Ugg. I had to have another radioactive iodine treatment for Thyroid Cancer this past end of July. A couple of things really SUCKED about it.
1. My Thyroid Cancer was back. Cancer SUCKS. Supposedly, Thyroid Cancer is the “good” cancer to get. Sure you don’t have to have Chemo or Radiation, but it is still Cancer. And having Cancer is SCAREY.
2. To do the RAI, I had to go on a low-iodine diet. That’s the crappiest diet ever!!!! Obviously no iodized salt, but you don’t know if restaurant or prepackaged food uses iodized or non-iodized, so you have to assume it is iodized. Also, no Soy products, no fish products, and NO DAIRY. Ugh. I wasn’t very compliant because I didn’t have to do this diet the last time I did RAI with a different doctor, so I felt like it would still be fine. So I just avoided Dairy, soy and fish, but still had some packaged foods and ate out, minus those items. I ate a lot of homemade bread and avocados and fruit.
3. RAI isolation. Being that I have young children and a 17 month-old, this was important that I didn’t expose them to any radiation from my dose. The problem is that you don’t know if you are still radioactive or how much you are emanating. So I was in the hospital for 2 nights in isolation-boredom: the nurses wouldn’t even come in! All food was left at the door and I was called on the phone. Ugh. After I was discharged, I went to my parents and stayed in their extra bedroom. I had to have my own bathroom since most of the radiation would be eliminated through my waste. But the worst thing of all at my parents? NO INTERNET!!! I know, the horror!!
4. Thyroid hell afterwards. The last thing that has been difficult has been the way I felt. I had to go off my thyroid meds for 4 days and get injections of Thyrogen, to make my TSH go up as if I had been without Thyroid meds for 3 weeks. The idea of Thyrogen shots is to avoid the horrible feels of hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels). But 5 days after my treatment I was feeling BAAAAAD. Exhausted, in a special, no thyroid kind of way, cold, and achey. My doctor didn’t think I should be feeling that way since we did the Thyrogen, but at least she believed me and treated me with T3. It has been 3 weeks and I’m still feeling tired, but she’s still letting me be on the T3, for which I am grateful.