Health, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

On Pins and Needles, with an Extra Side of Needles …

Why do I feel like every time I post, I need to start it off with “WOW – It’s been a while.” Sorry about that. Life gets busy and wild and I’m the worst at carving out time for myself these days. Unless it involves travel. Traveling has been a huge outlet for me, helping to reduce stress and explore, because let’s face it, life’s short! Anyways, hello there, welcome back! To you, to me. Let’s talk life without a thyroid once again.

——–

If there’s one thing I’ve come accustom to, it’s you take what you can get. Whether it’s an ultrasound on a Saturday or surgery on Christmas Eve. Avoid excuses, face reality, and move along as quickly and calmly as possible. You’ll never be ready for bad news so here’s vibing for the best – always. *
——–Starting last Saturday, this week marks the start of my yearly examinations since diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2014. Considering my initial diagnosis, I have yet to be in remission. Every three months I have labs pulled. Every six months I check in with the docs for them to tell me pretty much nothing except we’ll keep monitering you. Thanks. And every year I have a plethora of testing, more blood work, and scans done.

Now, while I’m about pro level at this microscopic game of thyroid cancer, I still get quite uneasy when I have looming appointments like these approaching. Especially the yearly follow up. These are big time, folks. And I have yet to receive good news, just once. Let me tell you, I f*cking NEED THIS. A break. To regroup and refocus.

April 22 ( Earth Day! ), the last thing I would ever ask for is to unfold out of slumber and head to Desert Radiology for a neck ultrasound. Playing with plants and spending the day outside, enjoying our blue planet sounded more like my cup of tea. But alas, like I mentioned in the *above, sometimes you just have to dive in and be done with it.
Away I went.

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Random Side Thought: When fellow patrons in the waiting room hear you called down the ultrasound hallway, I wonder the percentage of people listening assume I must be pregnant. AND, if and when that day ever comes, will I be traumatized by ultrasounds? I mean, seriously. I’ve had about a dozen of them and none came out the way we wanted. 

Back the the update.

—–

At this point I know exactly what cancer looks like under ultrasonic frequency. Your lymph nodes appear circular and solid black, traced with a small outline. When cancer shows it’s ugly presence, the best way to describe – Tiny little static within that solid black circle. When mapping for my second surgery, one of the ultra sound techs and the administering doctor, stabbing needles into my neck, showed me the art of death. Now I’m terrified of it. So rather than stare at the screen this time, I opted to shut my eyes and keep breathing. I didn’t as questions like I normally do. I’ve pretty much asked them all. Knowing I had all this other crazy coming up the following week, I decided I’d rather know nothing and hope for the best.

—–

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing.” ― T.S. Eliot

 

—–

OK. I lied. I did peek just once. She was snapping so many images! But I only saw the screen for maybe twenty seconds and to my relief, everything looked normal.

Sunday was all mine. Julian went galavanting with some high school friends, in from Houston and Minnesota. I decided to stay home alone with Frank and just vedge. The only downside was the damn wind we’ve been getting knocked around with here in Las Vegas lately. Any day now it can stop. My allergies are killing me on top of everything else.

Monday kicked off this week with Thyrogen Shot 1 –  It stung like a motherf*cker! Tuesday, exactly 24 hours later, ( in my best DJ Khaled voice ) ANOTHA ONE. I’m still wrapping my head around why exactly I paid 2K to get probed with needles. Oh wait, that’s right. Because the alternative is to go off your thyroid meds for three weeks and feel like a pile of brain dead mush that sleeps all the time. That doesn’t fly in the creative entrepreneur club.

Directly after my first injection Monday, I headed downstairs to get my blood drawn for a pregnancy test. No, I am not pregnant, nor are we interested at this point. It was strictly precautionary due to the fact that later today, I’ll be swallowing more radio active iodine in preparation for my i-131 full body scan Friday.

