Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call from my oncologists office with the results of my 24-hour urine test. I guess I didn't study well enough because my levels were actually higher than we started off with. What the hell? When Donna (the nurse) told me this, it was my breaking point. She said that Dr. Clay wanted me to come in so we made an appointment for today (Thursday). After I hung up the phone I sat at my desk and had this sudden overwhelming rush of emotions and just broke down. Everything just hit me at once and it was one of those moments when you try to stop crying and that just makes it so much worse.
I emailed Jackie and told her the news and said that I was done. I didn't want to go through this urine test again and that it was too much dealing with all this cancer crap myself when I am trying to deal with my Uncle and Grandfather being sick. No sooner than I hit "send" on the email my phone rang. It was Jackie. She told me that I really needed to do this test again and I repeated that I was done. I was still crying and just hung up the phone.
Next thing I know Tom, my boss, was in my office. He came up behind me and said "how's it going?" and I replied "my project or my day?" and he said "your day" and I said my day has been crappy. He asked if I needed to walk away for a bit and I said that I just needed to focus on my job to keep my mind off things and that I was just having a "moment". He asked if I needed to go home and I said no... I would be okay. I told him what was happening and next thing I know I have Felicia, Jackie and Clancey in my office! I guess Jackie rounded up the troops for an intervention.
They started in about how important it is that I go through with the test and get the radiation. My point was that cancer runs rampant in my family so what was the point? It will probably just come back in some other part of my body... did they not get it? I was told a MILLION times that thyroid cancer was "the best kind" of cancer so what's the problem? What if I am in the middle of radiation and in my 5-day quarantine and I get "the call" about my Grandfather and I can't go because I'm radioactive? That would devastate me. I told them they just had no idea what I was going through. I was emotionally exhausted and this phone call was the proverbial straw.
I told them that I really wanted one of those shirts that says "Fuck Cancer" - I looked at Tom and said "Would I be able to wear that to work?" and he said he didn't have a problem with it, but others might. Damn! That made me laugh.
After the "intervention posse" left my office I went back to work and tried to keep my mind off of it all, which was pretty impossible.
This morning I called Dr. Clay's office and canceled my appointment because I didn't see the point of going. I told the receptionist to please have the nurse mail me an order for another 24-hour urine test and I would do it in a couple of weeks. About an hour later I get a call from nurse Donna asking me what was going on. I told her that I thought it would be a waste of time because I already know what the doctor is going to say. It would be a waste of a trip, I would have to make up time at work tomorrow since I have no PTO and that it would be another $30 copay (which I really didn't have) for something that I already know. She said that was fine but she wanted me to keep a food journal for a week and then email it to her. Oh great. That sounds fun. I told her that I would and she said that she would review it with the dietitian and get back to me.
A couple hours later I get another phone call - this time from Dr. Clay. I knew I was in trouble then. Dr. Clay is super nice - I told her that I was absolutely devastated when the nurse called me with the results the other day and that on top of what is going on in my family it was just too much to handle. She said she wanted to reiterate how important this radiation is and that she was worried about me. She said that she had never had a patient whose iodine level actually increased from test to test. I asked her what the level should be and she said she likes patients to be around 50, but would go ahead and do the radiation at a level of 100. She went on to say that my initial level was 332 and my second level was 583. How could this be??
We went over the changes I made in my diet and she suggested calling my pharmacist to ask if any of my meds could elevate my iodine levels. She said it could even be the difference between a generic and a name brand prescription. Unbelievable.
It seems that for the last couple of years I have been telling myself that there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel and I keep pushing on in search of it. Last night I made plans to go have dinner with an old classmate this evening but decided to take a rain check. I am definitely not good company right now. Currently, the negative in my life outweighs the positive and I don't like times like this and I especially don't want to burden others with my problems. I just need to be by myself for a bit.
When I finally left work today all I wanted to do was to go to the beach to just sit and be by myself. After careful thought I decided to just go home and crawl under my covers. It seemed the wiser thing to do rather than waste precious gas money.
Sleep is the only time that all of this is not weighing heavily on my mind.