Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Approaching the 10 year mark...

You would think that the milestone of 10 years would send me into celebration of the life I have been able to lead since my diagnosis of thyroid cancer. But if I am truthful, yes, there are things that have been blessings but the struggles have been great.

There are few places I feel free to share my true feelings. Unless you have travelled this path you will never understand. Even though desiccated thyroid has helped me with fatigue it has not cured me. I struggle daily with rationing. If I do A & B then I cannot do C. But if I do A & C then I can maybe do D. I am sick of it. I want my thyroid back. The words of the ENT that ripped my thyroid out echo in my head. "You will never know it's gone. You'll just take a little pill for the rest of your life and it will be fine." WELL IT ISN'T FINE!! The idiot endos that thought RAI after RAI treatment would help me make me so angry. In their attempt to remove the cancer from my body they destroyed many other parts - critical parts.

My adrenals and my ovaries: Both sent me spiralling out of control into fatigue, hot flashes, hair falling out, dry skin, intolerance to noise, change...... life. Under treated thyroid with T4 only medication taxed my adrenals - So much for Synthroid being the Cadillac of thyroid treatment hey Dr. N? RAI after RAI pushed both my adrenals and ovaries over the edge. They are now waiving the white flag. I will forever depend on hydrocortisone, adrenal glandulars, vitamin c and bioidentical hormones in an attempt to maintain some level of normalcy. But the fact of the matter is. I am in early menopause with adrenal fatigue. And it s&*$#. My libido is non-existent and no amount of hormones has changed that. I have chronic insomia too - thank heavens for Xanax or I would never sleep some weeks. Yeah - I never noticed it was gone......

My gut: I struggle with food intolerance's, flatulence, constipation, liver overload and malabsorption. I cannot eat gluten which is what a social life is built on - people eat. I don't want to invite anyone over since our food is "wierd". I can't easily go to any one's house because neither I nor my children can eat the "glutened" food. So each time we have family gatherings I am forced to replicate the food everyone else is eating - but gluten free. More stress. If it were just me I wouldn't care but I am trying to make a life that is relatively normal for my children who do not quite understand it all. Then there are the church events...... why bother? It's more work than it is worth.

My weight: I struggle and struggle and struggle to keep it under control. But anyone who understands the body knows that adrenal fatigue, unbalanced hormones and poor digestion is a recipe for disaster. So each day I get on the treadmill for 30-40 mins to burn off enough calories so that I can eat and not gain massive amounts of weight. It seems even a normal amount can send my body into orbit. I can gain 5-7 lbs overnight. I hate the way I look and avoid looking at my body in the mirror at all costs. I hide it well with clothing but "I" see the truth. This issue has only magnified since Forest Pharmaceuticals decision to destroy the best thyroid product on the market. They will not tell anyone why they did this and it has made life miserable for many trying to find a drug that works as well. This all takes its toll as the energy I expend exercising is a trade off for another activity of the day. So there are days where I have to fore go the exercise so that I can do something else. Yeah Doc - I never noticed my thyroid was gone.

I always struggle with fatigue and overload during the holidays. I am so jealous of my Jewish friend who each year departs over the Christmas holiday to a tropical location to bask in the sun. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas but the whole production that goes with it has taken its toll. We rush around to find gifts for family members who really need nothing. Eating food that isn't good for us only to put on weight that will take months to get back off. The stress of it all sends me into this downward spiral that I now am experiencing. I think I could celebrate Jesus' birth in a warm climate, relaxing. To top it off I live in the Midwest where we do not see the sun for months. Can you say seasonal effective disorder?

Todays agenda....Breakfast, Treadmill, Shower, Clean shower, Dry hair..... Exhausted. Take a rest. Mop floor.... Exhausted so I take another rest until lunch. Do lunch then drop for the day. What kind of life is this?

I am the care giver of the family. There are times I need to be the one that is taken care of but it never happens. I must maintain the vitamin regimen of my two hypo children along with studying and keeping house. The food preparation is enough to make anyone throw in the towel. We are gluten free, soy free, dye free and as one lady I know puts it "crap free". That means I cook from scratch. I bake my own baked goods as well.

My family cannot understand my outbursts of frustration over food stuck to the sides of the microwave, chocolate milk puddles on the counter and slippers left in the line of traffic. To them it seems like nothing but to me it is *one more thing* to deal with when I am already feeling at my limits. It's those darn adrenals I know.

This year while making cookies my 7 year old daughter told me that if I had died from my cancer "Daddy would have to shop for their gifts". Why does a 7 year old need to deal with this? I am frustrated and angry. I feel like a part of my life has been stolen from me. The more I learn about my body and how God intended to heal it, surgeries and radiation have no place in it. These doctors have to see that the people are getting sicker and sicker as they dole out more medications and "treatments". Do they care? Why do they accept this as normal and not seek other answers? It's maddening to say the least because I am a life that could have been different.

