On to the Next Adventure!

You know that expression time flies when you're having fun
It's true.
I've been having such a good time with all the great news at work, triathlon, and now school (straight A's again this semester!), that I almost forgot that I am technically at the end of tri season!  Time for a little rest/maintenance training and then . . . . .
On to the next adventure.
Also, I forgot tomorrow was Wednesday. Time for Baby's First PET Scan!

Positron Emission Tomography!
(Any time I or any of my friends do anything for the first time, I call it "Baby's First (whatever).")

The scoop on the PET scan is this.  Last week I went to an ENT expecting to get an upper endoscopy of the throat to look at the tissues inside, but he says my vocal chords and nerves (the structures most at risk for damage from thyroidectomies) are fine so I don't need a scope.  Instead, he wanted to send me for more diagnostic tests. Then possibly a needle biopsy. (Side note: those hurt like a BITCH.)

So, as predicted, I'm going to get tested like crazy for the next few months.

Tomorrow they'll shoot me up with a radioactive isotope, scan me from "eyes to thighs" with this machine, and see what "lights up."  The isotope contains a sugar-based solution, which all cells need to live, so the most active cells will show up on the scan. 

The ENT said that based on my bloodwork looking so good, the remaining tissue might be the kind that's "not avid."  Basically, your thyroid needs iodine to live, so when you have thyroid cancer or severe thryoid disease (like one of my Aunts who had Grave's disease), they give you radioactive iodine to kill it.  But some of the tissue sometimes doesn't make thyroid hormone, so that tissue doesn't absorb the radioactive iodine and die.  It also doesn't show up as recurrence on your bloodwork.

If the tissue that is remaining in my neck is just scar tissue, no big deal.  If it is thryoid tissue, then (according to the doctors) thyroid cancer recurrence is challenging to treat.  They don't always want to do surgery because neck surgery is risky.  They might do targeted beam (traditional) radiation if this tissue is the kind that doesn't absorb iodine.  They might operate again.  I've been told so many different possible plans that I am not counting on any of them until we know what's going on!

So for now I am just going to do what the doctors tell me, dive into the shit-ton of schoolwork I have for this short 12-week semester, and do what Gladys Knight and the Pips told me to do.

Keep on Keepin' On.

On to the next adventure!

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