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A visit to the endocrinologist

September 9, 2017

After being release from the hospital, I was told to schedule a follow up with the endocrinologist for about 4 weeks post surgery. It was scheduled for September 7. 


One of the things I really like about this endocrinologist is the way he explains things. After some small talk and finding out how I had been doing since the hospital stay, he proceeded to tell me his plan for me. I love that he got a notepad and started drawing out the plan. Once again, he explained we were tackling three things: calcium levels, thyroid medication, and cancer. 


In column 1, he wrote calcium and then below it wrote 1. kidney, 2. calcium, and 3 vitamin D. I would have a blood test to see where my levels were and we adjust meds as appropriate. Pretty straight forward. By this time, my calcium levels were getting better so nothing much changed on the meds.


In column 2, he wrote thyroid med. Under that he wrote 1. replace and 2. suppress TSH. This basically meant that since I no longer had a thyroid, we would need to replace its function with medication. Since I had been taking thyroid medication for almost 20 years, and since he had prescribed 75 mg of levothyroxine while I was in the hospital, that made sense. The blood test would show if I need more which I did. He increased to 100 mg of levothyroxine. Now on to the suppress TSH part. This could be done in two ways. Either by withholding thyroid hormone replacement meds or by getting 2 shots of Thyrogen. Since I was already take thyroid meds to keep me from being so very tired, we would go the Thyrogen shot route. More on that in the next couple of blogs.


In column 3, he wrote cancer. Under that, he put three lines with surgery, thyroid and RAI next to the lines. The first step in my cancer treatment was the surgery. Okay, done. The second step was in preparing any thyroid bits that were left and the third step was the RAI treatment. 


After leaving his office, I met with his nurse who gave me a folder with information about Thyrogen and RAI. We then scheduled my treatment. I would have the Thyrogen shots on September 13 and 14 and would receive the Radioactive Iodine on September 15. Next up, how to prepare for RAI.

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