It is now near the end of August and time for the repeat Ultrasound. Prior to having my appointment, I was just crossing my fingers that I would have a stable exam. Luckily, it showed no growth and my Tg number was low at 0.3. Dr. Song explained that we will continue monitoring the nodule and will repeat the ultrasound in January.
Well now I am starting over with Endo number two as Dr. Lund had to go and graduate from his fellowship and has moved on to another practice. I always seem to lose the good ones! On the other hand, I now have the most amazing Endo, Dr. Mark Bridenstine, another fellow for Dr. McDermott and I hope that he will be around for a while. We went over my entire history bit by bit discussing everything and every possible scenario that could happen. He is so detailed and leaves no stone unturned. This one is definitely a keeper and I truly am blessed to have such an outstanding team of doctors. One thing that I did learn was that the reason my iodine uptake scan did not light up when it really should have, is that I am not avid for iodine and so that treatment really does me no good. I sure wish they would have made that clearer to me before, maybe they had and I just didn’t quite process it. Well this is just great, another complicating factor that makes my treatment protocol and plan even more difficult! Can I ever catch a break here?
So the next few months I kept pondering over this wait and watch approach as I had doubts if the right decisions were being made. We were going to be on vacation in Utah as Jerome had his High School reunion that he wanted to attend. So I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone? I wanted to go back to consult with Dr. Bentz and so I went ahead and made an appointment with him. It was unfortunate that he could only see me on Jerome’s birthday. I’m sure that is not how he wanted to spend his birthday, by going to the doctors. However, I have such an amazing husband and he supported me in my decision to go and talk with Dr. Bentz as I just wanted to know if he concurred with Dr. Song and the endos on this whole waiting game thing.
Needless to say that was a good appointment and the best thing that I did for myself. I had many questions and was hoping that he could shed some light on all this. At first, Dr. Bentz thought I was coming back to return care with him, but then explained that I just wanted to talk with him about the current treatment plan and if it was a good plan or not. I explained that my Tg was on the rise. The Tg (thyroglobulin) is the tumor marker that will show if there are cancer cells present somewhere. He did explain to me and we discussed in great length on those tumors that are just watched. He said something that really made me think and I will never forget it. He said that sometimes the best treatment plan is no treatment at all. He was in agreement with Dr. Song in watching the nodule for further growth, as another surgery just presented too many risks. I had also asked him about the BRAF mutation which can be seen in aggressive thyroid cancers and he gave me a bit more information on that as well.
I explained that the endos were recommending more Radiation treatment if the Tg continued to climb. He suggested that I could obtain a second opinion from another endo as well; however, I don’t think that is really an issue as I do love my endo team. I guess I was just hoping against all hope that Dr. Bentz would have a different solution and I just wanted him to make this all go away! After talking at length with him I felt a little bit better about the plan and he gave me a lot to think about. However, he could see right through me and he sensed that I was having anxiety over this, a lot more than I was willing to admit to him and to myself! Did I really think that I could slide this past him? I was only hoping that he wouldn’t notice, but I guess he has that keen instinct to know when something is off! Nevertheless, he’s always had a way of easing my fears and keeping me calm.
While in Utah we also spent some time vacationing and it was Jerome’s thirty-year high school reunion which was held in Park City. We spent the day exploring the area and even rode the zip-line. Talk about scary – at least for me, as I have a fear of heights. Why I let my husband talk me into riding that thing I’ll never know, but I guess I just have to keep an open mind and be adventurous sometimes. How I made it going down that mountain was a miracle and I think I must have closed my eyes the entire way! At the reunion it was great reconnecting with old friends, we both went to the same high school and my thirty-year reunion will be next year.
On our travels we went from Colorado to Utah and back driving through the state of Wyoming. That has got to be the most boring drive ever! There is literally nothing in Wyoming, how people would want to live there just baffles me. It is pretty much desolate, almost like driving in the desert in California. It took us around ten hours to travel with stopping for gas and what not as we were not in a big hurry, but we probably could have made it in a shorter amount of time. It was nice being able to get away from Colorado for a while and to take a break from everything and spend some much-needed time together.