Yesterday was the end of the 72 hour Big Deal period, which meant that I did an epic amount of laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and wiped down my keyboard and mouse with bleach wipes. I think the bleach might have thrown my bluetooth mouse for a loop, as it’s been having trouble working ever since, but I’m glad that the three days of isolation are up. There are still rules for the next few days: no kissing, no sharing straws, carefully wash all utensils, but it’s almost done.
Well, this phase of it anyway. Next comes maintenance mode. A friend put me in touch with another thyroid cancer survivor*, who very kindly spoke with me for almost an hour today, sharing wisdom, advice, and general information about what comes next. Yearly ultrasounds, probably another I-123 scan in a year, routine blood tests, and the possibility of another round of ablation (I-131) if the cancer comes back. As helpful as websites and forums have been, actually talking to another person (in my profession) made a huge difference. I feel more confident about the next few years, and a lot less frightened by the idea of recurrence.
And tonight I had miso soup and sushi for dinner, because I could!
*I’m slowly getting more comfortable with the term “survivor.” Even if my particular tumor was self-contained, didn’t spread the the lymph nodes, etc, I’m not just surviving the tumor. I’m dealing with the whole experience – the tests and surgery and low iodine diet and the radioiodine treatment. And that I have survived.