Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thyroid Cancer - The Days Following RAI

For the next day I just relaxed, watched movies and rested. My children would yell to me through the door from the hallway and I would talk to them that way. My husband and I would talk on our cell phones. Thank goodness for the “in network” feature so we did not use our minutes. It was weird doing this just two floors away.

On Wednesday, May 25 I wrote the following to my ND.

Hi Doc -

Just wanted to check in with you to let you know how I am doing. I did relatively well the first day but when I hit the 24 hour marker yesterday after the administration of the RAI I started to feel pretty bad. I know the first 48 hours can be the worst but didn't anticipate it would take 1 day to kick in. My body temperature runs from hot to cold all day long. I have been vomiting off and on since yesterday 6 pm. I just took some toast with butter and it has stayed down. Water isn't sitting well but Apple Juice does so I am drinking that to try to stay hydrated. I am not sure if brown rice water would help in this situation since it isn't the flu. My suspicion is that it is just the toxins coming out through my saliva and entering my stomach. It seems to be worse after I have slept for a few hours so I am wondering if it just pools in my stomach during those hours. I am sleeping all but about 8 hours per day so my naps are 2-3 hrs at a time. I am exhausted! So I just keep sleeping knowing my body will take what it needs.

The good news is that I still have my taste buds intact, saliva glands are not too sore nor is my neck. Traumeel seems to help that. I continue to massage them all as we discussed. I am fighting constipation since the RAI - suggestions other than oatmeal ??? Anything else to consider? Other than that I think I just need to continue to tough it out.

This was his response. It brought tears to my eyes as I read it. How vastly different my two doctors were. One would not talk to me and had just given me a toxic dose of a radioactive pharmaceutical drug and the other thinks of me and prays for me while he is traveling to a conference. I felt blessed.

Stephanie,

Thanks for the update. You've been in my thoughts and prayers as you went through your ablation on Monday.

Brown rice water will be really helpful for you at this point for soothing your stomach. Also, for nausea, try grating an apple into a bowl. When the pieces start to brown, eat it. It's very calming. Soaking prunes overnight in water and drinking the water is yet another idea to help you cope with this set of symptoms.

I'm out of town at a conference until Tuesday, so we'll touch base again when I return.

Doc

Looking back now it still feels so vivid in my mind. I can feel how it felt to me both emotionally and physically even though it is 1 ½ years ago. I truly believe that if it weren’t for the support and skill of this doctor I would have been in some serious trouble physically. He worked very hard to help be gain my strength back. His encouragement was worth its weight in gold as well. I thank God for bringing him into my life.

The second day was the beginning of the worst for me. I woke up at around 3 am and began to vomit. I did this every few hours for 3 days. It was awful. As I mentioned in my letter to my Dr, it seemed to get worse when I slept and then woke up. My body ached like the worst flu I have ever had. I was freezing cold so I piled on the blankets and wore sweats and then I was burning up and taking things off. On the second night my husband went for a walk and brought back a bunch of lilac flowers for my room. They smelled so good.

After 3 days of isolation my daughter was really starting to miss me. I had my mom bring her to the top of the stairs. I told her to run to me quickly and give me a hug. She did that and then I remember telling her to “run, run run” back to grandma. It made me sad. My poor little girl was almost 3 years old (on 6/4) and she had to deal with the hard things in life already.

By Friday, May 27th I was getting stir crazy. The nausea had subsided so I decided to go to the local grocery store. It felt good to get outside and just get out. I wandered around for a bit but tired easily and returned home shortly after to take a nap. I was amazed at how hard this hit me. But then again I had received the equivalent of my first two ablations in one dose.

On June 1 I e-mailed my ND again to ask more questions.

Just curious if you would understand why after 9 days the back sides of my tongue now feel like they are burned and I have some pain. I would have thought that this side effect would have come sooner in the process. I have not eaten anything hot that would have done this so I am assuming it is due to the radiation. My tongue is also sore when I move it around (underneath) as is my throat - just a little. Suggestions?

Stephanie,

I don't know why these symptoms would show up 9 days later. But I do know how you can deal with it. Mix 1/2 Echinacea and 1/2 water and swish it in your mouth for a couple minutes. Do this twice a day. It will have a great healing effect. (You can swallow it too).

Doc


Thank goodness for home remedies! I did not want more drugs or other toxic substances so I steered clear of contacting my Endocrinologist.

Within a few days I would develop another issue. The inside membranes of my nasal passage became sore and dry. I had huge sores on the inner part of the end of my nose. I put vasoline on the inside to try to keep it "moist" and try to get it to heal. It was very painful to the touch. The air passing through my nose would irritate it. How awful this RAI is to my body.