Wednesday, 30 December 2015

So, your sick and now you got more sick? Updates and epiphanies

So, I'm sick. Like a 'normal' sick. Like a standard tonsillitis, SICK.
Now it makes me feel rather good, that I am just 'normal' sick again, just having a bacterial infection in my tonsils, you know normal sick. It sounds silly but its just nice to not have to worry about my thyroid, or hormones, or bloods or cancer related things... Now it didn't start this way. A panicked phone call on the 27th of December to the phone nurse at the Royal Marsden made me panic, she informed me I needed bloods to ensure that the white spots and swelling in my throat was tonsillitis and not some sort of horrible infection related to my radiation treatment or something more sinister somehow related to my cancer treatment. She instructed me to wait until the paracetamol and ibuprofen was out of my system before going to A and E to get a red blood cell check and then a diagnosis for my symptoms. After a LONG night at Charing Cross Hospital, I was informed it was a simple tonsillitis, to be treated with penicillin and lots of bed rest. WooHoo. But i'm just like hey, I'm already sick, why am i the one who's gotta get MORE sick.
This is my first time being 'sick' since my diagnosis. It feels strange. I know I am more susceptible than my neighbour when it comes to winter colds, bugs and flus, but I somehow thought I had got lucky and avoided getting 'sick'. However the holiday period, working 30-40 hours in a retail job and being around the public etc etc has lead to me succumbing to a winter bug. Unfortunately on top of this I have also developed ulcers all over my mouth again linked to being "run down". I can confirm its bloody awful. The period between xmas and new year is usually an odd blur however this year I've spent it chugging pills and force feeding myself soup in the hopes to return to normal health. Yes I understand it will take me a little longer than it would have 18 months ago, and I understand being a "cancer patient" my body is already under a lot of stress. My positivity is wavering however, I must push on, always!

And now, updates and epiphanies.
Sadly, my bloods are still not cooperating and my body is still like, oh hell no we aint gonna absorb no calcium no matter how many tablets you take, you just gotta suffer, yo. But seriously, my body has been in a whirlwind since my two surgeries and treatment earlier in the year. During thyroid surgery there is a risk that your parathyroid could be damaged and that will impact your bodies ability to absorb calcium. Calcium is important for your bones, skin, hair, nails, muscles and heart. So basically its pretty important. However no matter the dosage my blood calcium is not improving, and so I will need to see a specialist and change my drugs! GRR.
Two pieces of great news... My 3 month post radioactive iodine treatment check up was a success and they are happy with my progress. They use a blood test to detect the amount of thyroglobulin in my blood, a healthy normal person should have a stable level of thyroglobulin. Because mine is cancerous, we want mine to be medically undetectable in my blood. So far so good. I now have a 6 month wait for receive more tests and scans before I can class myself as 'cancer free'. Second piece of good news is that my genetics results came back and my thyroid cancer is NOT due to my genetics. This is GREAT news as it means my brothers, parents and cousins are not impacted by my cancer. Which is GREAT news, and I can stop wronging. Converse to this however it means my thyroid cancer was 'just bad luck'. Essentially. My geneticist at the Royal Marsden said more research is being done into thyroid cancer to see links and find the factors that contribute to it. For now I am left wondering, what it is I did (or didn't do) that lead to my diagnosis.

In terms of epiphanies, I just need to focus, calm down and slow down. As cringe and cliche as it sounds, over the holidays I have tried to appreciate every little thing. Earlier in the year I was worried that because I hadn't been working, I wouldn't be able to buy my family the christmas gifts they deserved. And I know it isn't all about presents, but when my family have done so much for me, they deserved the world. I was so thankful to be able to get back into work in November, I have loved every second of it. Even the most trivial task means a lot to me because months previous I was horizontal in bed unable to take care of myself post surgery. I want to remain thankful for ever chance I am given, I hope to carry my head high in the knowledge of knowing I am ready and capable for anything, big or small.
Further to this, I attended a group session at Maggies North London for young women with cancer. At this meeting I could talk freely and exchange stories with other young women. From this it helped me feel like I am not alone. The thoughts and frustrations I feel are similar to many other young people in my situation. Talking is key. Talking makes me feel normal.

For now, on wards and up wards!

No comments:

Post a Comment