This is an index post with links to my writings about my experiences with cancer, all sorts of health issues, and topics relating to medicine in general.2006
January 22Progress report
: 3 months post-op
January 17My kids' pediatrician is becoming a homeopathist!
Yikes. Submitted to Grand Rounds
January 8Call your doctor
if you need advice! Submitted to Grand Rounds
Bloodwork was drawn for my endo in Houston before Christmas; the results were waiting for me after our trip to CA. Your labs are perfect
, my endo declares.
Alicia's discussion of body image sparks one of my own
; submitted to Grand Rounds
A discussion of my neck dissection scar
, and how I'm actively managing it.
December 14The Stroboscopy Experience
; submitted to Grand Rounds
I love my physical therapists
. Submitted to Grand Rounds.
The return of the ornery salivary glands
December 2Post-op progress report
Starting to feel better
November 11Cancer update
The Neck dissection experience, 3 weeks post-op.
I'm making good progress, but I don't have any post-op reports
October 28Working through
all the post-op stuff, again
My surgical drain makes me feel like a member of The Borg Collective
My slightly drug-hazed post-op report
During my ultrasound, the radiologist tells me I need surgery.
At the end of my first day in Houston, a run-down of all the procedures
I had done.
October 12A visit with my ENT
, Dr. O. He puts me on Prilosec.
A discussion of the problems with laboratory results
, submitted to Grand Rounds
Getting my pre-registration paperwork from MDA sends me into a tailspin
New research shows I'm at an even higher risk for breast cancer
than I had previously thought.
I've got a weird red patch
on my tongue.
September 21The schedule is set
for my trip to MDA.
A discussion of combined T4/T3 therapy
for hypothyroid patients. Submitted to Grand Rounds
The FNA comes back negative, and my endo's nonchalant attitude
really gets on my nerves. I still have to go to Houston.
I take up swimming and yoga. The first day nearly killed me
, but here are some thoughts on the second day.
In the meantime, my dermatology appointment
went very well, and the wonderful "Y" at my endo's office gets the ball rolling
on my referral.
a bit in the anxiety caused by the MDA referral.
I am referred
to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for treatment, and sort of freak out.
photo of my asymmetrically dilated eyes following my dilated eye exam.
Thyca (thyroid cancer) update
Physical ailments continue to drag me down.
A discussion on the idea of the anonymous patient
, which was submitted to Grand Rounds
August 15Eating lots and losing weight
are a scary combination.
After a long and delightful summer, I brace myself to head back into the wonderful world of healthcare
, with addendums
July 11Being old sucks.
Still feeling crummy
Following my second round of RAI, I had another whole body scan.Alicia's Story
is the very moving chronicle of a young cancer victim.
Some post-RAI symptoms
mimic those of early pregnancy.
June 5Brief notes on the RAI experience
The scan was negative! But my Thyroglobulin was elevated, so the doctor recommends another round of RAI.
The first day of my Thyrogen protocol, and a very long one at that: 100 miles, 6 stops, 3 sticks, one sore arm.
After giving me a few months' respite, my salivary glands
start acting up again.
May 26When all you have is a hammer...
Discussions of the off-label usage of Thyrogen, including RAI treatment while under Thyrogen stim. Included in Grand Rounds
May 22HIPAA v the jury selection committee
: guess who wins? Here's a hint: it's not the patient. Submitted to Grand Rounds
Having been on the Low Iodine Diet for a while, I realize that doctors aren't schedulers
. This post was also submitted to Grand Rounds
Saw my endocrinologist and found out about my upcoming Thyrogen scan
-- how everything's doing. Good Lord, I really am falling apart.
My last three punch biopsies
of the 10 required by my dermatologist.
Test results showing a decline in Tg (thyroglobulin) leave me cautiously optimistic.
March 28A comedy of errors
: "The story of my thyroid cancer is one screwup after another."
I know accepting the idea that I have cancer would help me, but I still don't wanna go there.
Lab reports and my first visit
with Dr. O, my ENT - and my first indications that there will be a neck dissection in my future.
My MRI is "otherwise unremarkable."
