Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nick vs. the LID in a game of Roshambo.

Some of my friends with more discerning palettes than I, have made the suggestion that I use this LID diet as an opportunity to travel down culinary roads that were previously unknown to me. That I should finally end the feud between my sense of taste and the produce aisle. I told them i would think about it. And I did.

For about a second.

Then I put on my best Rex Kwon Do pants and roundhouse kicked that notion in the face!!

Starla would have been proud of me.

Anyway, I really did consider eating more veggies and if I ever have to repeat this whole process, I might actually go through with it. However, there are a couple of things that stand in my way. The first is the fact that I don't really like many of them, the second is that I don't know the first thing about preparing them. Also, I promised an LID junk food blog.

As a fat guy, you know i loves me some junk food. It has been said that I have yet to meet a partially hydrogenated processed food stuff that I didn't like. If you have been reading this blog though, you already know that the LID will not suffer such fare as it tends to be crammed to the brim with potentially iodized salt/sea salt or soy and dairy and pretty much everything else I'm not allowed to eat. If you are a newly diagnosed Thyca patient, then chances are you will have to do this diet at some point. Don't freak out though, seriously, you're above that. Instead, I'm gonna show you some stuff that I have found that has made my life over the last 19 days a little easier.

After what seemed like my 27th pound of trail mix, I decided that the the "salty, crunchy" button in my brain wasn't being pushed. Like any good junkfoodie, my first instinct went to potato chips. Since I was already in full on LID mode, I decided that I was going to have to make them on my own. It made sense (to my increasingly hypo brain) and the core ingredients are LID safe, so why not? Well...it didn't work out like I hoped. Long story short, I only succeeded in making flat round french fries and narrowly avoiding 3rd degree burns after my pot of hot oil boiled over. The end result was still deep fried potatoes (or sweet potatoes in this case) and they were tasty but didn't keep well.

Later that week, after one of my many blood tests, I found myself walking around Sprouts. For those of you who don't have a Sprouts, it's kind of like Whole Foods, only the people watching isn't nearly as good and I feel like I can shop there without being a self-conscious tool bag. I didn't think I would ever find a pre-processed potato chip that was LID safe, but as luck would have it I did find these:


Overall, they aren't too bad. A little bland maybe, but doable. It occurred to me that I could apply my own iodine free salt later on and that would perk them up a bit. It wasn't until much later that I realized I could season the chips however I wanted. My current favorite is salt and chipotle pepper powder. I may never buy normal potato chips again. I am Bob Ross and these chips are my own crunchy little blank flavor canvases.


Screw the trees, I'm making happy little chips!

There are going to be times that you want to switch it up though, and if you live anywhere south of the mason-dixon line and west of the mississippi river, tortilla chips are arguably the more important chip. They are indeed, the ultimate vehicle for the topping of your choice. For whatever reason though, I had it in my head that tortilla chips are a flour product, (wrong) so I was delighted to find out that they are in fact, made of corn. After scouring the chip aisle I found these:



I should mention that this particular brand of chips is very local to me here. They are produced about 15 miles away from where I live and I don't know how widely distributed they are. However, should you be able to buy these chips, you should do it. I bought two big bags for around 5 bucks. Seriously, only jerks who hate money and use it to set fire to orphans wouldn't buy these.

As much as I like these particular chips, it annoys me that I cant bathe them in my favorite chip dressing, queso. (that's cheese dip for you folks in places that get snow) I'm sure some of you are asking why I don't just season them like the chips above or pair them with a freshly made salt free salsa or something like that. I would respond by saying that my brain is mostly mush and just the simple act of existing is tiring at times to me now. To remedy this situation my wife and I emptied about half a bag onto a baking sheet, juiced a lemon lime all over them and then dashed them with kosher salt. Bake them until things start to get brown and crispy on the edges, and you have an awesome little snack. My point here is these chips are legal to eat on the LID right out of the bag. I find that after a quick toasting I dont really need anything else, but if you are on the LID (and also if you aren't) feel free to top them however you want.


