Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oh food, how I've missed you!

This weekend I've been under house arrest, having undergone a radioactive iodine treatment for papillary thyroid cancer. During the three days following this treatment, it is important that I limit my interactions with others in order not to subject them to any radiation that may be emitted from my body. Hence, the "House Arrest".

In preparation for this treatment, I've been on a low iodine diet for the last three weeks, in order to starve any thyroid cells that remained after thryoidectomy, of iodine. Once I'd swallowed this radioactive iodine, the theory goes, the remaining thyroid cells would flock to the iodine, only to be killed by the radiation.

For three weeks, I've not consumed any dairy, fish, commercially produced bread or baked goods, and a slew of other things that might contain iodine. This experience brought home to me how much I rely on these very foods in my diet. Over these weeks, I ate more fruits and vegetables and was challenged to eat new foods. I ate more avocado, salt free peanut butter, more salad, fresh tomatoes, roasted chicken. Not a bad thing.

But Oh! Joy! I've just finished a lovely tuna fish sandwich made with lots of red onion, parsley, capers, mayonnaise, on a lovely french roll from the Vietnamese bakery in my neighborhood. Life is good. What to make for dinner?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a long hiatus...

Well, the Unemployed Dragon got side lined in July by some health issues. After a physical exam revealed an asymmetrical thyroid, I was sent to San Francisco General Hospital, for further tests, which brought me to a diagnosis of Papiliary Thyroid Cancer.

Yeah, Cancer. The Big C. Hmmmmm....

So, I went on to have surgery at SFGH, having my thyroid removed. Initially, not fun at all, but I've made a rapid recovery and am currently getting ready for the second phase of treatment, Radioactive Iodine, which I swallow in order to kill any stray thyroid cells.

So I have cancer? Somehow it hasn't hit me... I don't have a feeling of dread or fear. Rather, I keep thinking: "This is a big pain in the butt. It's getting in the way of the life that I'm trying to get back in the form of working. Instead of working, I'm going to doctors...surgereon, endocrinologist, nuclear medicine.

But dread? Fear? Nope.