But I am having some problems obtaining medical records.
Frustrations with medical researchers confirming what we already know.
March 7The MRI experience.
For the record: I hate MRIs and would be happy to never, ever have another one.
: RAI damage, skin biopsies, and pending visits to the ENT and for an MRI of my lower spine.
Finding online and local Thyca support.
February 22Foot biopsies
hurt, and my endo is clueless about the RAI damage to my salivary glands.
I'm falling apart and completely annoyed
by it. Oh, and having so many doctor appointments, too.
I figured out that the jaw pain, and salty saliva, are late effects
from my RAI treatment in November.
My jaw hurts
and I think it's TMJ. Also: I might have chronic appendicitis. (Eventually, that pain stopped bothering me.)
I'm worn out
February 8Cancer management update
Making plans amidst hope and fear
Tweaking of thyroid meds and skin biopsies continue, and I'm feeling particularly crummy.
January 18One thing I don't know.
Researching and writing on distant metastases
of thyroid cancer.
January 6 On DepressionThe Gawande Kerfuffle
, my first entry to Grand Rounds
: a list of all my accomplishments and miseries.
In addition to dealing with the thyroid stuff, I still had to cope with all those punch biopsies
at the dermatologist.
I had my first whole body scan
. Unfortunately I had to have another one, because there was too much " starring" effect from all the uptake in my neck.
It takes a while for the effects of the RAI to really hit. By the beginning of December, I was feeling really dreadful.
RAI can give you the mumps.
Also, I wrote the thyroid primer
while in isolation.
The first day
of my first RAI treatment.
More post-op pictures, and LID-related whining
, but finally getting the schedule set for my RAI.
I'm on a Low Iodine Diet
in preparation for my first RAI treatment.
My first post-op photos.
October 22 & 23
after the surgery; and here's the report
. It's very hard to get used to the idea that you have cancer.
Typical long-winded ruminations on my upcoming surgery
As my surgery date approaches, "I have a bad feeling about this"
September 28 "It's going to have to come out."
More -- a lot more
-- punch biopsies at the dermatologist.
I was still waiting for my diagnosis, but I didn't tell my girlfriends about it
Here's an example of the kind of manic thinking
that happens while you're waiting for a cancer diagnosis.
I had the fine needle aspiration
biopsy of my thyroid that ultimately led to my thyroidectomy.
September 4Running the cancer tests gauntlet.
Back home after vacation, and really not feeling well at all
. On August 9, though, in spite of continuing to feel crummy, I quit taking the Ambien. Hmmmm.
June 28Health update
from my mother's house on Cape Cod, where we spend the summer. At this point I had been on the minocycline for a while, and my endo had increased my Levoxyl because of the changes in my TSH that the g/e doc's test had uncovered.
Got my lab results
back from the g/e doc. They said everything was "normal." Ha!
Started physical therapy for my piriformis
I got my prescription for my minocycline anti-biotic
for my RA. Also, my gastroenterologist orders the bloodtests which will eventually lead to my cancer diagnosis.
Got that cyst
removed from my leg.
. Whee! Only, not. By this point I'd already been tested for celiac and the test had come back negative. And I had a skin biopsy on my shoulder just a few days before.
April 12 Another day, another invasive medical procedure.
Ongoing in here: taking Vioxx for RA, Ambien for fibromyalgia-related sleep difficulties, feeling crummy; seeing the dermatologist and learning I have to have 3 moles removed, along with the infected cyst in my leg.
An incidental infection in my leg progressed to the point of needing to be drained
. Ew. And, ouch.
A long (heh) rumination on guarding
, the behaviors we undertake to minimize pain, and the collateral damage that guarding can cause.
I had my gallbladder removed
. There were various tests and complaints leading up to the surgery, but I was in the habit then of writing dreadfully long omnibus posts (my posts are still too long but at least I try to stick to one topic now.) The surgery went very well.
I begin to think that maybe there really is something wrong with me.2003
December 31I am not sick
-- turns out I was wrong. This is a quick run-through of all the health nightmares I went through before I started to blog.