Thursday, May 29, 2008

c-bomb update: the Q&A

The short version:
It's the best news we could have gotten.
The longer version:
(an imaginary conversation between us)

What did the doctor say?
"It's time to move on with your lives."

How did the scan turn out?
Totally negative. No suspicious uptake was noted.

How about the tumor marker?
Low enough that we don't need to pursue more treatment right now.

So does that mean it's gone?
That's the million dollar question. There are still some stubborn cells present, but we think that they're low enough to continue to be suppressed by the medicine that I take every day.

But if it's still there, then why aren't you treating it?
It's just like cost-benefit analysis... The tumor marker is such a low number right now that the risk of zapping it is bigger than the benefit we'd get from another dose of radioactive Iodine (RAI).

How will you know that it's not getting bigger?
If you remember, this whole time I've talked about thyroid cancer being unlike every other kind of cancer, a horse of a different color. The type of cancer I had grows very slowly. We'll do another scan and draw the tumor marker in one year, May 2009. In the meantime, I'll see an endocrinologist every three months for her to feel my neck and make sure my daily medicine (that suppresses thyroid function) is at the right level.

Then after May 2009 you'll be done with this dog and pony show?
No. This is considered a chronic disease that will be monitored for the rest of my life.

Will it come back?
That's the second million dollar question. This type of thyroid cancer can come back, sometimes as many as 10-20 years later. That's why it's so important to have routine visits and scans.

What if it comes back?
Easy. We do another RAI. If you remember, I had a great uptake after my scan/treatment last November. That's promising that the cancer cells still don't like RAI-- which means we can try it again if we need to do so.

So this is good news? What's the catch?
Realistically, it's the absolute best news we could have gotten.

Are you and The Hater excited?
Of course we are, but we're still in shock with dumbfounded relief, too. We were prepared for the worst and the results have taken us off guard. We're super excited that we don't have another surgery this summer, which means now we'll be able to afford some more plants for the yard!

When is the party?
That's another great question. There will definately be a party, but we've not talked about any of the details yet. Everybody who wants to come is invited, but other than that, we've got nothing else planned. Let me know if you want more info about the shindig, and I'll get a list started for when we start planning.

What else do I need to do?
Remember to ask your doctor to "check your neck" once a year. It's easy, painless and quick. If you can swallow, you can be checked. If you can't swallow, that's really tragic because it'd be hard for you to eat cornbread.

Anything else?
Yes. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for your continued love, support and prayers. It's been an arduous 27 month ordeal, and we count ourselves most fortunate to have been surrounded the whole time by your good vibrations and the mercy of our Lord. Words cannot express how thankful we are for you, so know that when we say "thanks", it's really about three trillion times bigger than that. Thanks again. And again. And again. You've been the best cheerleaders that we never knew we'd need. You rock.

Again, we thank you for your endearing friendship and kindness-
The Hater, genderist and Zoloft


Anonymous said...

WOO WOO.......I am a happy camper..!!

The Tudor Rose said...


Jim-Bo-Rama said...

Excellent news!!!

Enjoy planning the par-tay!

Mommavia said...

Wahoo! Raising the rook in Cali for ya!

Anonymous said...

This is the best news ever!

one alpha

Anonymous said...

yay tister -
i want to come to the party!!

~lifedramatic~ said...

That's so AWESOME! I'm really happy for you guys, and I totally want to come to the party! :)


Cerulean Bill said...

Man, I am so frickin' happy for you!