This is a guest post done by my sister Ash. She is starting her own “blogging journey” and will be sharing here as well as on her own personal Facebook page. I lived this as a sister- and it was terrifying. I am eager to read this journey from her point of view.
To link directly to Ash’s blog click HERE
Blog- Scarred for Life
Entry 4- Treatment~Round Two
After the first round of Radioactive iodine I didn’t really feel the effects until later on…I started losing hair..I couldn’t lose the baby weight….I was tired…I felt aggravated all the time….I was jittery and high strung and even though I was tired I couldn’t sleep…And most of all I was mad as hell that I felt this way….I was the type of mother that would have dropped anything for a walk to the park…I had patience for silly things and loved being a mom…All sudden I wasn’t that person anymore..it took all I had just to get out of bed in the morning..
To look at me you would have never know anything was wrong…it was all internal…I remember John being upset that I had no sex drive…I remember Sarah being confused on why I didn’t want to push her on the swings for the 500th time…and when Morgan would cry in the middle of the night I remember thinking just go to fucking sleep!!
Life doesn’t stop when you have cancer….some days you just have to suck it the fuck up because there are people counting on you…I had two little people that depended on me…I remember one day calling John and just snapping….I couldn’t take the stress anymore….I hated everything and everyone…That day I made myself a doctors appointment because I knew I needed help…My regular Doctor could not see me so I saw his nurse…I walked in with Morgan and sat down and could barely speak…the emotions took over and I broke down..She asked me if there was someone she could call…Yes, call my sister…and she did…what I didn’t realize is this nurse new nothing about what I’d just been through..she saw me and a brand new baby and make a quick judgement…she thought I was a young overwhelmed mother that possibly had postpartum depression…she was calling my sister to come get Morgan…did she really think I’d hurt my own baby???
I was pissed and after explaining why I was there…she said to go back to the hospital in burlington, she would call ahead and have someone waiting for me…thank god!! I took the girls to my parents for the night and went to the hospital E.R….when I walked in and told them my name..they had in fact been waiting for me…They gave me a room, took my vitals and took some blood…and then they walked in…A crisis management team…Are you serious?? Oh they were very serious, and they looked at me like I was nuts…They asked me a million questions and watched my reactions…have you taken any drugs..Does radio active iodine count?? Have you gone through any trauma…Just found out I had cancer!!.. All that didn’t seem to matter to them…why weren’t they listening to me….Would you ever hurt your children…I remember saying noway and crying feeling defeated….why are you crying?? why are you so emotional?? Well wouldn’t you be???
They told me they had to leave and go and discuss with their team of crazy’s weather or not I could go home….I wished I’d never come…I was just looking for help….about an hour later the E.R. doctor came in and said “I’m so sorry” …why was I being committed??.. No they had finally gotten my lab results and my thyroid level was through the roof….what had happened was…when I had the radioactive iodine and the thyroid was destroyed it released all of the thyroid hormone into my body…I wasn’t crazy…I had 3 times the normal amount of thyroid hormone in my body…I left with some ativan instead of a straight jacket…
So after that nightmare things settled down and leveled out and I began taking medication…I couldn’t do the second radioactive iodine treatment right away, there had to be several months in between…I felt pretty good, normal….the kids were awesome..Morgan by this time was sitting up and Sarah was smart as a whip…we were hanging out with friends and it felt good…until it was time for the next treatment…in order for my thyroid to suck up the iodine I had to go off my meds…the meds that kept my energy level up…the meds that kept my hair growing..the meds that kept me feeling sane…I had to go off of them for 4 weeks…I can do this..I had to…It was a fight everyday…I’d never been tired…I’d never been depressed..I was the person that would have dropped everything and jumped in her car and driven 100 miles to nowhere just for the adventure…and now I could barely make it out of my driveway…
I made it through the 4 weeks of no meds and once again had the radioactive iodine…this time it was a lesser dose and I only had to be away from the girls for 5 days….John was working at an airport in Maine so instead of being alone in the house I decided to go with him..I was happy to get away…but this time it hit me a hell of a lot harder than last time…not only did I have no meds in my system.. this was killing off the last bit of working thyroid I had…I remember not wanting to be by myself and John not wanting to leave me in the hotel…so he wrapped me up in a blanket and I sat in his truck on the runway while he worked…I slept most of the time and I did some reading…I was pale and weak and my neck hurt this time…this was the first time I felt like a sick person..
I couldn’t wait to get home to the girls and get back on my meds…at least now with my thyroid totally gone there would be no worry….it took a long time to regulate my meds but I was feeling better…my hair didn’t come back the same.. it was thin, dry and turning grey at the age of 24…I didn’t drop all my baby weight and I was used to being very thin…this was hard for me to get used to…but I felt better….I got a bit of a break and enjoyed the summer…we actually moved to Maine where John was working and getting away was awesome!! I did commute the 3 hours back and fourth for appointments because I didn’t want to change doctors…but we would make it a sleepover at meme and papas and all was pretty good…
It was coming up on a year since the surgery..I couldn’t believe Morgan was turning a year old…she was a great baby..laid back and super sweet…And Sarah was the mayor of our house..she called the shots..I was enjoying every minute of being with them…
At my doctors appointment she said it was time to get a routine scan…but my meds would need tweaking so I could be injected with a small amount of iodine… whatever cells, if any where left they would absorb the iodine….bring it on!!
It was winter and the only things I can remember about being off my meds were constantly being freezing cold and gaining weight…I showed up for the scan and it was just like before…been there done that…I got this!!
Then I got a call….Ding Ding..round 3 of radio active iodine had been ordered