Health, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer

And so.

*I can’t say I have ever believed in true karma. Too many shitty people get away with too many shitty things. And I’d like to think there is more outside this life, though we may all be just as important as a cockroach in reality.

I can confidently say I have had my go-around with life at only thirty-one years old. I have seen a lot. Done a lot. Been broke. Been stable. Let stress get the best of me. Indulged a little too much when I shouldn’t have. I’ve met some exordinary individuals and found myself under the shoes of others. I cannot say I have a terrible life. In the scheme of it all, it’s been pretty fantastic. But there are bumps and unfortunate times and that is to be expected. Including a cancer diagnosis, no matter to what degree.

 

 

 

My quarterly blood draw was Monday. It’s like my veins were on vacation. The phlebotomist and I couldn’t see a line so he went in blind; sticking only by feel. Luckily, for me, he’s clearly damn good at his job. The task was effortless. Still, it hurts and I continue to hate needles. I bruise quite fiercely. And after all the positive preaching I toss out there I do find it hard to stay calm for myself when I have no control of the outcome.

 

 

Yesterday, all my calendars, digital and written, reminded me of an appointment I had made three months ago with my oncologist, Karen Jacks. 1PM. Those afternoon appointment always interrupt my creative flow. I should know that by now. 12:50PM. Onward to Summerlin. The wait is never long and as I was called back, dreading what the scale would taunt, I was told my appointment was yesterday. I had missed it.

 

What?

 

 

I proceeded to inquire with Dr. Jack’s scheduling assistant and she assured me they were correct. How sad is it that? You get so busy doing everything for everyone that you forget to take care of yourself. I apologized for my forceful, yet inquisitive manor, because surely, I would not have forgotten this appointment. For goodness sakes, Dr. Jack’s is THE only one looking after me since I was cleared by my surgeon. My endocrinologist never even followed up after my last treatment of RAI that she administered. Professional, right?

 

As I was getting up to leave, Jenn with two n’s, (Dr. Jack’s Nurse) walked up. I, like, love this woman. I gave her a hug. She too, last year, underwent a total thyroidectomy due to thyroid cancer. Not quite as invasive and she has had no reoccurrence, (High Five, Nasri!) There’s something about having such an intricate situation in common with another.
A bond, if you will.

 

 

I asked her if, by chance, if she could give me the results of my blood work and she did not hesitate to say yes. We can’t be much different in age. “Everyone has access to their results if you request it.” she commented. Well then. Toss them over, pretty please! The scheduling assistant, already not super fond of me, went ahead and printed them out. Why didn’t she offer that before I went into semi-jerk mode? We could have totally avoided an awkward situation. The sheets crossed the desk and I stared at the numbers.

 

TSH 0.017 (Critical Value, Verified x2, FLAG: Critical Low)
Thyroglobulin 0.2 (Low)

 

 

My mind went blank. Is this good? I should be a master of all this by now.  But the same rule applies as to why I haven’t learned to code websites; I design them. I rather be really good at one particular thing, than half as good at two things. I’d rather spend all my energy and mind on staying positive and strong, rather than learning basic numeric levels that pretty much rule my life. Plus when your head is everywhere than where it should be, it’s hard to concentrate. You don’t read a book while your driving.

 

 

Jenn with two n’s assured me, these were fantastic numbers and to schedule another set of blood work around my one year anniversary for the second surgery I underwent – December 24, 2015. Time. Flies. Roughly four and half months away now.

 

 

As I walked out of the icebox building, into the blazing heat, I wasn’t sure if I wanted cry or run. I was so relieved, yet I have this pessimistic nature inside me saying, ‘don’t get your hopes up.’ I’ve been in this position before.

 

 

For now, and for the next few months, all is well. I feel fine. I can breathe just a bit more. I can attempt to relax. I will start all those personal projects and books that I have been putting off, tomorrow. Ha. Julian and I will take our anniversary trip to Palm Springs, like we always do and I will head to Lake Tahoe in two weeks. I will continue to share my experience and thoughts around it to anyone interested. To anyone who asks or need help.

 

 

 

 

Today, having no relievence to the above, I went to buy film at Wal-Mart because honestly, I have no idea where else to get it and I’m teaching myself to shoot with a 1968 German Leica in hand. No, that’s not a gun. F*ck guns.

 

 

In front of me, in line, stood a very fragile girl. Of some Eastern Indian decent. She had to have been my age, maybe a touch younger. She wore no make up and she was beautiful. I worried for her pettiness, as each one of her legs had to have been barely bigger than one of my arms. She dressed cute and natural and I couldn’t help but wonder if she had problems finding clothes her size, like us curvy women do at times.

