So it’s been one year and three months since I operated for thyroid cancer. Time flies by so quickly. Can’t believe it, feels like yesterday. I remember all the feelings, thought and fears like it was yesterday. My doctor back in Norway was not too happy with me leaving for Australia, while still in the process of getting better and stabilizing the thyroxine level.
I knew that at some point I had to get in contact with doctors down here to continue the check-ups. After asking around, I made an appointment with a GP and he referred me to Alfred hospital. Where I got a consultation about 1-2 months ago. I had a blood test done and an ultra sound, which came back with super positive results! No odd looking lymph glands and perfect blood work (for a person who’s had thyroid cancer). So I’m really happy. I was a little bit nervous about the results, there’s no way I wanna go through that nightmare from last year again.
The doctor, who’s really nice btw, wants to do one last test though. Just to make sure there’s no cancer cells left. I have to sorta do a mild version of the radioactive iodine treatment I did a year ago. They won’t give me as much as they did back then, just a small dose and I don’t have to stay isolated. Then two days later they’ll do a body scan of me and if some parts takes up the iodine it means I still got cancer cells. The biggest problem with this treatment is that I cannot have any thyroxine in my body. Therefore I need to stop taking my thyroxine pill two weeks before the treatment. By not taking the pill I’ll get tired and exhausted. With all the school work we got at the end of the semester I don’t see that I can do this right now. Of course I can do it when we have our winter break. I think I’m just really nervous about that feeling of being off the thyroxine for two weeks, cause I haven’t experienced it yet. I know this is a test I should absolutely go through with, wether it’s here in Australia or when I go back to Norway. I’m just gonna need to decide what to do/ when to do it.
Decisions decisions.. Oh well! I’m glad everything looks good so far:)
Random photo from the other day.
I haven’t told you anything about my recovery in a while. The scar is healing beautiful. My neck is still a bit swollen, which I hate, cause it makes my face look a little bit fat. lol! Hopefully it will go down soon. I have an appointment at the hospital next Friday for a check up after the surgery. I’m still quite sore so I hope the doctor will be gently and that I don’t need any ultra sound. It’s been over 2 months since my last operation, I would sort of think the pain would be gone by now. It just probably need some more time to heal. There is actually one thing I haven’t told you about my cancer. I didn’t know about this until some weeks before the radioactive iodine treatment. The tumor I had in my throat was quite aggressive. It had spread to many of my lymph glands on the right side of my neck. That’s why the scar goes all the way up there. The doctor told me he had never seen anything like this. So I’m a little special. I’m totally well again though. But there’s always a chance it’ll come back. That’s why I’ll get life time follow ups. Once a year for the rest of my life.
The worst thing about it all is that I have no feeling what so ever in my throat. The skin from my jawline and down to the scar is all numb. When I touch it I can’t feel anything. It’s just worm and it feels like I’m touching another person. Weird feeling. The doctors tells me that I will never get the feeling back. It might get a little bit better cause I will adjust to it. This happened because when they cut my skin they cut through a lot of nerves, which is now broken.
In a months time I’m going back to the hospital again to do a blood sample so that they can adjust the levaxin pill I’m taking. The levaxin or thyroxin produces the same hormones and metabolism that my thyroid gland used to do (when it was still in my throat). This is a pill I have to take everyday for the rest of my life to stay alive. If I don’t take it my body will get worn down. I’ll get super exhausted and I will actually gain weight. We don’t want that so I’m taking my pill everyday. It usually takes a while until they find the right dose for me. I know the one I’m on now is a little bit to high. The doctors are really good though, and they know what they’re doing. So I’m in good hands:)
Tomorrow I’m going back to the hospital for my (hopefully) last treatment. I’m going to drink something called Radioactive Iodine. This fluid will circle around in my body and find any leavings of the thyroid cells. If there’s any thyroid cells left it means I still got cancer. The Radioactive Iodine will destroy these cells, actually burn them away. When you do a surgery like mine it’s difficult to get everything out. So I really really need this treatment to get well again. It’s kinda scary though cause this fluid makes me send out radiation. The first two days are most critical, I have to be isolated for the safety of other people. Then the week after I have to stay at least two meters away from everyone to make sure they don’t get any damage from the radiation. Especially children and the pregnant.
