So this morning was my second blood test. Last week my numbers were too low, not high enough to appear on the scan, and so everything had to be pushed back a week which blows, I hate waiting, particularly for this stuff. So my numbers. I don’t fully understand what all of it means. I imagine I will likely be an expert by the time this is all done but right now it’s kind of confusing. I have a friend who was born without a thyroid gland, I consider her to be a super expert on the subject and sometime when I don’t feel like a brainless hypo zombie I will probably have her explain it to me in more depth. So I am definitely feeling hypo. That blows. I imagine that everyone’s symptoms are a little different but mostly I am frequently cold, which is an odd feeling as I am usually a person who runs warm. I am exhausted, super fun when coupled with my normal crappy ability to sleep. I feel foggy and out of it like my brain isn’t clicking along like usual. The last couple of days I have been feeling sore and my body feels sluggish like it’s not doing what I want at the rate at which I am asking it to do it. This is not a good feeling especially at work where I have to go fast and the last few days we’ve been short handed so I need to go faster. And to enter the TMI zone (if you don’t want to know stop reading now) I’m slightly constipated. Not a normal thing for me at all. Ugh. And to top it all off I am irritated and anxious and HUNGRY!!!
Oh low iodine diet, how I hate you, let me count the ways. So we started our diet on Monday. I am saying we because my lovely wife, by her own choice has decided to do the diet with me which mostly makes sense because let’s not prepare two different meals. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. After working for 8 hours I didn’t want to prepare anything much less a meal from scratch but I did it. It was tasty, pasta with homemade red sauce. But no bread. 😦 and no cheese 😦 and no chocolate for dessert. 😦 I hate this soooo much. Particularly for the no dairy. I’m not a big milk drinker we usually have almond milk but even that we’ve had to switch because it has sea salt in it which I cannot have. Ughhhhh. Do you have any idea how many fucking things have sea salt in them? Sooo many things. And cheese. I love cheese. I am currently cooking potatoes to be turned into a scramble with egg whites and green peppers. You know what would make it better? Cheese! I feel like my coworkers are trying to be supportive of my diet when they tell me that my lunch looks good but I also feel they are full of it. That’s right, you tell me my apples on rice cakes looks good while you eat that slice of pizza, you fucker. Sorry. I’m hungry. I know that this is just the first week and that the diet will get easier and us more prepared as time goes on but I’m so frustrated!! If I hadn’t been called into work so much this weekend I wanted to make some stuff ahead of time to make this easier but that didn’t end up happening. Pause. I have now eaten. Feeling a little more with it. Sort of. I’m reaching a point where I’m so tired not much makes sense. I could rant for a long time. The only other thing that I wanted to talk about is endless drs voicemails. So blood work today and then I got a voicemail from my endocrinologist’s office. It’s super long and was left while I was working. I really hate that. Because I really need to ask questions and I’d like to talk to them but it sucks. I don’t have time to call back. I need to be able to wrap my head around everything that is going on and it just makes it hard when I work the same hours as the drs.
A few close friends of mine have what the medical community calls “invisible illnesses”. Heart, hormone conditions, vitamin deficiencies, gastrointestinal stuff that you cannot see simply by looking at someone. These people often have to live by the spoon analogy, which I’m not going to go into here but if you’re curious and haven’t heard of it googling spoons and chronic illness should he sufficient to find the explaination. It sucks because these are people I love and care about who are frequently and repeatedly not given a fair shake because people don’t know any better. My frustration today stems from interacting with people who do know better and are still either do not care enough or simply do not give enough of a shit to make any kind of accommodation for people who might be a few spoons down.
I have what is to me at least, a very visible scar on my neck that was not there less than 3 months ago. When I first went back to work and out into the world i tried to hide it more but it was just more time and effort than i am willing to put in on a daily basis. Due to the nature of my job in the medical field and their own nosiness my co workers know a lot about my condition and treatment. Lots of details and information shared but also apparently not a lot of shits given. Not really at least. For maybe the first two weeks after I was back I was given a little extra consideration and for the first 6 weeks i couldn’t lift anything heavy because they didn’t want to take any chance of me straining my neck. Apparently now despite the visible sign of my surgery less than 3 months old and the details I have to share in preparation for the upcoming ablation I am supposed to be fine. This pisses me off for a number of reasons more personal to my job having to do with people who never pull their weight. But also on several levels having to do with illness. Over the past couple of months I have been sick several times and had to miss days. It’s unfortunate and not what I want but it seems to me at least that would be something normal or even expected since they removed an organ from my body. And not just any organ but one that controls a lot of my hormone levels. Apparently this seems to be unacceptable to my co workers. A woman I work with does not like to call in sick. We have paid sick days so she would not lose anything to not be in if she’s miserable which this week you could see she was. After being hacked at and coughed on all week long i woke up Friday morning to my throat feeling like a cheese grater had run along the inside of it. So not wanting to potentially expose anyone else to this gross feeling i stayed home. I found out later that this woman who is likely a good portion of the reason that I got sick in the first place, felt the need to comment about my absence and how she was sick all week and hadn’t called off. She is a very two faced person and this behavior doesn’t surprise me. But it irritates me for a lot of reasons. I have had positions where you don’t get sick days. Where you better have a drs note no matter how miserable you are or sometimes you have to come to work unless you’re pretty much non stop puking. This is not one of those jobs. We try to be understanding and make accommodations because people get sick. Especially this time of year. And if she truly felt that she could work through her illness, that’s fine, good for her. I don’t believe that there are truly stereotypical cancer cases, I think everyone is different and everyone’s symptoms and abilities are different at different stages in their care. So while I might look and act great most of the time and I am certain in comparison to some cancer patients I look amazing, I am still a cancer patient with ongoing treatment.