 

 

She was buying two hand soaps, some q-tips, oranges, and a cheese cake. Her total came to twenty-four dollars and ninty-two cents. She tried her card and it was declined, twice. You could tell in her demeanor she knew it would be, yet she tried anyways. Then she pulled all the money she could find, out of her hazy green pockets. A five, a single dollar and some change. The line was building and she was getting uneasy trying to count. She nervously asked if I would help her count how much money she had as she was still learning U.S. currency. And so I did. She had eight dollars and eighty cents. She gave back the cheesecake, one soap and the q-tips. As she walked away I had this ridiculous feeling. I’ve been in her shoes before. Maybe not to this extent, but I thought of yesterday and I thought of how uneasy I have been since I got back from Wisconsin. I couldn’t help but pay it forward. I did hesitate, but as she walked away, I asked the annoyed clerk to quick ring up her things. She put them in a bag and I ran after her, leaving my purse, my life, at the mercy of the cashier and everyone behind me. I caught up to her, tapped her shoulder. She slightly jumped. I handed her the bag and smiled. She thanked me many times.

 

 

As I got back to the registered the cashier and the few people behind me fawned over what I did. “That’s going to come back to you someday you know! That was so nice!” All I could say was, “I shouldn’t have bought the cheesecake.” (It was $12.95 at WAL-MART!) But who am I to know if it wasn’t for her Grandmother or a special occasion.

 

 

I do not do things, so other things can come back to me. *Reference first paragraph of this post. I don’t always help people when it’s obvious. I am a firm believer that is why rich people are rich. They are either super smart, clever bastards or they simply keep what is theirs, to themselves and their family. No amount of money could fix everything, everywhere, for everyone anyways.  Wealth is what you make of it. It’s a mindset. In this situation, something crawled up into my stomach, danced with my gut instincts and knew I would regret not helping her. And so, que reaction, though there is a 50/50 chance she would walk outside, remember she had just forgotten to transfer money from one account to another, hop into her mercedes, and drive off. I wasn’t about to play investigator to ensure she was legit. If I was wrong to  help, it would ruin my dreams of humanity truly being more lost than it already is.

Cheers to some things just working out sometimes.

 

 


 

 

“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.  “—  Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Health, las vegas, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids

Mic Check : One, Two

I realize, I’m not so fantastic at this whole blog thing. I get a vibe going and then I fall off. Which isn’t right. Because not only does this blog exist to represent a plethora of thyroid cancer awareness knowledge, experience, and reach to all my fellows who are lacking a thyroid; my intention is always, to engage, inspire, question, and provoke hope and insight that the days to come will be brighter for all of us. Whoa. Run on sentence. You get the gist of it.

 

This past week’s whirlwind of a surprise trip to Minneapolis, surrounded Julian and I with so much love and family. The energy was intoxicating and the conversations were thick. The perfect recipe for times that are meant to be and never forgotten. We crashed and celebrated a party in leu of a beautiful young woman named Carmela, who has climbed to the top of her nest and is about to hit Chicago this fall only to find herself yet again. Even more than she anticipates. She is amazing.

 

I rested my head softly those two swift nights; in the land of rolling thunderstorms and lush filled days. I couldn’t be happier. The fresh smell of plentiful greens, complimented by my urban instinct of a city dweller; I am home. Surrounded by family, swirling with chatter and positive emotions – It makes one feel whole again. All those voids that have been waiting to be filled are now complete. And as the rain pounded on the roof our last night home, thunder rolling, flashes of natural energy filling the sky; I felt so alive.
Your life and what you put into it, with time,  creates a the perfect personal portrait. The need and willingness to grasp and appreciate it all is crucial. My life, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly, is a beautiful dream that I wish to live over and over again.

 


 

 

 

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Health, RAI, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

1,2,3 – RAI PREP!

This post was originally going to be up as a first update in isolation, but between extreme exhaustion, very little brain activity, and my recently sought out addiction to Parks and Rec., it never happened.

 

And THEN I was thinking of doing a time lapse video of me ferociously cleaning and taking everything apart, but I couldn’t find a good angle to catch everything so I squashed that idea quite quickly and just my ass to work.

 

So here it is! March 22, the day before I was bound to a single living space for, four days.