Before the treatment I had to stop eating fish, milk products and salt with iodine. The reason is that I can’t have any iodine in my body. I also got two injections with some kind of hormone which needs to be high when I get the treatment. One injection on Wednesday and the second one on Thursday. They didn’t hurt that much actually, but it was weird getting them in my butt:P lol! I’m not so used to that. Then during the treatment I have to make sure to drink a lot of water so that I get everything out again. And the second day I need to eat a lot of sour candy to get my salivary gland to work. If I don’t they can get damaged by radiation. I’m really nervous, I’m afraid that something might go wrong. Though they use this treatment all the time and they know what they’re doing.
I’ll be back home again on Sunday and then on Tuesday I’m going to the hospital again to get a body scan. The scanner will detect where in my body the Radioactive Iodine has been picked up. If everything looks fine I will be cancer free and healthy again. If the doctors are not satisfied with the result I need to get a second treatment in 6-9 months. I’m crossing my fingers everything will be back to normal again after this weekend! Wish me luck!
PS. I’ve ordered internet for my room, but It’s not curtain they could fix it. Therefore you might not hear from me until Sunday. I really really really really hope I get internet, if not it’s going to get boring being locked away for two days!!!
I removed the stitches yesterday. It looks awful!
Hi guys. It’s now 8 days since I had my second operation and I’m so sorry I haven’t written sooner.
The second operation went so much better than the first one. I was surprised to see how well I was doing. They kept me at the hospital from Wednesday to Saturday, though they could have sent me home earlier. The reason they kept me so long was because of my calcium level. In your throat you have four calcium glands and during my operation the doctors managed to irritate them somehow so my calcium level shrunk. To keep a track of the level I had to be there to take blood samples everyday and I also needed antibiotics intravenous because of an infection in the first operation wound.
Yesterday I was back at school again, it felt weird. I’m still not well enough to start working at H&M again, but I figured I had to go to school to catch up with the others. I have sooooo much to do. I’m two weeks behind everyone else. I got a cool idea for a magazine though, which came to me yesterday. I’m so happy:)
The last couple of weeks has been so unrealistic. I never thought anything like this would ever happen to me. It’s like a bad dream I can’t wake up from. To live “normal” at the moment I have to take tons of medicine. One of the pills I’m taking is a pill I have to take everyday for the rest of my life. Because they took out my thyroid. The other stuff I’m taking is to keep my calcium level steady and the rest is strong painkillers. Three times a day I have to take the pills, so I constantly need to keep track of time.
The medicine I’m taking.
Sorry I haven’t written in a few days. I’m sure you understand why.
Yesterday Mari and I went to Oslo to have a talk with one of my teachers. I’m missing so much important because of my illness. Right now we have one of the biggest assignment this semester – magazine design. It’ll be so hard to catch up with the others. The teacher told me that I can get private lectures or I can go this semester next year instead. I really don’t want to postpone!
After school we went to a coffee shop so that I could get some rest, I get tired fast these days. And then we stopped by my work to say hello to some friends. It was nice to get out. I’m so greatful Mari offered to drive me:)
Today I was at the hospital for some last tests before the operation tomorrow. Then I went to the movies with a friend of mine to get my mind off tomorrows event. We saw The Green Hornet. Funny movie. You should see it!
Right now I wish I could be somewhere else or just someONE else. I don’t want to have operation tomorrow, I’m still tired and hurting after the previews one. My stomach is twisting and turning, tiers are finding their way out of my eyes and I can’t stop thinking. I don’t want to, I want to be healthy. Why the fuck did I get cancer? Unfair!
Or maybe just one you don’t want to see. lol! I’m posting it anyway.
My mother took a photo of me the first day at the hospital right after I came down from the operation or the awakening room. I was talking to someone on the phone, not sure who. I was kinda drugged at this moment so I don’t remember much. It’s not a nice sight but I though maybe you would want to see… or not…
Two days after the surgery one of my roomies, Marius, stopped by to see how I was doing. He brought flowers and a fashion magazine. All my roomies had chipped in to give me a little something. I was so surprised to see him there. And so happy!
