Saturday, June 5, 2010

Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma – One Year Follow-up

It's been a little over a year since my surgery and it's time to determine if there are any "left over" malignant thyroid cells in my body. Unfortunately, a simple blood test and x-ray isn't enough. I have to submit to a Gamma Ray Scan to see if:

a. There are any surviving thyroid cells in my body
b. Any of those cells have migrated

The test is no big deal. I think I explained this before.
June 7th     Thyrogen Injection (over 2,000 dollars)
June 8th     Thyrogen Injection (over 2,000 dollars)
June 9th     Ingest radioactive iodine capsule (over 3,000 dollars)
June 11th   Gamma Ray Scan

Two injections, a pill, and a scan. I can handle that, no problem. The problem is the three week prep diet for the test. I have to totally starve my body of iodine. The only cells that can "hang onto" iodine in your body are the thyroid cells. So you starve your body of iodine, take a radioactive iodine pill, and let any iodine starved thyroid cells, if any, eagerly slurp the iodine and be visible under the gamma ray scan. The radioactive iodine is supposed to kill them at this point also. 

To totally starve my body of iodine I can't eat any:
Processed foods
Restaurant food
Fast food
Pre-packaged food
Canned vegetables
Green vegetables
Soy based products
Dairy products
Bread products

The items in red are the hardest. I'm sure many of you are thinking "what's so hard about not eating seaweed?" Well, look on the ingredient list of what you eat. If you see carrageen, agaragar, or alginate there, you are eating seaweed.  The same goes for soy. You would be amazed at how many items these two things are in.  It's not bad for you, in fact it's good. I just can't eat it now.  As you already know, we eat a lot of Japanese food. It's pretty much based on seaweed, seafood, and soy products. I'm so screwed.  This time I'm not going to load up on unsalted chips and popcorn.  If you remember, I actually gained a little weight last time I did this.

I started my diet at 12:01 a.m., on May 23rd. I'm living on about a 1000 calories or less per day. I'm not trying to lose weight.  I'm happy to be losing some, but sure as heck isn't the diet, I'd prefer to do it with!

May 23   225 starting weight
May 24   223
May 25   221
May 26   220
May 27   218
May 28   217
May 29   216
May 30   215
May 31   213
June 01  213
June 02  212
June 03  211
June 04  210
June 05  209  today's weight

Here is what I ate yesterday. 
1 banana
1 apple
1 cob of corn
2 all fruit smoothies 

This is pretty close to what I've been eating every day.
I have no energy
I'm tired
I'm hungry

Worst of all, I'm bored by all these little lists!

Hasta mañana...


Joe Cap said...

Doesn't look like you are allowed to eat much of anything that is fun.
I guess, beer, wine, cheese, and donuts are out...some of my personal favorites.
I pray it all comes out OK for you.
When the test is over, you can celebrate with a huge dinner.
Keep us updated, my friend.

Pat Tillett said...

Thanks Joe! I'm really not worried about the results. I'm sure they will be fine. I guess the challange, is to see if I can keep the weight off...

RA said...

Yes, it does seem that everything fun and truly tasty is excluded from your meager list. And then some. :(
But it is for a good cause and I am sure that gives you extra strength to go through with it. I do hope your results are good. :)This said, I can't believe the prices of those treatments! Don't tell me you have to pay them yourself!!??
Here's also hoping that you can keep the weight off, but quite honestly I doubt that one very much. Everything that is good is fattening. And hey, I speak from experience.... LOL

Ms. Anthropy said...

Yikes, Dude... I don't eat much, but I would totally starve to death! Good luck!

John McElveen said...

I've had the Thyroid Ablation by Pill around 2000, but Thank The Lord no CA.

Prayers for a great outcome--but more importantly for the Diet to End!!

How much of that weight do you think was water? I'm sure stopping the salt (we get sooo much in our foods) really helped flush you out.

Do you FEEL any better with the weight off?


Bendigo said...

I wish you luck...I got hungry thinking of all the foods you can't eat..I can't imagine how I would manage that diet... But that's some pretty good results :)

Jhon Baker said...