 

I have a tendency to take things to extreme levels in organization and preparation for certain situations. Getting ready for a four day isolation period, my motto remains:  Better safe than sorry. On top of that, since my insurance didn’t find it necessary for me to safely reside in a hospital for the days of confinement, I created a list of execution in creating a sterile  yet comfortable space for my time alone.

 

First things first. Julian went to Home Depot, retrieved the smaller roll of painter’s plastic and some cheap painters tape. With that single roll, I was able to cover every inch of my bedroom and bathroom floors, my entire king size bed mattress and our white leather couch. We used an old pair of super soft sheets that have had their day, plus I didn’t really love the light blue color anymore. They were a bit small for our new bed so I had to tape them down as well. From Walmart, we swooped up two cheap-o pillows, six towels, plastic cutlery, paper plates, heavy duty trash bags, a new light weight blanket, toilet paper, paper towel, dispoable plastic gloves, three tooth brushes, a travel size tooth paste, four bath poofs, and some travel size shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Absolutely everything that is disposable. All in all, with food, I think we spent just about $200 – Which is clearly much cheaper than any hospital stay and I ate fresh, organic foods everyday. #Win

 

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Once all the plastic was down and ready to go, my room cleared a “Dexter Approved” status given by Frank Murray, my plastic laying advisor. Julian had two coolers right outside my door in which he changed the ice every day and stocked with H2o. I ate a lot of chicken and avocados. I drank a ton of water and Glacier Freeze Gatorade. We brought in our kitchen table, since it’s much smaller than our office desks. Since I refuse to have a t.v. in our bedroom and was hoping to get some work in, my iMac fit perfectly and served as entertainment/taunting stress, knowing how much I have on my current design plate. I had my coffee pot and toaster oven in the bathroom which served as a quaint little kitchen. I had four outfits picked out for each day, the first two of which I threw away along with all the towels after my stint. Again, better safe than sorry!

 

 

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I really took the time to make my space comfortable. Sanctuary like. Lemonheads in a champagne coop? Yes, please! I brought in candles and incense, plants and photographs. It was a much better stay than my first round of RAI last year. I feel very fortunate that we have such a beautiful home and backyard. Though I opted to not go outside for the first three days, the pool view kept things inspiring and exciting for summer.

 

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The four days I was in isolation were documented each evening by yours truly and can be read about in previous posts. Saturday afternoon, I cleaned the room, throwing 80% of everything away, including pillows, sheets, towels, all my travel size toiletries, and even my hair brush. All which will be stored, double bagged, in our garage for the next 40 days before trashing. I washed the two blankets I kept, and any other parcel of clothing I decided to keep yesterday. All is well in the world, but damn that was a lot of work.

 

Yesterday was Easter. I talked to all my family in Wisconsin, wishing I was with them. Or with the Murray clan in Mexico! Tomorrow I have a blood work appointment at 2PM and Wednesday morning I report for my I-131 scan at Desert Radiology with Keith – Looking forward to clear scan results! I have to carry a piece of paper until May 7th saying that I may still have some radioactivity roaming around inside my bod, which has been known to set off police radars and airline security. Ha! WILD. Other than that, there once again, are not enough hours in a day and I am preparing for a busy, busy work week among other things. I NEED ANOTHER VACATION.

 

Cheers, Lovers. Take care of You.

 

 

 

 

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Health, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

DAY FOUR

Post From Saturday

 


An early post – Because I’m busting on out of here! Champagne in hand thanks to @jmurrphoto 🍾🍾🍾
Enough about him and his cute butt.

I ripped all the plastic off the carpets and bathroom floors. Wiped down and disinfected every inch of the space I’ve been hunkered down in. Started laundry. I will be sleeping alone, not kissing my husband, eating with paper plates + cutlery, plus keeping my distance from ‪#‎FrankMurray‬ for the next week yet, but if I can come out of this with a clear scan on Wednesday – It’s all more than worth it. More blood work Tuesday.
The Easter bunny @diyordone or done visited this morning. I also received a ‪#‎gorgeous‬ arrangement of ‪#‎florals‬ from a dear friend via ‪#‎Minneapolis‬, AND a sweet little package that carried an ‪#‎amethyst‬ ‪#‎crystal‬ and ‪#‎incense‬ from ‪#‎California‬ graced me as well! AHHHH. La Dawna! You’re amazing. See you soon 😘

Side Note : I opened the door from the bedroom for the first time in four days – ‪#‎Dudes‬ are gross. My ‪#‎radioactive‬ room smells and looks better than the rest of the house. 😑