I feel as though I’ve lost the thread a bit here. Maybe there wasn’t much of one to begin with. Regardless I am angry. Maybe it all goes back to those spoons. I don’t have as many as I used to. I am hopeful that when my main treatment is finished that I might get a few back. But I guess I feel like everyone regardless of how many you’ve got up your sleeve, everyone could stand to be a little bit kinder. Because those spoons can be precious.
So this used to be a blog dedicated to cooking, sort of. It was mostly a way when we lived in the South for me to try and get out of my own head and not feel quite so isolated. Being six hundred miles away from nearly everything and everyone you know and love can do that to you. It was sort of fun. But I’m not sure that I am a creative enough cook to have a followable blog. I am certainly not dedicated enough for the endless pictures and wordy snippets that I always had to scroll through when searching online for a recipe. Your life is interesting to a point but only in so far as it relates to the food. Don’t tell me a story just to tell it, there are writing blogs if you yearn to tell a tale. Sorry if that’s a little harsh and sarcastic, I have an amazing friend who is trying to find her way back to writing and it’s amazing. Hers are stories however that are in the guise of stories, not stories in the guise of recipes or vice versa. So once again I apologize if this is rough edged, I am finding myself a little rubbed raw lately. The last six months or so have been, well I guess I’m not sure that I could find one word to describe it all. Amazing, overwhelming, painful, terrifying, joyful and awful all frequently at the same time. In September, I believe it was specifically September 12, 2016, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. A lot has happened over the last few months and I just need a place to put some of my thoughts. Some days it seems like there are so many and my head is so full that they all just spill over and usually out of my eyeballs in the form of tears. I am so tired of crying all the time. So I don’t know if this is particularly productive or if it will make a difference but what the hell.
So, the big C. So much fear with one word. Cancer. Six letters of pain. It has been awful. These last few months. In a time that should have been super joyful as my wife and I just finally got married after nearly 15 years together there was a shadow lurker who was most certainly not invited but came anyway. We were so close when we found out that we just didn’t want to put it off. We had been waiting so long. It was an amazing wonderful day and maybe sometime I’ll talk about it but not right now. Suffice it to say we did not let it ruin our day. Though the day may have been a bit more emotional for everyone who knew about my diagnosis. I had surgery about two weeks after the wedding to remove my thyroid gland and some of my lymph nodes in order for them to remove the nodule and most, if not all of the cancer. It was the day before thanksgiving. It all went well. It was terrifying. All I wanted to do was scream and cry like a kid but I sort of locked that part of myself away because as much as I wanted to do that it wouldn’t make any difference in my illness, but surgery would. All the drs and nurses were relatively good. But hospitals are not very restful places so I was glad to go home. Our friends came in shifts to bring us thanksgiving dinner and to be able to see with their own eyes that I was exhausted but ok. It was adorable and touching. There have been high points. Our one friend brought me flowers, cheesecake and whiskey after we found out. Which I thought was amazing and adorable and funny. I guess all this is sort of a summary of the last few months. I might go back and talk about some of those days at some point. I’m not sure. It depends on what I need I guess. That sort of brings us to the right now. Right now I am off my thyroid meds as I wait for my hormone levels to be high enough for them to do the preliminary scan and this weekend we are going to start the diet to prepare for the ablation (r.e. radiation). It’s not like the chemo and radation you see in the movies or on tv. Mine should be shorter and not so intense, at least that is how it appears and what i am hoping for. I had a blood test this week that didn’t have the answers that we needed so basically every thing has been pushed back a week. I hate waiting. Waiting is the suck. Some days the tension from all of it makes it hard to put one foot in front of the other. This is where a lot of people would place some trite “just keep swimming” crap. I am trying to keep walking. But sometimes i have to hit pause and regroup. Pause.