So good I forgot to snap a pic until they were almost all eaten

Happy that I had the stuff to meet my chip quota, I made my way to the front of the store and stumbled upon a snack-ish food that i had not really ever considered, sesame sticks. They look like something you might put on or in an asian style salad or something like that, or as my friend put it, "looks like a bag of turds." (Yup, those are my friends.) I turned my attention to the labels and found an unsalted variety that fit my prerequisites and was cheap enough to take a gamble on. As it turns out they were pretty good, though they give me heart burn if I'm not careful with them. Again I took License to ill season these to my tastes, that being No Salt Tony Chachere's. I snapped a pic of the sesame label for you:


These little things really are quite decent (if you like turd shaped sesame) and I plan on trying out the flavored versions as a football gameday food this fall. A pound of this stuff goes a really long way, and at $4.00 per lb its hard to beat.

So at this point you are probably saying, "Wow Nick, thats awesome that you have spent so much time on a food that provides so many empty calories! But, I'm bored with chips. What other kinds of junkfood alternatives have you wasted invested time and money in?"

Im glad you asked.

Again, if you have to be on the LID it can be quite easy to read the "what not to eat" part of the diet and get hung up on it. I know i did for awhile but thats because "going hypo" makes you a tad bit, um, testy. (Read: assholish) When I decided to read the "allowed foods" part I discovered that on can have diet colas! Which is good because I live smack dab in the middle of Dr. Pepper country and I do enjoy one from time to time. Be mindful of colas or dark sodas (or "pop" for you yanks)because even though you can have them, the diet prefers you to have ones without caramel coloring in them. You can also have candy (as long as there is no Red Dye #3 in it) such as gummy bears or marshmallows. So if you are a candy person, have fun with that.

I have to admit to being a bit bummed out when I read that I was not supposed to have chocolate, but my homie and fellow Thyca superstar Radioactive Girl dropped a little tip on me. She said that if I could find a substance called "pareve" that I could indeed have chocolate. Being the uneducated gentile that I am, I admit that i thought that pareve or parev (both seem to be acceptable spellings) was a kosher chocolate of some kind. This is not necessarily true. Pareve seems to be a label for a certain class of kosher foods. They contain neither meat nor dairy. It was with no small amount of excitment that I found this on the kosher part of the shelf at my local mega grocery store.

After eating one of these delectable little cookies, I imagined that a Kit Kat and one of those really cheap sugar wafer cookies (the kind that you probably only had at your grandmas house) had a sordid love affair that was both passionate and yet doomed to fail. It would never work between the two confections. On was a fairly major celebrity, the other spent its time attracting ants in the bargain bin of the local drug store. I have to think both parents were a little dismayed when they discovered they were having a child. In the end they decided to turn the kid loose to fend for itself and what we ended up with is what happens when we let children name themselves. A really sweet kid with a really stupid name.

Never let a child name itself

So there you have it. Those are some of the things that I have been eating to help keep my stomach sane while the rest of my brain and body go on walkabout. There have been a whole list of other foods that i have enjoyed and I'll be sure to share all of that with you once I see the light at the end of this particular tunnel.

speaking of, by the time you read this i should know whether all this worked, or was for naught. I had my blood test to measure my TSH level today and i should know by tomorrow if I am all set for my RAI treatment. Ill be sure to keep everyone updated on that. Thanks again for reading and supporting me. I greatly appreciate all the comments Iv'e been getting on here and in person when I see people.

It's at this point I want to say thanks again to Radioactive girl for her support and advice. If you are a Thyca patient/survivor or even if you aren't, you owe it to yourselves to become familiar with her story. You can read her blog HERE.

By the way, in case you missed it at the top, this is what Roshambo means.

Your move LID.

[EDITORS NOTE: feel free to click the text links that are embedded in the text. The are meant to help explain something I feel might need clarification. They are not ads.]

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The one where I drill a hole in my head.


If your response to watching the Tin Man perform horrific surgery on Santa Claus, while Billy Mays tries to sell him a magic lamp, is to see how long you can balance a book on your head...perhaps you need to seek another line of work.

