Saturday, August 7, 2010

September 20, 2009: PET scan led to diagnosis of hypothyroidism - or - yay, another disease!

Four weeks ago I had a PET/CT scan done. It was ordered by my radiation oncologist, standard procedure at the end of treatment. A PET scan, basically, looks for cancer in the body – from the neck down.

It showed some “activity” with my thyroid. No masses anywhere, though – good news! But what the heck is going on with my thyroid now, I wondered. Something else to worry about. Cancer?

I saw my oncologist a week later and she said it’s not cancer, but it’s something, so let’s do a thyroid function test (a blood test) and see. She also told me that thyroid problems have been known to occur from radiation. Just my luck!

She called me a couple of days later and said that the blood test confirmed that I have hypothyroidism. She suggested I schedule an appointment to see an endocrinologist, and so I did. She said that hypothyroidism could be transient, but it could also be a lifelong problem, and is most often associated with fatigue and weight gain – GREAT!

Thyroid function tests looks at three thyroid hormones: T3, T4 and TSH. While my T3 and T4 are within normal limits, the TSH is high. The normal range is 0.40 – 4.50 and I mine is 16.99.

Now I’m being told that I have something else wrong with me – because apparently breast cancer and all the other crap I’ve had to go through just wasn’t enough on my plate!

I’m trying really hard not to dwell on it, but I was given the choice of whether or not to get radiation therapy because my case was borderline and the doctors were torn. I chose to do it even though I didn’t want to because I could not think of a good enough reason not to do it. I should have gone with my gut! Everything that’s happened to me since completing radiation therapy is my reason to say no to the choice of radiation or no radiation – too bad I didn’t know this before I made my decision.

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