One day before I went home from the hospital my mother took this photo of me. I look a little better here. The tubes in my throat are gone.
I came home from the hospital today, could have gone home yesterday but I wasn’t feeling well. I fainted when I woke up yesterday, weird feeling, so I decided to stay one more day. I was supposed to go home the day after the operation but nothing went as planned. The operation lasted for four hours instead of two. The doctor took away tons of cancer (nasty thing to say) on the right side of my throat/neck. Everything inside my throat is all fucked up. I hate it. When I woke up from the anesthetics I was so confused and my arms was hurting so bad because they were in a weird position under the operation. Other than that I wasn’t in too much pain. I had two tubes going into my throat, in Norwegian it is called “dren”. The tubes gets rid of all the blood and operation fluid. It’s quite nasty and a hell to remove. I was in so much pain when they took the first tube, it was 15 cm inside my neck. The other one was not that far inside, but it was more painful to get out.
I never got to tell you about the “bad” news I got at the hospital on Monday. The doctor told me that if I have cancer in my thyroid, something the doctors at Rikshospitalet and Radiumhospitalet still wasn’t sure about, I have to go through two operations. Of course it was cancer. Therefore I have a new operation date Wednesday, January 26. I’m so f**king nervous!
The operation is tomorrow.
I’m so nervous! I can’t write anymore today, I need to get some sleep. I got some “bad” news from the hospital today, which I’ll tell you all about when I get well enough to write again after the surgery. Maybe I’ll get some time before the operation…
Wish me luck
I didn’t sleep last night. At least not until late. I’m lying awake thinking to much about everything. Lately I’ve started thinking about the operation, which is in five days. I’m really nervous. I know I shouldn’t cause I’m in good hands, but I do. I hate it! I wish the day could just come, so that I can be done with everything.
Last night I thought about the day I got the bad news from the hospital, that was the day I was going to sign up for the Hemsedal trip with my school. The one I joined last year. It was so much fun and I was looking forward to going again this year. But as soon as I got the diagnose I changed my mind, I didn’t sign up because I was afraid I would get the operation the same date or that I had just had it and was to sick to go. It’s so weird thinking about that now since the trip is this Sunday to Wednesday and my operation is on Tuesday. It’s like I had this feeling back then. I’m glad I didn’t sign up, it saved me a lot of money actually. The good thing about this is that just three days after I got the diagnose, my father sent me a text telling me that we are going to celebrate my grandfathers 80th birthday that same weekend I was supposed to go to Hemsedal. They have rented the nicest cabins in Norefjell (with ski-in/ski-out!!!!!!!) and we’re leaving Friday morning and will be back Sunday night. It is so perfect! I get to go snowboarding after all:) I just have to remember to dress worm and not drink too much alcohol, if I get sick now they won’t do the operation and I really don’t want to wait any longer.
I should go to bed now, early school tomorrow. Hope I fall asleep sooner tonight!
The last couple of days has been so weird. I’m always tired. I think I’ve gotten around 10-12 hours of sleep every night. I know I’m just tired because I sleep too much and since I don’t have any other stuff to do I just feel like sleeping. Since I got back from Liverpool all I’ve done is waiting. Waiting for that stupid letter from the hospital telling me the operation date. I was hoping I would get the surgery this week so that I would be ready for school on Monday. Finally my father called the hospital early today to figure out what’s going on. I hate waiting and so does he. He called me up right after and told me I will be operating Tuesday, January 18. That’s in eleven days…
The stupid thing about that date is that I’ve already started school. This is my last semester and I don’t want to be behind on my assignments. I don’t even know how I will feel after the surgery. Will I be abel to go to school right away? Will I be feeling so bad that I have to stay at home for several days..weeks? I hate this thing. I wish I could just get rid of it without all the pain. Without the stupid operation. fml.
I’m feeling a lot better today. My energy is up and I only got a stuffy nose left. Hopefully I’ll be back at work soon and I’ll be ready for Christmas. Even though I’m not so exited for Christmas this year. So much has happened this last month, I wish we could skip Christmas this year actually. But we’re gonna make the best out of it.
