Home Chapter 4 ------------------ Life After Cancer Entry # 31 Year One Appointment After Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Entry # 31 Year One Appointment After Thyroid Cancer Treatment
My Story - Life After Cancer
Monday, 19 July 2010 00:00

Year one is a big appointment with lots of testing.  So get ready for at least one month of work :)  I went to the Endocrinologist and this year's appointment consists of multiple visits, multiple blood testing, and a body scan.  This is where the rubber meets the road.   The doctors need to see how just how effective the surgery and radioactive Iodine-131 ablation was on destroying the thyroid cells and thyroid cancer cells.


This yearly testing included:


1.  Regular lab work including TSH, FT4, Thyroglobulin

2.  Low Iodine Diet

3.  Simulated Thyroglobulin

4.  Radioactive Iodine Body Scan

5.  Neck Ultrasound


I am currently taking 137 mcg of Synthroid daily with no problems.  I'm feeling good.  I actually I feel similar to how I did before the cancer treatment.  Of course I'm a little older and I have a beautiful baby girl now but overall I feel about the same.  The first thing we did was routine blood work and a standard neck ultrasound. 


Here were the results:


TSH    0.3 uIU/ml       (normal 0.2-3.3)   
FT 4 1.35 ng/dL       (normal 0.7-1.3)
Thyroglobulin (Tg)        non-detectable
Neck Ultrasound   negative


Next, I had to do the Low Iodine Diet for 3 weeks and stop taking my Synthroid medication.  The doctors wanted the TSH level high prior to the following testing.   I returned to the lab 2 times before my TSH was at the level the doctors wanted.   Next I was tested for "Stimulated Thyroglobulin." This was a simple blood test. 


Here were the results:


Stimulated Thyroglobulin (Tg)                     non-detectable



Finally, I had to take a very small dose of Iodine 131. This was in a pill form.  I just swallowed the pill with a cup of water.   I then returned 3 days later for the full body scan.  The results of the first body scan was inconclusive because there was still too much iodine 131 in my intestines.  My neck was clear but my intestines were glowing.  So here comes a crappy laxative for 3 days (no pun intended.)  That sucked!  Apparently, I have mild irritable bowl and because of the intestinal inflammation the radioactive iodine stays around longer.  So note to self,  tell the doctor about IBS before the full body scan.   So I was off to Walmart to get Dulcolax.




I had to repeat the full body scan 3 days later and this scan was much better.  The radioactive iodine had clear out of the intestines.  Thank you Dulcolax!   It entire scan was all clear with no evidence or uptake of iodine in the thyroid bed or lymph nodes.  Great news!


This was a very busy month of testing and I am very glad to be done with that.  I had a total of 4 appointments and 4 lab draws.  I don't have to do anymore testing for one year. 




The Endocrinologist said next year's testing will be much easier.  I'm going to hold her to that.  Until next year!



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