Friday, June 25, 2010

Small Rant

Don't worry, this really is for no one but me. And its old news at that. Its supposed to be therapeutic I guess. So in all seriousness, pay no attention to me if you don't like seemingly pointless rants. Its really about my Thyroid. **soft yell heard in the distance...."boring"** sigh...Its true.

Many people who know me, know that I had Thyroid cancer when I was 15 and 16. I feel like there are pros and cons to the fact that I was that young. It was good because I don't think I understood the full weight of what that meant, so I was protected from being very emotionally distraught by the fact that I had cancer. Of course when I heard the news I was shocked, and my Mom and I cried all the way home from the drs office. But I became used to the idea after a while, and even though it came back again, requiring a third surgery just a few months later, i was upset, but came to terms very well. Something that I don't think I would be able to do if it were at this time in my life. I also gained a very strong base of faith in the Lord, and in the power of prayer and the Priesthood, at such a perfect age. For that I truly am grateful.

The "small rant" that I am referring to, is the fact that I feel that things could have gone better if I had different drs, more knowledge on the condition and type of cancer I had, and better resources and support related to thyroid issues. Looking back, it felt like I was the only one in the whole world that had this. I wasn't quite the internet savvy person, and I don't think there even was a google at that point. If I had the knowledge I have now, things could have been quite different.

For example, my Parathyroids were "accidentally" removed during the thyroidectomy, which they said "sometimes happens." However I only found this out after I came home from the hospital and had pretty much every muscle in my entire body contracting and spasming. PS, remember your heart? yeah. That's a muscle. So that was scary to feel my heart pulling in my chest, and again, here is where prayer came in, and calmed my body down enough to get to the ER. NOW I hear that they ALWAYS give the thyroidectomy patients calcium and Vitamin D right away just in case they parathyroid glands are damaged or destroyed. I have also since found out that if they are removed, they can be found through biopsy, and re-implanted in your arm and will still work. I was never told this.

Also, after the surgery, the standard procedure at the time was to go off Thyroid meds for several weeks, so I could have a Radioactive Iodine treatment and Body scan. Basically that means I was a dangerous walking glowstick (seriously though, I couldn't be near small children and pregnant ladies, and had to flush twice and eat with disposable dinnerware. But I digress...) So because I was off meds for so long, I became puffy, pasty, weak, tired and sick, and had teachers and friends asking what on earth was wrong with me. NOW I have found out that they have something called THYROGEN, which is an injection to replace the meds during that time so your body doesn't have to go without. Would have been nice at the time.

Also, I still have quite the scar, although it has gone down quite a bit. For a while my friends called it the "space-age" necklace. I even had a number of people commenting on it. Some of my favorites have been..."Did you try to kill yourself!?", and "Your necklace is giving you a rash!", and the best one, "You have lipstick on your neck." Oh people. So funny. Anyway, mine was very thick and red for a long time, but now people who have the same surgery, have smaller fainter scars within a few months, than mine is 13 years later.

I also have bought and read SO many books on Thyroid issues, and read blogs and newsletters about the like, and while many are good and insightful, most are contradictory. I read one that says take your thyroid meds at night only, and the next one says a study claims morning is the only way to go. Another says weight gain is not a byproduct, and another that says it absolutely is. One tells me to take coral calcium, the other says coral calcium is the worst you could take. And then I have drs. that say very confusing and contradictory things but they all tell me that "they know best."

Whats a girl to do? Well I am convinced I just need to stop complaining and keep praying. And thats all I can do. I realize that it could be WAYYYYY worse, and complaining is not going to change or help a thing. I just had to "vent" a bit. I've never really said this , but I feel like I would be a very different person if it weren't for this cancer. I mean that I was affected positively and negatively. So I am grateful I had the opportunity to grow and learn to lean on my Heavenly Father. (Which i am still doing.)

One last thought. You would think after 13 years, I would remember to take my 15+ pills every day right? *sheepishly* Yeeeaahhh. Not so much. I'm what we call "my worst enemy." I've tried the notes on the mirrors and windows, and alarm clocks, and pills in the purse, in pill boxes everywhere, and on my pillow at night, but i just can't seem to be consistent. That's what I need most. Just the ability to remember those little buggers. hmmph.

Well, I'm off to go take my pills. I really, truly hope no one stayed to this point. Except maybe one person. (Hi Mom!) It really was a pointless rant, I just had to get it off my back. Next one will be uplifting, promise.


Miraleeh said...

Hahahah! Oh you got me there daughter! Yes...hi! I did read all the way to the bottom! Anyway, this post was very well stated! You know I have always said you needed to record your experience with Thyroid cancer so well done. Your observations are very interesting and spot on. Both the good and bad elements of the whole experience were given to you for a reason and you always have been willing to accept whatever was asked of you and try to learn from and make the best of it. I'm proud of you and I Love you!

leah jane said...

i loved this post!! it was good to hear about your personal experience with thyroid cancer, i only ever heard through the family grapevine what was going on. you're one tough cookie! and like you, i can never seem to remember to even take my vitamins daily, let alone 15 meds!

leslie s said...

Amazing what the human body is capable of. It was so interesting to learn about your experience with cancer and to hear how it affects you to this day. I have to admit, and I'm sorry to say, I didn't understand the seriousness of all that you went through at that time. I can understand your frustration about it all. I would even say you are justified in feeling the way you do. It is easy to just trust that Dr.'s know best - we have all done it. You have handled this with a lot of courage and faith. I'm proud of you and your good attitude. . . Now go take your pills before you forget :)
hugs, --L

McCall B. said...

Good post dear. You are my hero.

the Woods said...

hey, I made it to the end as well. Love ya Jer, and I'm glad you wrote about it.

Paty said...

Hey Friend!! I loved your post! I remember you telling me about your surgery but not with all of the details. I am really sure that this experience helped you be stronger, hard working and best of all, has given you a strong testimony of the gospel. I am grateful that you have all these qualities because you taught me so many deep and important principles while we were companions. This may sound cheesy but it's true. You were one of the most hard working and spiritual companions. I hope the Lord continues to bless you in everything!! :)

Great Scott's! said...

So I found this post so very interesting, and I usually don't read post this long, but I didn't even notice the length till I was done. I can't believe you have gone through all that, I knew only some, and that apparently didn't even scratch the surface. What a fighter! I wish I saw you more, cause I really like you! And I loved sharing all the laughs we had in just one small semester. "gud morning"

Laurel & Bruce said...

I also just loved reading your blog about cancer of the thyroid. do you know what causes it? I loved hearing your story. I have been learning about the thyroid recently as I too have problems... thanks for the info.