Damn that diet - I love my food as I am sure that you do.
Keeping weight off is the hard part as your body is used to being heavier and wants to return to that. Good luck with this diet - I will meditate on your test results, I'd pray but I only do that when I see an ambulance running lights and sirens, I pray though I don't believe so I would rather do what I believe for you.

Marlene said...

In reading your list, I was mentally trying to come up with something you COULD eat, and came up totally empty handed.

Dude, I don't know how you do it...but evidently you're far more dedicated than I could ever hope to be.

Good luck with the test. Hope everything comes out well for you.

P.S. Doesn't health insurance cover any of that...or do you not have health insurance. NOSY question, I know. No need to answer if you'd rather not. Just talking out loud - cuz I do that a lot (and it gets me in trouble a lot, too...but I'm used to getting in trouble with my big mouth).

Nat said...

That's a tough diet to follow!

Sending positive vibes your way and hoping that it all goes well...

Pat Tillett said...

RA - Thanks! I do have insurance and it does cover most of the treatment. But the cost is just ridiculous...As to keeping it off, I know what you mean...LOL

Ms A - I'm getting used to it now! Thanks.

John - I was amazed that mine came out cancerous. The odds were totally against it. I'm drinking lots of water so I don't think too much is water weight. I do feel better, but I feel like I need some protein...

Bendigo - If I gave in and snuck some of those foods in, the thyroid cells would already be full of iodine and the radiated iodine would not be absorbed, and unseen during the scan..did that make sense? LOL

Jhon - Thank you my friend! Thanks good positive thoughts are enough for me...

Marlene - yup, it pretty much sucks. It's just past noon and I've had an apple and a banana.

I'll have a "jethro bodine" sized all fruit smoothie for dinner. It's actually getting easier. And my insurance does cover most, but it's still a crime that it cost so much. Thanks! I'm sure it will be okay...

Pat Tillett said...

Nat - Thanks, I can feel 'em coming my way!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I would never wish to be sick just to lose weight. I know how much restricting myself sucks so I can only imagine how it is for you. Hope everything turns out to be worth it when all the tests are done and there is no recurrence of the cancer.

Pat Tillett said...

Cal - Thanks! Here's to hoping that I'm not sick... I know this is odd, but at this moment I'm thinking about not eating meat anymore. I've only been "on" meat for several years. I didn't eat it for a very long time. We'll see!

Vencora said...

hang in there, soon you'll be able to have food again. ^_^

(you've made me feel guilty, just now, because i happen to be eating really delicious food, and since i'm reading your blog, it's kinda like i'm eating in front of you . . .)

MeredithDuck said...

Gamma ray...that makes me giggle.

Hope everything is well! I would go crazy on the diet. Especially the green veggies (you know how I feel about them ;) )

On a side note - have you watched Crazy Heart yet? Jeff Bridges was fantastic (as always). I loved it!

They Call Me Lady said...

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon."(Doug Larson)
Sending positive thoughts and good vibes your way my friend.

Ummm, what have I missed, what up with "The Dude" in your side bar...your brother ? bff ? alter ego ???????

DrSoosie said...

hi Pat...15 years ago I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease. I had to take that radioactive iodine pill and isolate from everyone for five days as I was 'radioactive." It did work..however I still have some small amounts of thyroid tissue. But very little. I hope everything will be fine. I am sure it will. it is tough restricting your diet. I have to do it daily with my new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. So I feel for you! I want to wish you good luck!!

faye said...

No bread... No way I could
give up my toast. Some days that is all I eat..... This week I will be
thinking of you as I snarf my
daily bread. I would share if only...

Thoughts, prayers,vibes, all wishes
for the best of test results.

The Retired One said...

Wow, I admire your willpower and determination to do the test as this is a highly restrictive diet! But you may just sell a best selling diet book, because the weight is dropping off of you!
You may get headaches....hard to go without protein that long...
take care and take naps and best of luck on your test....I just KNOW it will be clear of all bad things!

Pat Tillett said...

Vencora - How dare you eat in front of me! It's okay, I just had a huge all fruit smoothie and I'm full. But I'd gladly purge for a piece of anything good!

