Saturday, October 17, 2009
I Should Have Figured This Out Before
Thyroid cancer is different than breast cancer. Why didn't I learn this before? At breast cancer conferences and groups we talk about chemo and radiation and reconstruction and surgery. At thyroid cancer groups, we talk about recurrences, life time of vigilance, and different types of thyroid cancer. There are several types of thyroid cancer out there which are treated differently and have different implications. Some of the more aggressive ones are basically untreatable.
If you have thyroid cancer, you lose your thyroid (or most of it) and are on synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of your life. While this is a fairly minor medication, if you don't take it, you will die (as some one summed it up so nicely yesterday). Also, you get to spend your life getting your thyroid levels checked regularly and releveled off - some people never level off and are changing all the time.
I am meeting quite a range of people - from a 10 year old girl who had thyroid cancer a few years ago to Mrs. New Jersey 2008 (complete with her sash) who also had thyroid cancer. And its part of her platform. (She is very tall, wears high heels and is probably a size 2 or 4. But she also is very nice.) They were also giving out these pins and some stickers for StupidCancer.com which is a good organization if you are looking for one to suppport.
Today I am off to the conference again. I will volunteer but I will also attend such interesting topics as 'Pain Management and Palliative Care: Clinical, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Managing Chronic or Severe Pain' - I think I know alot about this - and 'Patient/Physician Relationships: Effective Communication and Coordination' - or how to be a better patient - and finally 'Roundtable: Coping with Multiple Health Issues At the Same Time' - I think I want a definition of multiple. Anyway, I will prepare to be educated again.
But more importantly yesterday's news is that we have hit our out of pocket maximum on our health insurance this year. This means we don't have to pay for anything for the rest of the calendar year for medical expenses. This is great because I have so much PT and several doctor appointments coming up. Actually its kind of nice that it took more than 3 months to reach this point this year as it has in previous years. In a weird way, its saying I am healthier.
But I have to go hop in the shower because our new living room furniture is coming sometime after 8 am. And, Murphy's law says, if I am not dressed at 8, that is when they will arrive.