The Endocrinologist – The Sequel

What with the cancellation of our European holiday and the wedding in Perth, I feel like we’ve missed out on a lot recently and, secretly, I’m still smarting about it. It’s been a long couple of weeks, and we’ve still got challenges ahead. I’m just dog gone tired from the surgery and the lack of thyroxin and poor David is run ragged at work and is emotionally and physically exhausted too. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that we both need a holiday. In fact, I’ve decided it’s a priority. We have to think out of the box here, because for the time being, we can’t fly, we can’t really go anywhere too far or for too long. However, a long weekend away is sure to be just what the doctor ordered when I’m done with treatment… so we decide to go to Jervis Bay which is about 2 hours south of Sydney. It’s perfect because it’s relatively near, we’ve never been there (but always wanted to go,) and there’s really nothing much to do so we can really have some quality r and r. I spend a productive morning doing some research on car rental and places to stay and we decide if the Endo gives our plan the thumbs up, we’ll book it tomorrow. I feel energised just thinking about a holiday, let alone, going on one!

However, there is more good news. We’d booked tickets to see Mary Poppins absolutely ages ago. I’m a sucker for a cheesy musical and as big productions don’t come so often to Sydney, we have to seize the moment, when the show comes to town! It’s one of the things we had taken  for granted when we lived in London with theatre land just a short train ride away! Anyway, we’d thought that the dates would clash with my radioactive status and we’d have to forego the tickets but it’s AOK. I won’t be radioactive! The show can go on! So it’s with immense happiness I collect the tickets for Mary Poppins and also some we had booked for Annie in December. Not one, not two, but THREE things to look forward to! Yeeha!

It’s a busy day. I meet my sister in law Kari for lunch – which is lovely – when we’re working , we’re always so busy we don’t always get a chance to hook up. It reminds me that we should make time for each other and we promise ourselves that we’ll try and touch base more regularly when I’m back at work full time.

After I see Kari, I pop into work to say g’day to everyone and get ready for my first day back on Monday. I do some prep for my lessons but mostly I just have fun hanging out with my workmates and having a good old fashioned chinwag. It feels great to be back in the swing of things. Later, I meet David and we head off together for the Endo appointment.

This is the final of the four doctor’s appointments this week.  She seems genuinely sad for me that I am going to miss the wedding but we kind of agree that sooner is better than later. However, she does  think that our weekend away is a good move, so we’re stoked, we can go ahead and book it tomorrow! All systems go!

As I probably have no thyroxin in my system now, she guesses I’m feeling pretty tired and shitty. I’m not. She says if I don’t feel tired and shitty now, I probably will soon! The thyroid usually controls your energy levels so without it, and without any Thyroxin, one’s energy levels are up and down like a yoyo and by the sounds of it, more down than up! She laughs when I say I’m planning to go back to work mornings only for the next two weeks and she wishes me luck with my endeavours. I don’t think she thinks I can do it. But I’ve always been up for a challenge and this is one I’m determined to rise to. I’m  going to go to work every day for 2 weeks – wait and see if I don’t – and if I have to nana nap all afternoon, every afternoon to  re-charge, then that’s what I’ll do! How hard can it be?

I’m well pumped and ready to go back to the gym this week but that looks like it’s out of the question too. Dr Anne says firstly, I won’t have the energy and secondly and more importantly, exercising without any thyroxin can cause long term serious muscle damage. I’m crushed! I was really looking forward to going back to the gym, apart from the physical benefits, it’s always such a great stress reliever. I love setting those endorphins free. I guess I’ll have to be patient and just sit it out until my energy levels are back on track.

My blood test results haven’t come through yet, so she phones the lab and chases them up. Calcium levels are good so I can drop my dose to one torpedo twice a day. This is progress indeed!

We talk a bit about the treatment and the short term future. We agree to have a three month check up in the first instance, and then another one at six months. Depending on the blood tests at each check, they’ll have a good idea of how busy the Cancer is being and then make a call whether to do a body scan at six months, and decide then whether I need any more radioactive treatment. Being a control freak, knowledge is power and makes me feel good. So I’m happy to err on the side of caution with the high frequency check ups – it’s good to keep the finger on the pulse!

I’m starting to get my head around the fact that there’s no certainty with Cancer. For the next year at least, we’re only going to be able to make short term plans in between check ups because no one knows how things are going to pan out. I’m always scheming and planning, days, weeks and months in advance and I realise now that I’m going to have to change my attitude and adapt to my new circumstances. Flexibility is the key word here. I guess there’s going to be less planning for the future, and a whole lot more living for the moment, and that’s a good thing, right?

Feeling empowered by my lack of tired and shitty feeling s we decide to live life in the fast lane and head out for early evening drinks at our local bar. While we’re there, I check my Facebook and find out I’ve won a $50 dining voucher at a Chinese restaurant we’ve been meaning to try.  I just gave some feedback on our local Entertainment Book- so it’s totally random – but a great start to the weekend all the same! Yay!   

 It’s Friday night and had our holiday come to pass, we would have been having Friday Night Dinner with all our family in London. My Auntie Sandra’s cooking is quite simply legendary. I think she makes the best chicken soup in the world. Apart from all the feasting, we’re also missing out on seeing my cousins and all their kids so we decide to drown our sorrows with another glass of fine wine. It doesn’t seem so bad after that. However, we are  almost literally salivating thinking about Sandra’s Champion Chicken Soup, her brisket, her roast potatoes  and… well, needless to say, we work up quite an appetite visualising the Friday Night Table so we decide to have our own little Friday Night celebration – jus the two of us – Thai style at our local favourite restaurant! Sometimes, you just have to work with what you’ve got!