I finished Parks and Rec. I’m sad. And didn’t totally fall in love with Season Seven. But I still miss them already – My ‪#‎Pawnnee‬ friends!
The remainder of my day will be spent reading outside. Tomorrow, nothing special. Working more than likely. I’m anxious and wishing I was with our families back in the ‪#‎Midwest‬, but soon enough!
Love you all – You make me smile!
xxoo – Laaaaa

‪#‎thyca‬ ‪#‎thyroidcancerawareness‬ ‪#‎thyroidcancer‬ ‪#‎RAI‬ ‪#‎whatthyroid‬

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Health, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

DAY THREE

I drank my first cup of ‪#‎coffee‬ in three days. I made it mildly weak. It was delicious. However, I drink coffee slower than the average bear. I also turn my coffee pot off, once brewed, in fear of burning ‪#‎fresh‬ coffee. Is that possible? Anyway, I had no way to heat up my coffee after I forgot about it today. I get that from my ‪#‎Grandma‬ J. Either I don’t know where I left my cup (usually in the microwave) or I reheat it throughout the day, roughly three times. I love her.

 

I’m finding it rather hard to pry myself away from Parks and Rec. SEASON SEVEN. Ep.3! I thought I would read more literature, but I haven’t touched a single piece of paper in fear of ‪#‎contaminating‬ it. I hate wearing plastic gloves. It’s gross. Andi, you’re a blood drawing queen! 💉👑

 

Over the past 72 hours, my newest, creeping succulent, that I took captive to spend four days with me, has sprouted new growth! “String of Pearls” – Check them out (no dirty jokes, please). I noticed this while I was up, designing away. Felt good to get a nice project push before the weekend and kill a little captivity time.

 

Word is – Remember that ridiculous reality show “My First Home” which was a complete made up story about us and our home buying experience? Yeah, it airs Saturday, April 9th at 12:00pm on TLC. We have made up a drinking game that goes with and 👉🏻 you MUST participate if you watch the episode, no matter where you are in this world. Stay tuned for more Information.

 

Tomorrow I sleep in, and clean like a mad woman. I’m getting out tomorrow. You know, out the joint? Yeah. That super bright and airy space that I have gotten to vedge out in, alone, for four days, poolside, in my safe little plastic wrapped, tv, and starburst filled sanctuary. I think I might do this quartly. A quartly quarantine to rejuvenate. It’s all about perspective. 😘💪🏻

 

xoxo,

 

– The girl in pink pineapple socks

🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍

 

‪#‎RAI‬ ‪#‎whatthyroid‬ ‪#‎thyroidcancer‬ ‪#‎thyroidcancerawareness‬ ‪#‎radioactive‬‪#‎thyca‬

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Health, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

DAY TWO

I almost slept 12 hours! But I also woke up feeling a possible cold coming on. Please no.

 

My brother made it through his surgery and home safe. Chatted with him earlier // Side Note : ‪#‎Wisconsin‬ was on the desert news tonight due to snow. Stay warm, ‪#‎Cheeseheads‬!

 

I’ve almost finished every season of Parks and Rec. I’m addicted. I never watch t.v. and feel like when I finally finished, it’s going to seem like I lost some new friends… Anyone else have that with shows?

 

I pegged a little work in too and @____mshl came over to wave at me through the window. Frank literally tried to shove his face under the door.

 

Tomorrow I’m going to throw myself at an early alarm, a cup of coffee and pile of design. ‪#‎DayGoals‬

 

Saturday can’t come soon enough! Thank You All for your lovely good vibes – Cannot even explain how much I appreciate every ounce. 🙈

 

‪#‎thyca‬ ‪#‎whatthyroid‬ ‪#‎thyroidcancer‬ ‪#‎thyroidcancerawareness‬ ‪#‎radioactive‬‪#‎RAI‬

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Health, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

DAY ONE

I had zero brain energy to write about my insane preparation for this isolation process that I did yesterday, so outside of a shower, I’ve been watching Parks and Rec All. Damn. Day.

 

I reported to Leman at 7AM – Gave a shout out to Keith on the phone and told him I’d see him next week for my I-131 scan. Had both those techs rolling. Received the loveliest of compliments – A wish for more patients like me, in attitude, preparation, and knowledge about my situation. ‪#‎zing‬!

 

‪#‎Lemonheads‬ and ‪#‎h2o‬ have been my best friends, along with coloring on and off. ‪#‎FrankMurray‬ has either been pounding on my door to get in or sitting outside the patio window staring/meowing at me throughout the day.

 

AHHHH. I just want to sleep for 12 hours.

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