Well, it is that time again. Time to find out if this guy here is holding the emperor of maladies at bay, or if, well, not.
In November I took a radioactive iodine dose in the hopes of killing off the papillary thyroid cancer that has metastasized to my lungs. The endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., said we won’t be able to kill all the cancer cells, but we can hope to manage it.
To say the least, that was not what I wanted to hear.
A follow-up in February revealed that the cancer had not spread, but the doctor could not give me any long-term outlook.
As you read this, if it is Thursday, I am preparing to visit a new doctor that I hope can give me clear answers in one direction or the other. If any one can get me down the path to full recovery, it will be this guy.
A good friend of mine had struggled with thyroid cancer with multiple radiation treatments (I’ve had two) and multiple surgeries (I’ve had two).
However, he got in touch with this guy who set him straight and he’s been cancer free for the past few years.
So, in February when I was at Mayo, my friend was having his annual checkup, pleading my case and asking that his doctor take me on.
Thankfully, he agreed.
This may seem strange to some people. Mayo’s medical centers and hospitals are considered some of the best in the world. I have been fortunate to have been under their care since March 2010.
But instead of pointing the car south this time, I’m taking a plane east to the University of Colorado, Denver.
Dr. Bryan Haugen is the professor of medicine and pathology at the university, and the chief of the Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes Division, and the director of the Thyroid Tumor Program, and is the university chairman in endocrine neoplasm research.
He has published 63 articles in peer-reviewed literature, predominantly in the field of the management of thyroid cancer and nodules.
Basically, he does the research and writes the papers the endocrinologists everywhere read three years later.
Oh yeah, he is also a past president of the American Thyroid Association.
If he can’t get me right, no one can.
But I’m not trying to leave it up to traditional medicine, either. I worry about pumping additional radiation into my body, even though I fear that will have to happen again.
I have been trying to eat better (even if I fail more times than I like working near all these wonderful restaurants), and have been juicing daily. My fridge is stocked with carrots, beets, celery, ginger and wheatgrass.
I also have a daily kale shake, which is not as gross as it sounds. No, it doesn’t have ice cream (sugar feeds cancer) but the fresh pineapple chunks help the taste.
I also have started a daily regiment of vitamins, ranging from D3 to B complex, from selenium to quercetin and vitamin C. I also chew on apricot kernels, for those of you who know what that is supposed to be helpful for.
I’d love to go to licensed holistic doctor to augment my traditional care , but that has not been possible yet.
We only go through this world once before the ol’ dirt nap. Life is just getting good.
I’m not close to ready to check out. Hopefully, I won’t too soon.