Malignant: A Silver Lining & Other Ideas

Young Again

If My Olive Pit™ hadn’t been located right next to my thyroid gland, prompting my docs to immediately check for thyroid cancer, I might not be feeling as chipper and frisky these days.

True story.

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The first thing Dr. Behney, my primary care physician, did was order a big blood panel on me. The phlebotomist, as a result, drew several gallons of the red stuff out of me, causing me to stumble around the streets of this bustling megalopolis for the rest of the day in a stupor, my skin pale, black circles around my eyes, my only utterances grunts — in other words I’d been transformed into a Donald Trump supporter.

Anyway, if you’ve been following this story so far, you know I don’t have thyroid cancer. I do have squamous cell cancer located in ipsilateral lymph nodes around my throat, which I’ve been milking for content for a month now, as any self-respecting blogger would.

The blood test, though, revealed I do suffer from hypothyroidism, apart from my cancer diagnosis. Last week, Behney prescribed a daily dosage of Synthroid, a synthetic hormone to replace the stuff my lazy-assed thyroid hasn’t been producing for what turns out to be many years.

I’ve been taking Synthroid since Friday, a week’s worth of it now. Sometime around late Monday afternoon, I noticed that I was as active and non-exhausted as I had been years ago. See, for a long time I’ve noticed myself feeling utterly spent at least by noon every day. I had to come home daily and collapse in my recliner, sometimes unable even to converse with The Loved One. My legs would feel as though they weighed 150 pounds each. Merely crossing the room to turn the lamp on or off seemed a titanic task. I was cranky and unambitious. Even in my morning shower, I’d feel as though I ought to get out and collapse in my chair. I figured it was all related to my congenitally deformed heart and the resultant Congestive Heart Failure I’ve been diagnosed with since 2003.

The Loved One came home Monday and saw me standing up, a surprise in itself. I was chatty and working on dinner. I looked alive. She marveled at the transformation.

I’ve been similarly energized each day since. I actually feel young again. All, apparently, because I now have enough of the hormone that regulates my body’s energy level and metabolism.

Hell, this never would have happened without my cancer diagnosis. Life is funny, no?

All Doped Up

I’m gonna need that newfound energy to keep track of all the medications I have to take these days. Here’s the list of my prescribed drugs, several of which actually are keeping me alive, the rest profoundly affecting the quality of my life:

● Furosemide (generic for Lasix)

● Potassium

● Allopurinol

● Enteric Aspirin

● Metoprolol

● Sertraline (generic for Zoloft)

● Atorvastatin

● Doxazosin (generic for Cardura)

● Synthroid

● Vitamin D3

● Clarithromycin (for my dental sessions)

That’s 14 tablets a day (some are multiple pill doses). I also picked up a couple of anti-nausea drugs yesterday; I won’t take them until chemotherapy starts but I’m assured I will, indeed, need them. All that’s in addition to the chemotherapy drug cocktail and all the drugs that’ll be injected into me immediately after each therapy session. Throughout my treatment, my blood’ll be monitored closely to make sure various substance levels remain acceptable. Should those levels drop, I’ll be prescribed the appropriate drugs.

Conceivably by March I could be taking more than 20 different medications a day.

I have to admit I have no qualms whatsoever about contributing to the uber-wealth of certain pharmaceutical company CEOs. Call me a pharma-capitalist running dog if it makes you feel any better.

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