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treatment after thyroid cancer

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2012

i was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on march 8th, had the thyroid removed on the 13th and went to an endocrinologist today. they are still awaiting the pathology (due wednesday) but the treatment plan for this sounds as bad as having cancer. i am being told they put me in hypothyroid state which takes about 6 weeks then depending on pathology, i have a radioactive procedure then they play with getting my levels back to where they need to be which could take months. side effects like weight gain (and it appears the weight gain is significant), fatigue, depression, etc are common. is there another option out there besides this? i am a slim 57 year old, professional speaker who was traveling over 100K miles a year who will now be out of work since i will not be allowed to travel for awhile.

i am horrified. any help here would be appreciated.

Posts: 97
Joined: May 2011

I completely feel your pain, as I was freaked out with my diagnosis also. I was able to get the thyrogen shots, which you may wish to look into - this way, you do not have to go into the hypo state the regular way. I will caution you that this will take some time as there is currently a backup for thyrogen. For me, it was worth it to wait a bit *although quite stressful*

With regard to weight gain, I can say that I do find it very hard to lose weight. I was quite slim also and I have gained some weight. I exercise VERY regularly and eat well, so perhaps I would gain more if I didn't do those things. I am frustrated with this aspect, but then again, I'm still here.

Best advice is to find a good doc - these are rare, so make sure you have someone 'in your corner' with regard to care for this. Thyroid cancer is tricky, and it comes with weird side effects that get blown off in some cases. You'll need to be your own advocate, as many here can tell you.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2012

My doctor did say that the Thyrogen is very hard to get. He felt that i would be better off getting to the hypo point and getting the treatment rather then wait. i will look into this further. Thanks so much for understanding, i know i sound vain but in my professional, first impressions are everything.

Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2012

I did both the no Thyroxine tablets, and no iodine food diet, for a month before my RAI. The weekend before my RAI, the Thyrogen became available in the UK, and I was given two injections just before the RAI. During the diet I managed to lose 30lbs, so weight gain, since the treatment two weeks ago, is negligible. One thing to watch out for is susceptibility to other illness, as your immune system will have taken a knock. I have managed to contract full influenza, despite no contact with "the public" since the treatment.
If the UK National Health Service can get hold of Thyrogen, there is no excuse for it to be unavailable in the US, as that is where it is made.

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2012

I think you probley know now that there was no other way. but from what i see people who have had no hyroid problems before cancer dont get the side effects as bad as people who before cancer had thyroid problems. dont stop exercising, but get ready for battle physically and mentally to get back to feel how you once felt. and blood tests are not a better measure other than how you feel. how you feel is the best thing to go by. just a little advise from someone who has been dealing with thyroid stuff for 14 years. thought it might help...

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