor to explore what is causing that...) She does, however, want my TSH levels to be lower so as not to encourage thyroid activity, so she decided to increase my dose of the thyroid replacement medicine anyway. (which hopefully will give me a bit more energy?)

2. Thyroglobulin (usually abbreviated Tg) is something that the thyroid produces and is used to detect the presence of thyroid cancer. After a total thyroidectomy followed by a neck dissection and two rounds of radioactive iodine therapy, I shouldn't have any: all remnants of thyroid tissue should have been removed from my body. My Tg level should be 0. It's not. The doctor was saying something about how if it's at a 10 they'll do tests, more surgery, etc. But mine is at a 5. From the results of my last scans, they couldn't pinpoint exactly where the remaining thyroid tissue might be, although there might be some near my thymus in my chest... So right now it's just wait and watch and see if it grows. She ordered another ultrasound for 5 months from now to "check for recurrence".


3. She is leaving the practice at the end of March, so I'll have to find a new endocrinologist. She was already my second after my first one retired. There are other endocrinologists with SCL Health so I can switch to one of them and they'll have all my history and info (and get the results from the ultrasound in June), but the others are at locations downtown... where I hate driving. And I hate starting with new doctors. 

Anyway, that's where things stand at the moment. I'm hoping with the increased medication I'll start to have a bit more energy. Maybe a new endocrinologist will believe me and figure out why I feel like I'm hypothyroid when the blood tests say I'm not. Maybe the increased medication will keep the cancer from growing and I'll be able to avoid another surgery. 

Why do I keep envisioning my body as a "whac-a-mole" game, and ending up looking like Frankenstein eventually?


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