I'm 12 days into the LID diet while im typing this, and unfortunately there may be no end in sight. As the title implies, I screwed up. I have been taking a medication called Liothyronine which is a thyroid hormone. As far as i know, its different from the hormone that I will take regularly (Synthroid) once i get past the RAI. (In case you are just joining us, RAI=Radioactive Iodine.) Im pretty sure my doc told me that the Liothyronine is much faster acting, and to be used as a way to alleviate some of the symptoms that i would have after going off my main hormone. That should mean it gets in and out of my system faster right? That's how i understood it anyway, i could be wrong about it. Geeze, hows that for an opening paragraph? Im sure it was both compelling AND rich, right? Ugh.

Are you still with me?

Good. Anyway, my stupid rookie cancer patient mistake came when I discovered that I was supposed to stop taking it when I started my diet and as I said at the beginning, I'm 12 days into it. I don't know how far it will set me back but I feel like a total dweeb for screwing that up. I'm supposed to take a blood test later this week, so ill be able to see what the damage was.

What a total dweeb might look like.

As far as the diet goes, I'm getting better at it. As in I'm getting better at figuring out how to make up some fried goodies to eat. I'll expound on that more in a minute, but first I need to crack open my dome and let out some of the things that have been swirling around in there.

I want some of you to try to balance a book on your noggin' while you read this...

Look, I know that I should be taking the opportunity to broaden my culinary horizons by trying out new foods. Bravely sailing my grocery cart into the uncharted aisles of the produce section or some such nonsense, but let's get real for a moment. Let's all remember that I've gone through a relatively crappy couple of months. I'm sorry, but at this point, I don't really need or want to embrace another major change in my life. It probably sounds like I am whining and overreacting a little bit and that might prove to be true, but at this point these are the feelings I have. Rationally, I know that the diet is only temporary and that soon enough I'll be able to drown myself in delicious cheeseburgers, or slide down a smokey river of brisket and sausage and barbecue sauce if I want. However, it seems like one more stupid thing I have to and deal with, and frankly, I'm running out of patience and energy for this shit. (Pardon my français)

It's been hard enough coming to terms with my cancer and the effects it has had on my life in the past and how it will continue to effect me in the future. Making approximations of familiar foods keeps me happy. Making my house smell like fried potatoes is not only fun, but helps to keep that little Maslow button in my brain pushed. Once I put some distance between me and my surgery and recovery, ill try to get back into a regular diet and exercise. I feel like i have to because, I've recently read that my type of cancer recurs in 20%-30% of folks who get it once. That's terrifying to me. (Sigh) I currently have youth on my side even though the lease is running out on it. I still have time to rectify most of my lifestyle mistakes. It's hard though, to suddenly change gears in the middle of a life that is already on cruise control. In previous posts I've mentioned the Body For Life diet and i plan to return to it once I'm able. In fact, I'm kind of excited about it because I anticipate much better results once my hormone situation is back on track.

In a lot of ways I am still trying to wrap my noodle around my current situation. It has been both good and bad talking to other Thyca survivors/patients. It's been good because you finally realize that there actually other people who have been through what you are going through, people who can validate your feelings, both physical and emotional. If you are a newly diagnosed patient, or if you are a family member of one, please seek out as much help like this as possible. I know it sounds cliche, and it is, but other patients are your best resource as far as what to expect on your road ahead. Those of you who have helped me, and manage to read this, I want to say thanks to you. You have been great and I hope one day to pay forward the help and support and knowledge that you have given me.

On the other hand, it's been scary to talk to these people because I am seeing for the first time just how big a deal this thyroid cancer thing really is. Its like my job.

Er, that sounded bad. let me explain.

For those of you who don't know, I work at a local television station and I told some of the folks that I work with that it's like the first time you realize that hundreds of thousands of people see the work we do. That the shows we do actually manage to escape outside of the walls of our building. Every time I screw up, a boat load of people see it. If I stop to think about that, it can be paralyzing. That's the kind of thing I felt when I realized how widespread thyroid cancer is. It suddenly ceased being a local/nick problem and I felt simultaneously empowered with new and better information yet, had become much smaller, and in some ways much more powerless against such a beast. I can only imagine how other folks with worse cancers handle this. Its hard to imagine that you can beat such an animal when so many others have struggled so greatly with it.