Today I want to run from my life. To lie on a sunny beach somewhere while someone takes care of me. No one to talk to. No one to demand things of me. No noise, no commotion. Nothing to think about but me. I hate that I feel vulnurable. I hate that I fear the possibility of cancer returning. I hate that this is what drives me to eat well and do the right things. But that is where I am. I am alive and will get through this time again with effort but it gets tiring. Mentally and emotionally.

If I had it to do again..... I wouldn't. I do miss my thyroid....... But that isn't an option so I plug on.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Green Smoothie Challenge

My local healthfood store is doing a green smoothie challenge. So yesterday I decided to pick up a big tub of spinach from CostCo and use the blueberries I got at the farmers market on Saturday to make a smoothie. It actually was really good - I had my doubts.

Here's what I put in it.

1 1/2 cups Filtered Water
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup spinach (raw)
1 Tbs Agave Nectar

Blend and drink......

Here's a link to the challenge flyer - it's where I got my "recipe".

Stephanie

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A little over 9 years later.....

I had my 6 mos check up with Dr. B last Tuesday. I no longer look forward to my check ups with fear and trepidation of what the lab tests will reveal. I know I am healthy and strong..... I can feel it.

Dr. B quickly looked over my labs as we entered the room (a little snafu in the lab made them not arrive before our appointment). He scanned them and said that he had never seen them look more balanced and my immune system looked very strong. My Tg was even down. It had been 13.7 in December and now it is 10.3. I am thrilled as there has been no RAI treatments for 4 years now as of May 23rd. Thank God (literally) I walked away from my endocrinologist when my Tg rose for the 3rd time and he recommended beginning to think about External Beam Radiation. I had a feeling to my very core that this was not the answer.

So today someone asked me what I think contributed to my healing without traditional treatment. This made me think about it. So I thought I would share. My glucose levels were also down from 101 (fasting) 3 years ago to 85 now. No more insulin resistance. Which leads me to my list.......

1) Gluten Free - I read a great book called Dangerous Grains which made a very good case for the connection of cancers to gluten. It also linked autoimmune thyroid disease to it. I am sure this is something I had because I had antibodies (Tg Ab) when diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

2) Limit Sugars / No HFCS - I do not eat sugar for the most part. Every once in a while I will have a gluten free cookie but even then I make some with stevia, agave and honey.

3) Eating Organic - I eat as much as I can find and afford that is organic and locally grown / raised. The chemicals and hormones are very bad for our bodies.

4) Balanced Sex Hormones (BHrt) / Balanced Vitamin & Mineral Levels - Your body is a machine that needs the right things going in at the proper balance to keep it running. Just think how your car runs when a spark plug goes bad. Not well. So how do we expect our body to run well with toxic chemicals and low nutrient foods. It stresses our body and makes us age faster - this stresses the adrenals which tanks the hormones..... and so it goes.

5) Detox, Detox, Detox - I have lost 30 lbs and this has caused a lot of toxins stored in my fat cells to be released. It was a huge relief to my body to eliminate this burden of weight and waste. I have pampered my liver with Metagenics Ultra Clear Plus and Dandelion Root Extract. I also take high doses of Iodine (Iodoral) which helps to push the toxic halides like bromide out of my body. Three years ago I removed my mercury filled amalgam fillings and chelated to remove the mercury from the tissues.

This is what I believe are my five steps to health. It really isn't that hard but it takes time, preparation and thought to accomplish it. But I am here to tell you that it feels so wonderful to be well.

To your health......

Stephanie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let's Try Juicing

I am so tired of the inflammation and issues with fluctuating weight. I listened to a podcast the other day on http://www.talkshoe.com/ - Women4Balance broadcast with "The Juice Lady". (I should also add as a side note that I am one of the featured speakers on this podlist as well). I know I don't get enough fruits and veggies so this may help me get those vital enzymes.

Today's juice is:

4 Organic Carrots
1 Organic Cucumber
1/2 Organic Golden Beet with 1/2 of the greens
1 Organic Orange

It tasted pretty good too! This combo w/o the orange was labeled a body purifier. Here's hoping.

To your health!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Eye Appointment Improvements

I have not been to the eye doctor in about 2 years. It seems that it is just one more thing to put into an already packed schedule and after years of having several doctors appointments per week I resist making more now that I am well. But my contacts were drying out and my eye sight seemed to be worse when wearing them so I sought a new doctor because our insurance had changed - yet again.

I found a doctor and scheduled an appointment. He did the exam and then asked me if I knew what my previous prescription had been. I told him that the left eye was -.75 and the right eye was -1.25. He smiled and said well your eyes have improved. They are both -.50 so you are over correcting. YEAH!!! I thought my eyes were getting worse but they weren't. It was the contacts being the wrong prescription that made things worse.

Once I was home I began to contemplate what I had changed since my last appointment. There were two things. Well actually three.
  1. I had removed my amalgam fills and chelated the mercury out.
  2. I had increased my Iodoral from 50 mgs to 125 mgs
  3. I had begun to take 25,000 iU Vit A (Kroeger Sunny A)

Knowing that Vit A was important to the eyes I began to wonder about the iodine. Well guess what? Iodine is concentrated in the ciliary body of the eye.