MeredithDuck - I am going crazy. I want broccoli right now! No, I haven't seen it, but I'm going to soon! thanks for commenting...

Vickie - Isn't that the truth! LOL...BFF...Hey you have one of those pics also...You better have anyway, I gave it to you...

DrSoosie - I'm sorry to hear, that you had more than your share, that's for sure! Thanks!!!

Fave - I'm with you! I am so addicted to carbs... I do the same thing...thanks for the good thoughts!

Joan - I'm not ordinarily this good on a diet, but I guess they raised the stakes on me. No headaches yet, but I'm gettin grouchy! Thanks my friend!


At least it's almost over! Come Friday, you'll have a clean bill of health and you can eat anything you want!

Margaret Benbow said...

Patrick, the day will come when you can enjoy pork roast, buttery garlic bread, pie the meantime those fruit smoothies sound good on a warm summer's day. Keep us posted so we can keep the waves of good healthful karma directed toward you!

Ally said...

I can't believe how much weight you're losing in a day or twos time. This must be so difficult to adhere to. I never really thought about iodine in foods. I hope your test results are okay.

Pat Tillett said...

ABAO - It is almost over. I can't wait. I'm going to try and eat less than I did before this thing started though..we'll see!

Margaret - that sounds so good! the smoothies are very good also though! Mostly, they are filling!
I feel the good vibes...thanks!

Ally - I know..I guess I need some incentive to diet. Iodine is hard to avoid, that's why it's easier to eat almost nothing...I mostly miss my carbs though. thanks!

Jerry said...

Wow that is rough. I wouldn't want to have to go through what you are. You are one strong dude!

Hopefully all tests are clear and you return to living the "good" life.

Pat Tillett said...

Jerry - thanks! I'm probably eating closer to how I should eat, so I guess it's a good thing. I'm gonna try to eat healthier when this is over.

Jimmy said...

Hey Pat,

An easier list would probably be "This Is What You Can Eat"

I hate you have to go through all of this stuff as like you pointed out the prep is harder than the actual test.

You are in our Prayers My Friend, for good test result and the hopes you can put all of this behind you.

buffalodick said...

Kinda sucks to be you, but good news will be coming- I'm sure!

Pat Tillett said...

Jimmy - Yep, the prep sucks! Thanks for the kind words. It will all be over soon...

BD - Nah, even with this stuff going on, it's great being me...
I'm expecting nothing short of good news. If not, then I'll deal with that also...

Oz Girl said...

That sounds like some of the diets I've put myself on in the past... seriously. Yes, the prep does suck, but I guess the hidden advantage is that you lose a few pounds, whether you wanted to or not. Hope it all goes well and the test results are good news. Hang in there!! :-)

Pat Tillett said...

Oz Girl - I do admit, it's nice to lose some weight. Thanks for the nice words!

SquirrelQueen said...

Gosh Pat, that list doesn't leave a lot for you to eat. I would have a hard time giving up fresh vegetables but at least fruit is still on the menu.

I guess the good thing is that is only for three weeks but they would be a long three weeks for me.

Good luck with the tests this week.

Johnny Rojo said...

Not nearly as tough as your situation, but I discovered about five years ago that I have celiac, an autoimmune disease triggered by a protein in gluten. Huge, permanent changes in my diet.

Here's hoping the news is good news. For once, it's good to have a negative in a test, eh?

Pat Tillett said...

SQ - It has been a long 3 weeks. But, it is nice to lose some weight!

Johnny Rojo - Thanks for the good thoughts! I had a friend with your issue also, he had to be very careful about what he ate...

Bossy Betty said...

No green veggies?????

With that list, I think I'd just have them put me in a coma until the 11th.

Hoping for the best for you!

The Illustrious D said...

Sounds like someone's gonna be getting the Sexy-Ass Senior Award by the end of this.

Strength, brothah.

Pat Tillett said...

Betty - Not a single green veggie! My first meal is going to be broccli with a bit of oyster sauce.

D - It'll take more than losing a few pounds to pull that one off!
A pound a day. Now down to 206
In the overall scheme of things, I'm doing great. Thanks