Seven more young Fukushima Prefecture residents have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, according to a prefectural government statement on Monday. All of the patients were 18 or younger at the time of the 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown. This bumps the number of Fukushima residents diagnosed with thyroid cancer up to 152. Although many times higher than the national average, […]
I’ve been absent for some time as I’ve recently undergone 30 radiotherapy sessions for a recurrence of my thyroid cancer. There was a small nodule found in my neck after a scan in January, and instead of surgery this time, it was suggested that the radiotherapy treatments could be most beneficial for a local recurrence.
Every weekday for 6 weeks I attended the Oncology Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in order to be blasted by the tomography machine. The worst part was having to be immobilised by wearing a ‘shell’ over my face inside the tomography machine for at least 15 – 20 minutes each day, which was very claustrophobic. The radiation made me very fatigued and nauseated, and I haven’t felt like doing much.
Four weeks on and I’m slowly recovering. My taste buds have been massacred, and the only foods that taste like they should are salty foods, which I don’t usually eat. I’ve lost 10 pounds in weight, and am having much difficulty putting it back on. However, the pain I was starting to get in my left knee has gone with the weight loss, so it wasn’t altogether a bad experience!
I’ve been writing about the whole event in my new book ‘Relapse!’, which I’ll publish later in the year once I have the results from this treatment. I have to wait until my throat has healed inside and everything has settled down before I can have another scan to see if the radiotherapy has worked. My throat is still a bit sore, but the red inflamed skin on the outside has healed very well.
I’m still surviving! One good thing to aid my healing and recovery was being able to buy a holiday home on the Isle of Wight after receiving an inheritance. I look forward to many short breaks and holidays with my husband on the Island I love.
I have shared the article below today, which is taken from the website http://www.doctorslounge.com
“Younger survivors of thyroid cancer are at increased risk for certain types of health problems later in life, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Symposium.
Brenna Blackburn, M.P.H., a graduate research assistant at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues tracked data from 3,706 thyroid cancer survivors in Utah diagnosed between 1997 and 2012. The researchers compared those patients’ long-term health to that of 15,587 people who did not have thyroid cancer.
The researchers found that thyroid cancer survivors diagnosed before the age of 40 were five times more likely to develop peri-, endo-, or myocarditis, and more than twice as likely to develop heart valve disorders, compared to people in the other group. Patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer when young were also more than seven times more likely to develop osteoporosis, and more likely to have hypertension and cardiac dysrhythmias. Patients diagnosed when over 40 were 46 percent more likely to develop hypertension and more than twice as likely to develop osteoporosis than people who’d never had thyroid cancer.
As the number of thyroid cancer survivors grows, more people are living with other serious health conditions resulting from treatment,” Blackburn said in an American Society of Clinical Oncology news release. “It’s important to understand these long-term risks so that we can not only help manage their health, but also inform how oncologists care for these patients from the onset of diagnosis.”
I can attest to the part relating to osteoporosis. At the moment I have osteopenia, a forerunner of osteoporosis, due to originally having to be over-medicated on thyroxine for 5+ years following my thyroidectomy (as per clinical guidelines at the time). I have a bone scan every 2 years, and have had a bisphosphonate infusion to try and counteract the decline in bone density. Everything is holding steady at the moment and my thyroxine dose has been reduced to what it was originally, but I have intermittent pain in my lower back and a kind of grating sometimes.
I was given calcium supplements a few years back, but last year was advised not to take them anymore, as they can cause heart problems! You can’t win, can you?
Do you know anybody who is suffering side-effects due to treatment for thyroid cancer? If so, what kind of side-effects are they?
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!
Phil and I stayed near Tower Hill on New Year’s Eve. We had booked one of the Thames pleasure cruises back in January 2016 (yes, you have to book them early!) which set off from Tower Pier at 22:30 towards the London Eye, ready to fight for the best position with what seemed like hundreds of other boats whose passengers also wanted to see the fireworks.
Here’s hoping 2017 brings you everything you wish for. My wish is to remain in remission!
Unhappiness is toxic. Throughout the years, I’ve learned there are certain traits and habits chronically unhappy people seem to have mastered. But before diving in with you, let me preface this and say: we all have bad days, even weeks when we fall down in all seven areas. “The mind is its own place, and…
This blog is so true. It is up to us to make our own happiness; we cannot rely on others to do it for us. Constant complaining only serves to make us more unhappy!
There comes a time in everyone’s life when parents, aunts, uncles, and other members of the generation above us all begin to fail and die. It usually comes round about our fifties or sixties, and suddenly when the last of that generation have gone we suddenly realise that we are now ‘the older generation’.
We have spent our middle years being the ‘filling’ in the sandwich between old parents and young children and teenagers, and now when the last elderly relative has died we all must shift upwards a level, like it or not. Soon our children begin to look middle aged, an increasing number of grandchildren wreck our homes at family get-togethers, and our sons and daughters will begin to plot behind our backs as to whose turn it is to have us over for Christmas.
With the recent death of my uncle, it occurs to me that there are only two people left in my family from the older generation; my mother (92) and another uncle (86). My years as a sandwich filler are coming to an end, and soon I will be the ‘bread’ on the outer edge. Scary, isn’t it? It’s only when you get to your fifties that you realise how short life is. We must make the most of life while we can!
Today on the news was an article about a 14 year old girl who had died of terminal cancer. Before her death she had stated her wish to have her body preserved so that she could be brought back to life. She was supported in her wish by her mother, but not by her father.
A high court judge ruled that the girl’s mother should be allowed to decide what happened to her daughter’s body, and so the girl was eventually taken to the USA and frozen.
I could only mourn for the poor girl if and when she might eventually be brought back to life, be it in 100, 200 or 500 years’ time. The life she knew and all her immediate family will be gone. She will be in a strange world, but will still have cancer if they haven’t yet found a cure for it. Plus the fact that if we are all living for longer and more and more people decide to be frozen and awoken as well, then the world is going to be sinking under the weight of the population. All the arable land will have to be sold off in order for developers to build homes, and people will all be living cheek to jowl in a huge sardine tin.
Peachy isn’t it? I think I’ll plump for the hereafter and take my chances…