Sunday, July 8, 2012

Secret Club

I'm still adjusting to this new regimin of taking drugs every day. In the past I would have lofty goals of taking vitamins daily and it would last for a couple of weeks and then I'd skip one day and then that was it- done. Thyroid replacement is something I have to take every day- it won't hurt me if I skip one or two days, but why put any stress on my body when it's 100% in my control? So every morning I take my pill and calcium, and now will add Vitamin D to my daily routine as well. That should make my family practice doc happy, she's been bugging me about my Vitamin D level for a couple of years now.

Yesterday I woke up at 5:30 and I had a little bit of a chill, and I just knew I had a fever. I went back to sleep for an hour and when I woke up again (stupid fever sleep!) I took my temperature and sure enough- 99.5. I was a little bewildered, I felt totally fine otherwise. I ended up not getting to do henna at the event I was scheduled for yesterday which is always such a huge disappointment, but I was grateful to be able to make that choice and just stay in bed. Through the day I was quite tired and the fever was getting higher. Randy and I took a nap and when I woke up it was 102.5 and I was weak and sore and kind of out of it. We went to Urgent Care because of the fever combined with a recent surgery- just to be safe, and they sent us to the ER.

Great, the ER! Well the short story is that they don't know why I have a fever. My tests are all normal and happy, and I feel totally fine otherwise. I have an appetite, I'm going to the bathroom just fine - I'm just tired with a fever. Odd.

In the course of my tests I had to have a chest x-ray. After you have cancer, x-rays take on a whole new meaning. Suddenly I just felt very nervous and wanted to say no. The tech who was assisting me was walking me into the room when I said, "I just had cancer, I'm scared to have an x-ray." He looked at my neck and said, "What kind did you have?" I told him, papillary carcinoma with follicular variant.

He pulled down the front of his shirt to show me his scar - Hurthle cell carcinoma. He was so warm and kind and we talked about his radiation treatments and what I went through as far as my treatment. There was no comparison- "I had it worse than you!", it was just two people on a similar journey telling our stories. He had cancer and he did x-rays on people all day. It just made me feel better about having it done and as we walked down the hallway, slowly so we could keep talking, I felt.... relieved? I felt connected to someone who knew what it was like to have this particular experience (in his own way). I wanted to hug him. I felt like I had just been invited to join a secret club of survivors, rather than sort of winging it out here on my own, at the edges of a community that I really don't understand.

I never had thyroid issues, so I'm not educated about this world. I don't want to become an expert on my thyroid/drugs/etc. unless I have to, and right now, I don't have to.  Being able to talk to someone about my experience, rather than my lab results, was very healing for me, and the man was a ray of light. Another angel in my path! Nothing can replace the human connection - especially not the internet.

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome. Maybe your fever was just a way for you to meet this person in your life who gave you this glimpse into the secret club of belonging and understanding? Love it.