A little motivation
****Warning a little bit o' science content!*****
I've had a number of people ask me about thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism and why/how did they think my cancer was back. I'll give a quick run through on all of this, but if you want additional information please let me know, I can send you links for reputable sources.
The thyroid is an organ of the endocrine system that receives information from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, that produces and secretes hormones based upon the information it receives. The hormones that are secreted from the thyroid (primarily T4 and T3) are important for many bodily functions such as metabolism, protein production, energy and much more. Another hormone that is produced in only in thyroid tissue is thyroglobulin. In December I had a blood test that indicated higher levels of thyroglobulin. Well, because I have no thyroid, (I had a thryoidectomy in January 2008), I should not have ANY thyroglobulin. Detectable levels of thyroglobulin is worrisome, because it indicates there may be some thyroid tissue somewhere in my body that is producing hormones. Well, this indicates cancer because there should NOT be any thyroid tissue in my body.
This result prompted the next few weeks of absolute hell. I had to stop taking my thyroid hormone medication (for 5.5 weeks!?!?!) so we could deprive my body of all thyroid hormone. This allows for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and other hormones from the pituitary to overstimulate any potential thyroid tissue that I might have had in my body. I had another ultrasound where my thyroid used to be as well as the nearby lymph nodes in the neck. And after the 5 weeks I had another blood test to determine the levels of T3, T4 and thyroglobulin.
Well we now know the outcome, I had no detectable levels of T3, T4 or thyroglobulin. Yay! No random growing thyroid tissue! Funny story, last year I was going around saying all I wanted for Christmas was a new thyroid, well scary thing this year I almost got that wish!
So great news. But even now, 2 weeks after going back on the thyroid hormone supplements, I am still feeling the effects of going hypothyroid.
First there's the weight gain. Somewhere between 20-25 pounds in 3 weeks. Yeah. I'm gross right now. And the hair falling out. Ew... And the dry skin, but oily hair. The tiredness. The, should I say it, constipation. This has been a bum of a start of the new year! And all of this on my psyche has been hard. As a former anorexic, the weight thing is really bothering me. All of this has taken a toll on me and I've been really down. However, I know it will all correct itself now that I'm back on the thyroid hormone. It's hard, but I know it will get better in the next few weeks.
Funny thing is, I've noticed a correlation with my knitting, or the lack of knitting. It could be because I typically knit when I'm fidgety. It could be because I knit when I'm happy. But I've been knitting small projects that normally would be quick knits but are taking me a loooong time. Maybe it's the lack of energy that slowed me down. But I've noticed all of my knits are small, they lack any sort of commitment and just generally didn't make me happy.
Now that I'm back on the medication and trying to get my energy, body and psyche back into the swing of things I think I should choose a knitted item that will make me happy. I can feel things are starting to get better (I can go through a whole day at work, come home and do stuff instead of laying there and being mopey or sleepy!). I have a couple of little items that I will soon show in a post, but I think I'm going to take some time and choose a project that will make me happy! Stay tuned for more upbeat posts, some more recovery and hopefully soon the start of a cool new project!