BUT GET THIS. Summerlin Hospital LabCorp lost my blood! And so this morning, when I was suppose to pop that radioactive pill, I got a phone call from Desert Radiology’s Nuclear department. My heart dropped thinking they were about to tell me we had a Lil’ Murr on the way, but low and behold, they called to inform me they could not find my results. Le sigh. Is this really happening? So at 7:30AM today, I raced to another LabCorp to give additional blood for a STAT pregnancy test. Go figure, the first lady poked me TWICE and didn’t get a vein. F*ck. I hate needles already and she was just digging into my arm! After her double fail, a second mam came in to draw. She apologized, she was going to have to go in the same vein that was already bruised from Monday’s lost labs.  She got it like a pro, but I was about five seconds from passing out. She yelled for ice and laid me down on the table directly ahead of where I was sitting. What an early morning trip! I promise you I will NOT be paying for this second bill if and when it comes. The worst part of it all? I have to get more labs tomorrow to check my thyroid levels. AHHHHH. I’m going to keep telling myself, the Universe is throwing this all at me to test my ability to stay positive and calm, with results tossing me into my first NED ( no evidence of disease ) category in three years. Pretty, PRETTY, please.

And now I’m writing this while I sit patiently, trying to concentrate on work, and await Keith to call me over to swallow some foreign pill. See, the thing is with these tests, they have to be done in a specific order. Mostly due to the Thyrogen injections. It’s a stressful and daunting runaround. All results should be available by May 3. My appointment with my endo is May 8. I can pick everything up before then, but do I want to? I don’t like my endo enough to wait for her to tell me the verdict. What would you do?

Alright. Time to sign off. Thanks for reading! More from me Friday. We’re halfway there!

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

Poppin’ Bottles!

I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

 

After the insane year I have had, I am cheers-ing to the Universe.
Glass of champagne in hand …

 

The call came in today. My scan report read : No Evidence of Disease.

 

*Mic Drop*

 

 

 

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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 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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biopsy, Health, November, Operation, Surgery, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids

F*ck You, Calcium

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Today. 11:30AM. Desert Radiology bound for what I thought was just an ultrasound. Just kidding. Tack on another biopsy. Dr. Mecca was out on vacation but for some reason my surgeon didn’t know that…
I didn’t catch today’s doctors name. He was young. He looked like a dear caught in some headlights when he came in; totally not expecting to be performing this lower sternum biopsy. He even admitted that. Stab. Stab. Stab. The numbing hurt like a mofo. After that it was eight different needles worth of uncomfortable pulsing. One literally felt like it hit the back of my throat. That did me in for a jolt. Two hours later – I’m late for my bloodwork appointment all the way across town. My nurse and I quickly faked a “STAT” signature on all my bloodwork forms, she put in a call to Quest, and away I went. I was 15 minutes late. Not bad. I waited another half hour. 10 tubes of blood and almost 18 hours fasting, I was on my way home. No energy to snag that chest x-ray I still need to complete all my pre-op confirmations.

I get home. Ate. Let the cat outside and then settled back in to finish my work up for the day. (Note, I am STILL working and it’s 7PM my local time.) I receive a phone call at 5PM from my regular physician who was concerned about my dangerously low calcium levels. Weird. I feel fine. And how did she get those results so fast?

She then proceeded to ask for my surgeon’s contact information and endocrinologist’s info so she could relay these findings to them on Monday. Until then, she insisted I pick up a prescription she called into the pharmacy for some sort of Calcium pills and urged if I ever felt numb, tingly, or had any muscle spasms to immediately go to the ER. Wow. Totally not what I was expecting. This was already a long enough day as it was. This better not jack up my surgery date.

On the brink of all this crazy, one really fun thing did find itself at my doorstep this evening. An adorable Fall-o-ween care package from Jim and Peggy Murray! Filled to the brim with the most fun things; from candies and cat toys, to hair product samples and so many more bright and colorful things – You two Wisconsinites sure know how to make a gal feel like a kid again! Oh! And speaking of kids. A childhood friend, whom I’ve known since the dawn of kindergarten will be crashing at Casa De La Murr tonight. So excited to have her and her beau stay for the evening!

Stay cozy everyone.

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