Even Debbie Downer thinks I need to lighten up.

You know, after re-reading that last paragraph it seems like I might be a little defeated, but I'm trying to keep my head up. Despite the severity of my cancer, I still have a great prognosis. My doctors say that there is no reason that I shouldn't recover fully from this and and at this point, I have to trust them. I have to trust their remedies and solutions to my particular problems. I have to keep in mind that for as much that has gone wrong, there has been a lot that has gone right for me:

The surgery went fairly well. There were some complications and the recovery was hard but considering the complexity and sheer length of the surgery I say it was a win.

I still have all my structures and functions that run through my neck. I can shrug my shoulders and my face doesn't look like Sloth from "The Goonies. That means no nerve damage. Yay for not looking like Sloth.

I can still talk. This is a biggie, considering that my right vocal chord was encased in tumor. (i read the surgical notes the other day, and that's the word he used.) It has been a long time coming back, but I can say that I have seen great improvement in the last couple of days. I finally sound a little more like myself.

A large part of the cancer is gone. Hopefully. My doc says that he is going to hit me with a fairly heavy dose of RAI which will hopefully (again) kill of the rest of my thyroid tissue/cancer in my body. There's a lot of hope goin on here.

I have a great support system. This is arguably the best thing for a cancer patient to have, and I'm blessed. I have had the greatest support from friends and family. I get a little overwhelemed when i think about it too much. Once again, to to all of you I offer an extremely heart felt thanks. I know it seems like I do this at the end of every blog post, but I cant say it enough.

Wow, this post really got away from where I wanted to go....


Enough said.

Alrighty then, now that I got all that off my plate I feel better. I was planning on making this a post about the ways I've discovered to make and eat LID safe junkfood, but it turned into this. I'll post that next time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ohhhhhhhhh...we're half way theyyyyyreeee.....


There's nothing like a Sweet Cuppin' Cake™ in the morning...

You're welcome Annette.

That's right kids, I was told that i would be doing the LID diet for about 2 weeks, and we are at the theoretical half way point. Ive spent seven days on this thing and i know all of you are just chomping at the bit to know how it has been so far. right? RIGHT?

In an unsalted nutshell, its been ok. Mostly.

Before i talk about my diet impressions though i feel like i should impart some info to the folks who need/want it. Im sure that some of you are probably tired of hearing about what i can and cant eat so if you want to skip this next part, then keep on scrolling down.

Stop when you see the dog.

After reading some of my past posts, I realized that i have never really described the exact details about this diet. So, for those of you who have managed to find this post and have been newly diagnosed with Thyca (that's what the cool kids call it) or have to go on a LID diet for any other reason let me cut and paste for you;

From the Thyca cook book, page 9:

• This is a Low-Iodine Diet, NOT a No-Iodine Diet or an Iodine-Free Diet. The goal is under 50 mcg iodine per day.
• The diet is for a short time period, usually for the 2 weeks (14 days) before a radioactive iodine scan or treatment.
• Avoid foods high in iodine (over 20 mcg per serving). Eat any foods low in iodine (up to 5 mcg per serving). Limit
the quantity of foods moderate in iodine (5 to 20 mcg per serving).
• Read the ingredient lists on labels of packaged foods. Check with your physician about medications you’re taking.

At this point you're probably saying, "ok that's cool, i just need to avoid iodized salt right?" In response, i would cut and paste this:

Not Allowed—
Avoid These Foods and Ingredients

• Iodized salt, sea salt, and any foods containing
iodized salt and sea salt.
• Seafood and sea products (fish, shellfish, seaweed,
seaweed tablets, carrageenan, agar-agar,
alginate, nori and other sea-based foods or
• Dairy products of any kind (milk, cheese, yogurt,
butter, ice cream).
• Egg yolks or whole eggs or foods containing whole
• Bakery products containing iodine/iodate dough
conditioners or high-iodine ingredients. Lowiodine
homemade and commercial baked goods
are fine.
• Red Dye #3. (E127 in the United Kingdom)
• Most Chocolate (due to milk content). Cocoa powder
and some dark chocolates are allowed.
• Some molasses (if sulfured, such as blackstrap
molasses). Unsulfured molasses, which is more
common, is okay. Sulfur is a term used on labels
and does not relate to iodine.
• Soybeans and soybean products such as tofu, TVP,
soy milk, soy sauce. The NIH diet says to avoid
some other beans: red kidney beans, lima beans,
navy beans, pinto beans, and cowpeas.
• On some diets, rhubarb and potato skins (inside of the
potato is fine).
• Iodine-containing vitamins and food supplements.
• If you're taking a medication containing iodine, check
with your physician.