Yesterdays visit to the hospital didn’t go as we had expected. The doctors are still not sure where the cancer is located. They have no idea what they have to take out or how much. He told me that 30 percent of the people who has this kind of cancer they can’t determine a diagnose on. And of course I’m one of them. They just have to do the surgery and then they will figure it out. I just hate the uncertainty. My next visit to the hospital will be in the beginning of January, and that will be the operation. I’m really nervous. I know I just have to go through with it to get well. The doctors do this kind of operation all the time, so I shouldn’t worry. Though it’s scary. He also told me that if they can’t figure out what to do on the first try, I might have to do a second surgery. I really don’t want that. Hopefully everything turns out okay!
Now I’m going back to my couch to relax and watch some more Desperate Housewives. Bye.
I went to the hospital today. They wanted to do some more tests on me, to figure out exactly where the cancer is located in my neck. the doctor started with an ultrasound, which is a totally okay test, since it doesn’t hurt at all. After the ultrasound he told me he had to stick two needles in my neck, right in the front, to take out some samples. I was prepared for it, but I cried. I hate it. It hurts like hell!
When he came back after discussing the sample with a colleague he told me he also had to take a new sample of the lymph gland (the one they took tissues from the last time I was in the hospital). He said the sample from last time wasn’t good enough. Right there I panicked. Another one. A third needle. Fuck. In my mind I’m thinking I just have to go through with it to get well. When he came back again after the third needle he told me he had bad news; The sample he just took from my lymph gland wasn’t enough, they couldn’t see anything wrong so he told me he had to take another one. Before he started he informed me that with the thin needle they’re using it’s not always easy to get out what they need. So he then took the fourth sample. This was the worst one. I sort of screamed while he had the needle in there, cause it hurt so much.
I’m so glad my parents was there to support me. I was shaking so much, my whole body was tens when he put the needle in. I remember telling my parents when he was out with the fourth sample that I was sure it wouldn’t be good enough. And I was right… He came back one last time to give me bad news. The sample wasn’t good, he needed one more. So today my neck is full of small wholes, five small wholes to be exact. It still hurts like hell. It hurts when I swallow, when I lean my head back and when I move my head to the sides.
He couldn’t tell me to much about the results yet, since they have to look at them more carefully. Though he told me that I do not have to remove the whole thyroid, only parts of it, which is a good thing. It would have been more complicated if they had to remove everything. Then he told me they would contact me sometime next week. So now I just have to wait… in pain!
Look how bad my neck looks. I’m even blue!!!!!! If you look closely you can see where he put the four needles, the last one is in front there somewhere.
Things hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m not sure it ever will, maybe when the operation day is set. I don’t know. I try to stay active to keep my mind on other things. The last days has been like a rollercoaster, I’ve managed to stay positive when I tell people about my illness and sometimes I convince myself that everything will be okay. Yeah, I know everything will be okay, but I’m just scared. When I go to bed at night all these horrible thoughts swirls around in my head. What if the doctor was wrong? What if it does spread? What if the operation is not successful?
Most of my closest friends and relatives knows about my illness by now. It’s so weird to see their reactions, some cries and some are just in shock. Today I told my teacher, since this probably will change the last weeks of the semester. She started crying. And when people starts crying, it’s so hard for me to hold back the tears, but I try to be strong.
I just want to say that I’m so incredibly thankful for all your love and support. It has really helped me to deal with the shock, even though I still can’t believe this has happened to me. I don’t feel sick at all, I go to school like I normally do and I’m still working at H&M. Tomorrow I’m actually going to England again. Derby this time, since my father is a huge fan of the football team. I traveling with my brother, my cousin, my father and my brothers girlfriend. I’ve been looking so forward to this trip and I’m so glad we’re still going. It’ll be good to think of something else for the weekend. I’m not bringing my Mac this time, since I’m only packing hand luggage. But I’m brining my camera, I promise to take lots of photos for you:) I’ll probably post from England if I can find a computer.