Sunday, December 9, 2012

Awareness and Research

Currently I've been dealing with a lot: catching up in school, more health issues, waiting to go back to work, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and medication reactions.  It's hasn't been fun for the most part, but the fiance does make it nice at times.  This matters a lot to me and probably other cancer patients, to have someone there by their side through all of this.  Some people are lucky and have family, friends and/or an SO near them to help them out, but if you have a friend that has cancer (or any diseases for that matter) that seems to be dealing with it on their own, be there for them in any way, you can even at least be a shoulder to cry on.  It will help them a lot.

Anyways, I've been dealing with feeling weak in my muscles (mainly my legs), I walk slower now, I can't deal with the cold, my hip hurts, I'm having chest pains, head pains, right side of my neck is swollen, I'm having issues breathing, overly emotional at times because of medication, and anxiety.  I had an x-ray on my hip due to the pain and issues with laying down at times, but the x-ray came back that nothing was wrong.  I also did blood tests to see if I'm anemic still and if I'm having issues with B12, which could explain a lot of the pains and muscle weakness and I'm waiting on those results.  If those come back normal then something needs to be done with my medication.  I already got adjusted from 125 to 175, but the problem with Synthroid is that it's only a T4 medication and if your body can't make T4 to T3 then you need to take something else on top of Synthroid or switch to something like Armour which is a T4/T3 combo.  I'm waiting to see my Endocrinologist next month to ask for blood tests on Free T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3 instead of the TSH test. This would help adjust your medications better and this would let your doctor see if your body is having issues with T4 converting into T3. 

Some people on the Facebook pages on Thyroid diseases and cancer that I read have said it's been hard to find doctors that will look into T3 issues or prescribe Armour to their patients due to these doctors being misinformed.  One person said they had to switch to five to six different doctors until someone listened to them that Synthroid didn't work for them and wanted to try Armour.  The main problem is there isn't a lot of research going on Thyroid diseases and issues or at least it doesn't seem as some doctors are just playing guessing games with the patients' diagnoses and medication, not all doctors, but what I've heard from others it has happened.  I've heard of people that never get back to close to being their normal self after cancer and this has been going on for 10 to 30 years for some of them. 

I think the reason there isn't as much research is because there is a "cure" for thyroid cancer and some of the other diseases and illnesses like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.  Though with so many people still having issues and going years to doctors in hopes to one day feel normal at least for awhile... we need to continue this research and find a better solution.  Also with more people developing thyroid cancer, we need to figure out why it's on the rise... what has changed to cause this?  It can't be always genetics since it seems more people are becoming the first one in the family to get it like myself.  There needs to be also more awareness for this cancer and also the other diseases and illnesses that can come from the gland.

I have learned throughout all of this that I have to do my own research and look to other people that have already experienced this and have been for years to see what I need to do.  I guess, some people do this anyways, but I'm used to doctors knowing what they are talking about.  The research has helped me a lot with my family doctor and she listens to me when I request medication like a muscle relaxer for my neck or blood tests to see if my anemia has gotten worse or if I have an issue with B12.

To the people that never have checked their thyroid or their children's, if you see signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which there is a long list since the thyroid affects a lot of systems in your body... get your blood tested for Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and TSH.  It might explain some issues that you have been having and nothing seems to make it better.  Also doesn't hurt to get your thyroid checked every once in awhile since Thyroid cancer doesn't always show signs and symptoms.

Oh and also... I posted a video on youtube: My Dealing with Thyroid Cancer

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