I remember looking at that list and wondering what the hell i was going to eat for the next couple of weeks. Thyca.org was nice enough to provide that info as well.

Allowed Foods and Ingredients

• Fruits except rhubarb and maraschino cherries
(with Red Dye #3 or E127 in the United Kingdom).
• Vegetables: preferably raw or frozen without salt,
except soybeans and (according to NIH diet) a few
other beans.
• Unsalted nuts and unsalted nut butters.
• Whites of eggs.
• Fresh meats up to 6 ounces a day.
• Grain and cereal products up to 4 servings per day,
provided they have no high-iodine ingredients.
• Pasta, provided it has no high-iodine ingredients.
• Sugar, jelly, jam, honey, maple syrup.
• Black pepper, fresh or dried herbs and spices.
• Oils. All vegetable oils, including soy oil.
• Sodas (except with Red Dye #3 or E127 in the
UK), cola, diet cola, non-instant coffee, non-instant
tea, beer, wine, other alcoholic beverages,
lemonade, fruit juices.
• Read the ingredient list on all packaged foods.

So there you have it,all nicely cutted and pasted for you.(NOTE: yes i know i spelled it "cutted". It was on purpose. Leave me alone you grammar nazi.) That last line is really the best advice of all. Be very mindful of the labels, if you are in doubt, put it down and find something else. If you are like me, you are not going to want to do this diet for longer than you have to, so follow the guidelines closely.


Blog Dog says "YOU should stop scrolling here!"

At this point, i was planning to show you a bunch of pictures of the foods Ive been eating, but since I'm a jackass, i somehow managed to accidentally delete all the pictures on my phone last night. Which sucks because i had all these really cool pictures of brands and boxes and whatnot, but ill have to retake them, so look forward to that.

This picture space is intentionally left blank.

The diet itself has been fine for the most part. I haven't really had the urge to cheat on it, even though i cant drive past Burger King after work without wanting to punch his stupid plastic face in. I hate the way he tries to woo me into his dismally decorated restaurant with a flame broiled siren song that only my nose can hear. I dont even care for BK that much, but when that scent hits the Jeep, i think twice. Other than that though, I feel good. I'm eating foods that are healthy for me and surprisingly, I have found things that i like! Things that i may eat when im not on the diet. I'm very happy to say that i don't have to eat just rabbit pellets and cardboard. As it turns out there are some pretty good recipes in that Thyca.org cook book. The Pot Roast has been a revelation!

I have found some stuff that isn't on the list i supplied above, but if you look at the ingredients of various recipes and get a little creative with your foods, you can find some gems. i suggest you look into it if you are a picky eater like i am. Here's a few i found;

Coconut milk. Just try to go easy on it, unless you want to spend a lot of time in the bathroom.

Homemade Potato chips. if you cut and fry/bake your own chips and use some LID safe seasonings it makes for a tasty little treat.

PRO TIP: If you have just had a thyroidectomy or any other type of surgery on your throat, chances are your vocal chords are weak and screaming will not only be damaging but also quite useless since no one can hear you anyway. To avoid injury and embarrassment, try not to start a grease fire in your kitchen like i almost did. Keep an extinguisher, or big box of baking soda near by just in case.

Fried Chicken. Haven't tried it yet, but i think that i could use a LID safe chicken breast, matzo meal (crumbs) and egg whites and some olive oil(?) and pan fry the chicken. Just remember that you need to limit yourself to 6 ounces or less. I know that's not much, but at least its fried chicken.

