...and down a hill we go! It has been seven weeks since I met with the Endocrinologist about my post-thyroidectomy radioactive iodine treatment. I have had seven weeks to prepare for the two-week LID preparation and then the actual treatment itself on March 23. Not to take away from the melanoma, but I have been a bit distracted by this.
Yesterday was day one of the LID, I had oatmeal with blackberries for breakfast (no milk), made home-made olive oil balsamic dressing for my greens salad for lunch, and a bowl of salt-free beef stew (with onion, sweet potato, and butternut squash - I nailed it) for supper. Not bad at all, I found myself quite enthusiastic all day - even while my family had bacon and eggs breakfast for supper, I didn't mind one bit. One tiny piece of cheddar cheese almost sabotaged my LID day, but I stopped it!
I know two weeks is short in comparison to other preparation procedures and recoveries I have had to do along this journey. I am dreading this upcoming treatment, as I know the risks it carries with it, and I hate the disruption to my family. But I know the payoff is my only option at this point, so I just have to dig deep and do it.
"You'll have to dig deep for this fight Natalie" was advice I was given very early on, and boy was it correct. We do pepper that sentiment with the odd Starsky & Hutch re-make imitation: "Do It" ddoo-iiiT for comic relief.
The dread I feel for this next step is similar to the dread I felt for the other procedures I have had. It is a bizarre feeling, going through the motions of preparing for everything almost like a vacation, but it's not one I'm wanting to go on. Must have the house clean and pantry filled and fridge stocked, pack bag, make driving arrangements, assure the kids that the trip will be worth it, be away from the kids, all while in the back of my mind I feel like a cat being lowered into a tub of water for a bath - scrambling and talons out, all fours stretched out straight with the brakes on clawing at any option for rescue.
I have had two needle biopsies. Those are bad. Local freezing is given but you are otherwise awake, and when they biopsy a lymph node, please know that that poor little node is far below the surface of the skin where the freezing occurred. Terrible, bad, hateful.
And two surgeries, those are the worst. I have mentioned before how much I hate surgery. In the final dark moments where I know it is the last second, my fur is about to be soaked, I will be put to sleep and (hopefully) wake up, but quite seriously altered and in pain, at the mercy of uniformed strangers that may or may not properly administer my morphine: that all-consuming dread is likely what kept me from getting that mole checked earlier. I had a feeling it was going to be disruptive to my life, dammit.
Thankfully it is not that kind of dread I am experiencing now, it is moderate, comparatively speaking. My family is being kind and considerate about the food stuff, but honestly it hasn't bothered me yet (we're just starting day two though, I reserve the right to update you on this later on in the week LOL). I am tired, but strangely excited. I want this over with. I have been waiting long enough.
Hurry up and wait - it's the cancer routine. Seven weeks ago I was told this would happen; while I suppose I should be happy I have lived those seven weeks, I can't help but let you know that it is constantly on my mind. Peaceful nights' sleep? I don't even know what that is anymore.
Two weeks from right now I will be willing a powerful force to rid my body of thyroid cancer, it will be over with, and I will be able to move on, giving full attention to my pacmen again. But in the meantime I still get to anticipate and dread, that roller coaster slows down the odd time but it never fully stops.