The Short Version:
The results of my scan are back, and we saw exactly what we were hoping to see. There was faint uptake in the region of the thyroid gland. There was also normal uptake in my salivary glands, liver, GI tract and bladder.
This scan told us a lot—that my body will still react to radioactive Iodine treatments and that the cancer hasn’t spread anywhere else. However, we still won’t know how effective this treatment was for six more months (until I have all the scans and lab draws again in May).
The Long Version:
The holiday season is officially here, and for the first time, we have finished our Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Usually The Hater protests Christmas celebrations before Thanksgiving, wanting to give each holiday its due time. But this year we decided to go ahead and celebrate Thanksgiving with the Christmas tree and nativity in the background. I’ve even been allowed to play Christmas music (my personal holiday weakness!).
With our schedules as crazy as they are we knew that if we didn’t put up the tree this past weekend, we’d probably get too busy to do it at all. What’s more, we know that the tree and holiday trimmings will probably be up until late January before our schedules will allow us to take them all down again.
But, really, what’s the harm in overlapping our holidays? The “fourth Thursday in November” is as arbitrary as the date “December 25th”. What makes days special isn’t their location on a calendar or which casseroles are served on the table, or even where you are in relationship to home. Holidays are special when you approach them with an open heart and truly take the moment to acknowledge their meaning.
Thanksgiving is nearly here, and like many other people, we have much for which to be thankful. Among the laundry list, somewhere between “our wonderfully supportive friends and family” and “power steering fluid”, we have an addendum that we would like to add to “good health”, because we’ve just heard back from the endocrinologist’s office.
We are thankful that the post scan showed only expected, normal uptake. We are thankful that the radioactive Iodine treatments continue to work (and kill stupid cancer cells) 6 months to a year after you take them. We’re also thankful for peace that passes understanding, and that so many prayers have been sent up for us that we’ve not even needed to worry this go-round because we know that no matter what happens in May (or June or tomorrow or in forty years), things are going to be okay.
We’re grateful for each of you. For your good vibes, your well-wishes, for your special youness (the reason we love you), but mostly because you’ve been here for us during the hard times.
I wish we could say that we’re done with the c-bomb show, but the truth is that we won’t know the effectiveness of this treatment until all the results from the labs and scans are back – next May. Although we’re through the immediate stage of feeling icky and needing extra prayers, please continue to keep us in your hearts in the months ahead; that this treatment continues to zap stubborn cells until May, when my scans COME BACK NEGATIVE and my tumor marker is LESS THAN ZERO. Friends, when these two things happen in May, we are going to host the biggest party that OKC has ever seen, and you’ll all be invited. It will be another day of Thanksgiving, and we may even put up the tree and celebrate Christmas again, too.
But for now you can take those good vibes and prayers out of overdrive and shift them back down to first gear. We’ll cue you in when it’s time to shift up again, and also send out another update in May when we hear the good news.
In the meantime, take the time to truly enjoy the upcoming holidays. Sing your favorite carol as loud as you can in the shower. Surprise someone, or yourself. Eat dessert first. Keep your tree up until June. Remember the reason for the season, and enjoy it with blind abandon.
Again we thank you for your endearing friendship and kindness.