Again, i will do a supplementary post with pics of the foods and brand name stuff that i have found so people can look for it in a store near them.

The crappy part about this whole diet thing is being "hypo." The longer i go without my thyroid hormone, the worse i will feel. "Hypo" is short for hypothyroidistic (i think) and its what we thyca folks use to describe the fatigued, craptastic feeling you get when you are on this diet. It wasnt too bad a couple of days ago, but its starting to get worse now. I am really starting to notice some symptoms that i haven't had in the past. I am much more forgetful than i usually am. There are many times where i have to really stop and think about what i am doing, lest i forget why i'm there. I have had to ask people several times to repeat themselves and honestly, its annoying. Ive got other symptoms too, fatigue being the most pronounced one. I feel sleepy all the time. Its like i wake up in the morning, but i don't. I usually wake up to take my meds and then i pretty much just sit there for an hour or more trying to decide if i'm gonna go back to sleep, or if im up and should try to do something. I find that if i make myself get up, and move around a little bit, that it makes the rest of the day not so bad. I have managed to avoid the depression that some people seem to get, though i noticed that i have much less patience for things than i should. I snap at people over stupid things. I think thats part of the mood swing symptom. If you are one of those people, i'm sorry.

Hopefully, everything will go well, and i can have my radiation as scheduled on September 1st, and by the 7th get back on my Synthroid. Maybe by my birthday on in late October ill be feeling better. Thats the hope anyway.

Wow, this turned out to be a lot longer than i expected so I think I'm gonna wrap this one up. I hope i helped some of you out there, and for those of you that made it, thanks for reading.

Also, ill try to stop starting my posts with song lyrics.

Have a nice day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate!


"You brought the no-sodium, all-organic, gluten-free trail mix, right?"

Just in case you were wondering, the picture does indeed go with the title of the blog. It says "All hope abandon, ye who enter here." Its the original Italian text from La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy)by Dante Aligheri, (according to the Internet anyway) and Ive decided that my man Dante here is gonna help me class up the joint by contributing some verses. Maybe his fine writing will make up for my terrible grammar. Anyway, that pic kind of sums up the feelings i have about this diet i have to be on for the next couple of weeks. As in, abandon all hope of a cheeseburger, or nachos, or chicken Parmesan or anything else i like to eat. Yes my friends, i have started the LID.

Vero è che 'n su la proda mi trovai
de la valle d'abisso dolorosa
che 'ntrono accoglie d'infiniti guai.
Oscura e profonda era e nebulosa
tanto che, per ficcar lo viso a fondo,
io non vi discernea alcuna cosa.

True is it, that upon the verge I found me
Of the abysmal valley dolorous,
That gathers thunder of infinite ululations.
Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous,
So that by fixing on its depths my sight
Nothing whatever I discerned therein.
Canto IV, lines 7-12

As of the time i type this, it is the second day of the LID diet, or the Low Iodine Diet. (which is redundant i know, but just calling it the LID sounds stupid to me.) I think i need to apologize to my wife because, for as much prep work as she did i feel like i am totally unprepared to go into this diet. We have "legal" food at home, but its all more like a list of ingredients; Dry black beans and dry rice and raw chicken and such. I don't really have any meals that i can just heat and eat, or spoon in to some Tupperware and go to work with. (When you are hypothamic, you want everything to be as convenient as possible. Thyca folks will know what i mean by this since being hypo is a miserable experience.) So, that's my plan for this weekend. I dug a little deeper into the cookbook and found that i can have small amounts of some oils so i plan on making my own potato chips and other lightly fried goodies. I would say that I'm excited but that's a relative term. I'm as excited as my body is willing to let me get.

A friend of mine called me out for being a cliche earlier tonight. Since my wife is away on business, i was complaining that i felt like i brought a ton of food and nothing to eat. He laughed and said i was a typical guy who would starve if his wife wasn't there to cook for him. Hes only partially right. i can make toast and open a beer. The fault lies with me, not her because she was busting ass to get prepared for this diet. Both she and my mother spent a lot of time at Whole Foods and other oat-snorting, hippy grocery stores to try to find iodine free stuff that i could eat, or more accurately, would eat. On the times that i went along, i was not the best help so...If you are out there hun, I'm sorry.

