Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In the Clear

Last Wednesday I went to the endocrinologist to talk about my recent blood work.  Of course, thanks to the magic of the internet and email and such, I already had my results. My thyroglobulin was -0.1, standard range is 3.0-40.  And my thyroglobulin antibodies came in at -20.0, which is also standard.

I already knew that these looked good.  I remembered some conversation- probably in August- about these numbers and where my doctor wanted to see them.  So I was pretty confident going in to see Dr. E. that morning.

After I was checked in by a friendly nurse, who chatted away about sunglasses and her lack of spelling skills, Dr. E. came in.  He asked me a bunch of questions- have I felt any lumps, anything unusual, sore throats, etc.  Not a thing.  I've been feeling pretty good actually.  It was a quick and easy exam.

We sat down at the computer and went over the numbers.  Thyroglobulin is basically a tumour marker.  The only reason you would have thyroblobulin in your blood is if you still had some thyroid tissue left.  Nothing else can make thyroglobulin.  In thyroid cancer patients who have received treatment, they like to see the measurements below standard- as close to zero as possible- which mine is.  It's a good indicator that there is no more thyroid tissue left inside of me.  Which is awesome.  The antibodies are measured just as a way to check that the thyroglobulin measurement is accurate.  Very high or low numbers can indicate that there is an issue, although that's not necessarily always the case.  But for me the number is where it should be, so nothing to worry about there either. 

What this means for me is that I'm excellent really.  Everything is right where it should be.  They won't need to see me again until next August, right around the same time that I had my RAI this past August.  I'll have a week set aside.  On Monday I'll go in for a thyrogen shot.  That Wednesday I'll go back for another and I'll have blood work done.  Friday I'll finish up with an ultrasound and an appointment to discuss my results.  If everything goes well, and it really should, everything will look much the same as it does right now.  At that time they'll decide if they'll want to see me again the following August for the same thing- thyrogen injections with blood work & an ultrasound- or if I can get away with yearly blood screenings at that point.

The last thing we had to discuss before I left was my Synthroid dose.  I'm at 137 mcg and I thought that was working well for me.  My TSH came in at 0.33 and the standard range is 0.40- 4.5.  Again, they like to see thyroid cancer patients with a slightly lower value.  Dr. E actually wants me to take the same dose every day, but one day a week he wants me to add 1/2 a pill to my regular dose.  I'll get my blood drawn at the end of January and hopefully this will put my numbers where he would like to see them.

We were done.  I headed home, officially declared free and clear of any traces of cancer.

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