Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a new year, and the new plan

The holidays have a great way of distracting me. It comforted me to think, “I can deal with my health stuff after the holidays...” At least I had the holidays to consume my thoughts and my energy. But I came back to work on Monday morning with a foggy feeling like I forgot something. At work, I am catapulted back into my life—and remember what I forgot while on my siesta—there are emails that remind me about the troubled economy, my to-do lists, and little scratchy notes about Sloan Kettering. The holidays can no longer distance me from my reality.

A nice reality on the first Monday of the New Year has to be the Low Iodine Diet (LID). AHHH, just while every other diet crazed person is doing the same, I too I am following the herd. This is the first time ever that I’ve been on a New Year diet—but this of course is no ordinary diet—you can’t stray. But, this is my THIRD time on the LID diet (first time for treatment, second for testing, and third for this treatment). I am comfortable with all the prep work/cooking involved and sometimes I really get into it. I even now, have a few favorite LID recipes and a semi-permanent LID cookbook with my other cookbooks (
I hope to remove this imposter soon).

This diet is a medical diet and it’s used to prepare and starve my body of iodine, so thyroid cancer cells will avidly consume radioactive iodine during treatment. It usually lasts for three weeks, but because I’m crazy, I do it for four weeks. I think I do it so I can prove to myself that I can do it, and because I want those thyroid cells to be STARVING for iodine. To read more about the LID go to
this post.

One thing to be said for this diet is that when you are on it, you really feel that you are doing something. You feel in control of your cancer and it’s kind of fun to think of the cells starving and then getting tricked into gobbling up radioactive food instead. It makes each day on the diet easier to think on this.

Ok, so early in December was the last time I even mentioned the "C" word, so what’s the deal/ plan? Since I’m on the LID, there is in fact a plan! I decided to move my care down to Memorial Sloan Kettering after a lot of back and forth—mostly due to money and contract confusion with my insurance company.

When I decided to move my care down there, I thought I would have to pay $3,500—but to my surprise, insurance came through on Dec 30th and they are paying for everything at MSK, at least for now. In addition, a very kind soul offered her apartment in New York for me to use as I wish over the three testing/treatment period. The amazing thing is that I’ve never met the owner of this apartment, but she heard my story and wanted to help.

I am blow away by the grace of God and the intervention His will on my situation—the compassion of a stranger and the great turn of events with my insurance company. What gifts I have received, worries elevated, and spirit renewed!

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