Nessun maggior dolore
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria.

There is no greater sorrow
Than to be mindful of the happy time
In misery.
Canto V, lines 121-123

Ok, this one is a little bit dark, but for you thyca folks who have yet to go on the diet i think it points in the right direction. Don't sit there miserable remembering the great times and foods that you had when you could eat them, but take the opportunity to maybe find and enjoy new things. I understand that's easier said than done because i have the palette of a 4 year old. I still like and dislike the same crap i did as a child. Burgers, tacos, anything and everything involving cheese. I'm going to have to shift my paradigm for a bit though to get through this without wanting to rise up and slay a coworker just to taste the burger grease dripping from their lifeless fingers. (geeze, sorry. Dante is starting to rub off on me a bit...)


Dante Aligheri

When Scrooge steals your style, you probably have issues.

Ive been keeping a food diary on my phone and ill post it when its a little more useful to other LID dieters, so be on the look out for that, it should be a super exciting read. Again thanks for reading and I'm gonna leave you with one more quote. I think in my head, this is kind of where I'm at. Yes i miss the "good" food but at the same time looking forward to eating foods that are actually better for me.

Quale allodetta che 'n aere si spazia
prima cantando, e poi tace contenta
de l'ultima dolcezza che la sazia,
tal mi sembiò l'imago de la 'mprenta
de l'etterno piacere.

Like the lark that soars in the air,
first singing, then silent, content
with the last sweetness that satiates
it, such seemed to me that image, the
imprint of the Eternal Pleasure.
Canto XX, lines 73-77

P.S. I'm sure i have misinterpreted some of the lines here. Let me be preemptive by saying, I'm sorry if Ive offended someones literary sensibilities. The verses seemed to work in the context i wanted them to work in.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Will it ever stop Yo, I don't know...

...turn off the lights, and I'll glow.

Seriously, I might glow.


Not glowing, but still waxin' chumps like candles.

I'm gonna have to wait 'till the evening of September 1st to find out though. That's the new, tentative, date for my RAI treatment. (I say RAI, because Radioactive Iodine Treatment is too hard to say in battle. In the future when you see RAI, you will know what i mean.) In all honesty though, I'm really not looking forward to it because Ive read a few pretty terrible stories about some people's experiences with it. Some people get really sick and puke alot, some people seem to handle it OK. Some folks really like the diet because they lose weight, but some people like me, hate the diet because you can only eat rabbit pellets and cardboard. Non-iodized cardboard only, of course.Then again, some people see their spouse find companionship in the arms of another, and some people ponder if their cancer contributed to the suicide of a loved one. Not so much because of the treatment but the whole cancer thing.... So again, I'm not really sure what to expect, but I'm trying to prepare for the worst.

(note: those last two actually happened. I didn't make that up. Yay internet. -Sigh-)

(nother note: The treatment makes me so radioactive that i have to spend 3-5 days in isolation from all sentient beings. seriously. I cant be around other living creatures lest i contaminate them. thats kinda scary.)

So what is RAI? Ill tell you, but you should read the next part in your best Charlton Heston voice because I'm going to quote now from the thyroid cancer bible, Thyca.org.



