Friday, December 30, 2005


It makes me nervous when my medical providers use that word, perfect, to describe some aspect of my condition.

I recall that the surgeon who performed my thyroidectomy used it sometime after my surgery (the details are murky.) The scar did heal beautifully, but my post-op condition was far from perfect, seeing as how I was still quite riddled with cancer at that point -- we just didn't know how much was still in there.

Last week I had blood drawn to check my TSH and thyroid hormone levels, along with thyroglobulin (Tg) and Tg antibodies. On our return yesterday, I found a letter from my endo in Houston with the test results: Your labs are perfect!

Hmmmm. I haven't been feeling very well, but maybe that's the mono.

I looked at my numbers: TSH is 0.06 -- very good, and not all that different from where it was before (0.02) -- again, no margin of error is reported, so I can't assess the accuracy of these numbers, but hey, it's below 0.10 like it's supposed to be, so OK. T4 and T3 are also right where they're supposed to be for thyroid cancer patients. (So why am I feeling like crap? Oh, right -- it could be mono.)

The most important number, though: Tg was reported as <0.09. If I am interpreting that correctly, that means that Tg was undetectable. Tg is only produced by thyroid or thyroid cancer cells, and so I shouldn't have any. Before my thyroidectomy, it was up in the thousands; before my trip to Houston, it was less than 2, but still detectable. Now, for the first time ever, it was undetectable. That means I either have NO CANCER or whatever cancer islets remain are so tiny that the amount of Tg they are secreting is too small to be detected.

I'm going with the first explanation. I wonder, how long does this have to last before I can officially say I'm in remission?

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