So I looked for what the ciliary body did:

One function of the ciliary body is the production of aqueous humor, the clear fluid that fills the front of the eye. It also controls accommodation by changing the shape of the crystalline lens. When the ciliary body contracts, the zonules relax. This allows the lens to thicken, increasing the eye's ability to focus up close. When looking at a distant object, the ciliary body relaxes, causing the zonules to contract. The lens becomes thinner, adjusting the eye's focus for distance vision.

It appears that not only is Iodoral saving my life from thyroid cancer but it is also improving my eyesight. I love this stuff!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weight Loss / Colon Cleansing and Feeling Great!

It's been a while since I updated. Life has been busy. The first week of November I attended the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference in San Francisco. It was so much fun to be with over 3,000 holistic / natural / like minded people. There were not enough hours in the day and it seemed that many of the seminars I wanted to attend - like Sally Fallon's Eat Fat Lose Fat - were at the same time as another one that I wanted to attend. My highlight was to attend Dr McBride's all day seminar on the Gut & Psychology. Boy did this strike home for both myself and my children. I highly recommend listening to this clip from the conference. She discussed reasons for food allergies, behavior issues and how to heal the gut with diet.

My favorite doctor - Dr. David Brownstein - and friend spoke as well. He discussed the iodine & thyroid connection. He just released a new edition to his Iodine book where he discusses Iodine and children. My son's story is part of this topic as a case study. Lynne Farrow of Breast Cancer Choices gave a wonderful presentation on the history of Iodine uses in clinical practice and how it effects breast disease.

Now for me. I am doing very well. As I finished 2008 I began to reflect on the progress I have made again this year in restoring my own as well as my family's health. I have so much vitality and have been so healthy this year. I cannot think of a time that I was sick for the last 2 years. I have my bouts of headaches and feeling a bit fatigued but then I just take it easy and I am back up and running. I think it is detoxing related. This year I lost over 30 lbs bringing from almost 170 lbs to the 130's. I have not been this thin since the 8th grade. It feels so good. I get workouts done 3x / week at the YMCA too.

In November we took the kids gluten free. We have had to continually increase their thyroid medication and I was getting concerned about their behavior. When my son's teacher approached me about his ADD like issues I called my doctor and asked him his thoughts. Could it really be gluten? He told me if it where his child that he would try it. So I cleared the house of all gluten so there was no whining that they wanted something they could not have and took them both gluten free. I didn't think my daughter had much of an issue with gluten but it was easier to do both than one. My son had been having issues with GERD, Stomach aches and Constipation. My daughter was just very emotional.

One week into the gluten free diet my son's issues melted away. I asked him if he felt better and he said "My tummy doesn't hurt anymore". He has been very good about making sure his food is safe. It is now 2 months later and he is finally starting to eat more food. My ND says that it takes 6 weeks to heal 50% of the gut and then another year to heal the remaining 50%. My daughter's behavior got better too. The house became a calmer place and they became more attentive. I highly recommend reading Dangerous Grains - an eye opening book on why gluten is so dangerous. Also there is a great website for gluten issues info for kids from a Dr in New Zeeland that calls himself "Dr Gluten".

My daughter had an exposure to gluten 6 weeks after getting taken off of it. She was at her class Christmas party and she ate 2 Dixie cups full of pretzels. I picked her up from school not knowing this had happened. She was screaming in the car and hitting her brother. When we got home every little thing set her off and she would run out of the room crying. I wondered what was wrong with her. Then at lunch we were discussing her party and I asked what they had to eat (the teacher and I had gone over the "menu" to make sure she was safe but they changed the food grrrrrrr.....). She told me she had eaten pretzels. I said "OH that's gluten". She burst into tears and said she didn't know. Well that explained the behavior. But then 2 days later when she was taking a shower I went to dry her off with a towel and she had a rash all over her torso, buttocks and legs. The poor child was peppered with it. This can happen when there is a gluten exposure and you are sensitive. It was so itchy and she was clawing at it. There are still a few on her bottom - almost 4 weeks later. It takes so long to get this junk out of her. It has taken some time to detox her and get her attitude more level. So gluten is out of our home for good - see my Gluten Free Naturally blog for some great kid friendly recipes.

This week I am doing a 3 day fasting colon cleanse. My stools have been "off" lately and I am so constipated. I think this is due to the level of bromide I dumped when I was dieting. I did an Iodine loading test during this time and my bromide went to a 62 Ug/L when it had been 28 Ug/L when not dieting.

I will have my follow up appointment with Dr. B on Wednesday. He called me with my lab results last night and I am happy to report that my cancer markers were 13 - last one was 11.9 - so we are still hanging on with great markers. It's hard to believe that 3 years ago when I went to see him for the first time I was dying. They wanted to do external beam radiation for a recurrence of the cancer. My thyroglobulin markers were up to 24. I have gotten them down naturally. Praise God. I am glad I followed His leading in taking the road less travelled. Our bodies are amazing and can heal if given what they need and by caring for them as God intended.

So that's my update. Live well!

Stephanie