From the Book of Radioactive Iodine
Chapter1, Verses 1-3

...And lo, God spake unto the stricken and unclean. "Thyroid cancer patients with papillary or follicular thyroid cancer often receive a holy dose of radioactive iodine (RAI) about two months after their surgery in an attempt to smite (ablate) any remaining thyroid cells in their bodies." The people heard the news, and it was good. Then God sayeth unto them "In preparation for an RAI scan or RAI treatment, patients are usually asked to go on a wicked and depraved, low-iodine diet (LID). The diet is to prepare for the RAI." The people heard the news, but weren't so impressed anymore. God thus stammered and went on to spake "The stricken follows the diet when preparing for RAI either by temporarily stopping levothyroxine (withdrawal) or by receiving injections of Thyrogen (recombinant TSH) while continuing on levothyroxine." Upon hearing of their loathsome futures, those who understood what these largest of words meant, were tempted to tell Him to go to Hell, but then they remembered they were blessed! They recalled that their cancers weren't likely to slay them. Unlike those unfortunate souls with breast cancer or pancreatic cancer, or any other fast-moving aggressive cancer. He looked into the minds of the diseased and saw the momentary flash of annoyance and then acceptance in their eyes and spake unto them for the last time. "Blessed be thy purpose of a low-iodine diet! Rejoice, as it is to deplete the body of its stores of iodine and thereby, increase the effectiveness of the radioactive iodine scan or treatment. The premise is that when the radioactive iodine is administered, the thyroid cells will 'suck' up the iodine because the body has been so depleted." The words fell upon the ears of the people and they heard it and it was good. Ok, it wasn't really THAT good. It was really kind of a holy pain in the ass, but they would deal with it.

It says that. Really.

Since Ive had a lot of time on my hands recently, I've been reading about iodine and its role in the body. As it turns out, its a pretty important substance. I'm gonna quote now again, but this time its from an anti-cancer website anticancerinfo.co.uk:

"For over 100 years iodine has been known as the element necessary for thyroid production, but its other functions have largely been ignored. Iodine is found in each of the cells and adequate levels are necessary for proper immune system function. Iodine contains potent antibacterial, anti parasitic, antiviral and anticancer properties. It detoxifies the body of heavy metals and toxic halides such as bromine, fluoride and chlorine derivatives. It is suggested that iodine is important in the process of apoptosis, (natural cell death) and in destroying cells that represent a threat to the body, like cancer cells and cells infected with viruses. (Miller 2006)"

Seems like this stuff is pretty important doesn't it? The website goes on to describe how in the past 30 years, people in the U.S. have decreased their iodine intake. I know none of you are going to read the actual site, even though you should, so I'll paint a picture for you....

At some point in the 70's, America threw open the closet doors and saw peasant tops and crappy macramé things, and thrift store plaid and decided it sucked. In a fit of something akin to teenage angst, she freaked out and exchanged her bell bottoms for tighter, shiner disco pants.


If America had Facebook in the 70's this totally would have been her profile pic.

She was super excited to put them on...only they didn't fit. Too many pot brownies and the growing prevalence of fast food in the previous decade had made her ass too fat. The Doctor said that one way to help her out was to get her to eat less salt. America wanted to look awesome in her new shiny pants so she obliged and did indeed eat less salt in the coming years.

Success right? Well, sort of. As a people,the U.S. managed to eat less salt and in doing so, we decreased our iodine intake by 50%. While less salt seems to have helped hearts, iodized salt was and still is our main source of iodine in our diets. We all seem to be getting enough of it to keep most thyroids happy, but according to the docs cited on this website, all of the other organs that need iodine probably aren't getting it. I know I'm getting a little off my original point here, but I thought I should drop a little bit of knowledge on the substance that will make my life miserable soon.

Seriously, if you have any interest in learning about iodine (other thyroid cancer patients, I'm looking at you here.) you should really click that link and read up.

All that being said though, it still seems like RAI is a pretty genius way to treat the cancer. Along the way, some friggin smart doctor(s) figured out that they could Trojan Horse the radiation into the iodine and it would kill off the thyroid cancer cells while leaving other tissues relatively unharmed. My surgeon said that they were trying to find other cancers that would be receptive to this kind of treatment. I hope they find some that are. For all my bitching about it, its still much easier on my body than the treatments for other cancers would be. I really do feel lucky that I don't have to go through repeated radiation treatments or have the kinds of chemo that other cancers require.

So, the next step for me is my diet. I'm not looking forward to it, but this did start off as a diet blog, so i guess its good that i finally have a diet to talk about.

As always I want to thank everyone again for their continued support and love. I am truly spoiled to know people such as all of you. You guys are the ones who are making it easy for me to keep my head up. So thank you again. I am realizing that other Thyroid Cancer folks are reading this, so to them i say thank you for the kind words and i hope that my little blog about my experiences about it help you out too.

I think that's about it for me for now. Thanks for your time.

Word to ya Mutha'.