Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thyroid Cancer - Getting uneasy so I am researching

I continued to struggle with fatigue after the 3rd round of RAI in May. It was now December 2005 and I was tiring of the continued fight to regain my life. It seemed that no matter what I did or how many vitamins I took or what changes in lifestyle I made I couldn't get on top of it.

My naturopathic doctor suggested that I may feel better on Armour Thyroid medication. I had been on Synthroid for 6 years and had bounced up and down on the dosages. There seemed to be no good dose. I began my quest to find a doctor that would prescribe it. This proved to be no easy feat. I found a Yahoo e-mail group that discussed Armour thyroid and how it had helped them to feel worlds better than when using synthetics. I was interested. I began asking questions and within a very short period of time I decided that I had to get on Armour no matter what it took. I needed to try something different.

I found a DO in a city near my home that practiced integrative medicine. I had decided that instead of a mammogram I would do a thermography and not have the added issue of more radiation – no matter how small they tell you it is. I didn’t want any more. So on January 16, 2006 I visited this new doctor. He was nice and spent time with me reviewing my medical history. He asked why I was visiting him that day. I told him that I wanted to get a thermography because I had previously had 3 mammograms for a spot on my right breast that was being watched. I also told him that I had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had been on a synthetic thyroid hormone for 6 years and never felt well. I wanted to switch to a natural thyroid hormone to see if it would help. He agreed that this would be a good thing to do. He asked if I was on iodine and I said “no”. I didn’t understand why this was important and didn’t ask. I was to learn more about this just a few months later. We did a quick calculation and decided to start my dosage out on 2 grains of Armour. I had been on .150 mgs of Synthroid.

As part of my office visit he did a physical breast exam. He mentioned to me that I had 3 fibrous masses in my right breast. This did not make me happy. What else would I be inflicted with I thought. I decided that I would talk to my ND about this the next time I saw him and find out what he thought. After the exam I was taken to a room for the thermography. This would prove to be quite a new adventure. I was instructed to remove my top and then told that I must stand with my hands on my hips so my arms were away from my body for 10 mins. This would be a treat I thought. I should have brought some music. So there I stood. Luckily I had brought a book so I looked at that while waiting. The nurse returned after 10 minutes and told me to stand on a spot on the floor. She pointed a camera at my chest and proceeded to take images of my chest. After taking a few images she took me to the back room and ran the faucet with cold water. I was instructed to place my hands in the cold water for several minutes. This forces the blood to move toward the core of the body. After doing this I was taken back to the room with the camera and the nurse took several more images. When we were done I could get dressed again. The images would be sent to a company in Detroit that reviews and reports on the results. I paid for my visit and left. On the way home I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up my first prescription of Armour.

The following I entered my kitchen as I normally did. I picked up the bottle of Armour and began to think about what taking it would mean to me. I had been told for 6 years that taking this drug would make my cancer come back. Each time I asked the doctors why I could not have it I was told that it would not keep me suppressed. This is very important to thyroid cancer patients. TSH is the hormone that feeds the cancer. I remember taking the pill into my mouth and thinking “Well here we go”. At this point I had little to loose. If things started to go wrong I could always go off the medication and take the Synthroid again. I knew I didn’t feel well. After all the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. I was definitely at that point.