7.12.2009

Get Hip To The Lingo

So most of you know I love, love, love to abbreviate things that I talk about all the time so I thought i would share some lingo that may be helpful when reading my posts and helpful for me so I don't have to remember to type out the whole thing!

  1. PT - partial thyroidectomy, lobectomy, hemithyroidectomy - this is the surgery where they take half the thyroid, usually reserved for very small tumors and benign nodules. Having a PT usually means you are on a low dose of thyroid hormone medication to keep the remaning side from working too hard and making more nodules/tumors.
  2. TT - totaly thyroidectomy - this is where they take out the whole thyroid gland and sometimes the parathyroids. Having a PT means you must be on thyroid hormone medication for the rest of your life because your body will [should] produce none. This is usually reserved for more serious thyroid disease and larger and/or multifocal tumors.
  3. WBS - whole body scans - done with a small amount of radioactive iodine, this scan can show areas of thyroid cancer metastasis (spread).
  4. Mets - metastasis - means the cancer has spread
  5. Pap - papillary cancer - this is a well differentiated type of thyroid cancer that is considered more treateable than some of the other types such as medullary & anaplastic.
  6. Levo - levothyroxine - the generic name for the thyroid hormone medication taken daily
  7. Hypo - hypothyroid - this means you have extremely low amounts of thyroid hormone working in your body so your thyroid isn't working or you aren't on enough meds. There are lots of unpleasant side effects to this such as: hair loss, extreme fatigue, extreme sensitivity to cold, pale complexion, dry skin, low pulse, pain & stiffness in your muscles and joints, depression...oh yeah and the ever popular weight gain! Basically ALL your body processes slow waaaaaaaay down.
  8. Going Hypo - going hypothyroid...on purpose - thyroid cancer patients must "go hypo" before getting a WBS to check for METS [like how i started the lingo talk already?]. This means you need to be off all meds for 4-6 weeks to become extremely hypothyroid so that the radioactive iodine used in the scan will uptake better in the thyroid/cancerous cells.
  9. LID - Low Iodine Diet - in addition to "going hypo" thyroid cancer patients will be treated to the LID for scans and radiation therapy prep. On the LID you can have no: Dairy, shellfish & anything from the sea including sea salt, seaweed..., eggs, red dye #33, just about all pre-packaged foods, soy based items, molasses, some beans, potato skins, rhubarb and.... chocolate! This diet is pure torture made even worse by the fact that you will be experiencing all the effects that being hypo can cause.
  10. RAI - Radioactive Iodine Therapy - this is pretty much what it sounds like. Thyroid cancer patients are unique in that we usually don't get the standard types of chemo or radiation - we get this combo of a chemical that is radioactive. We either swallow a pill or drink of a large dose of radioactive iodine. This makes us literally radioactive for about 7-10days. Because of this radioactivity we must be isolated from people and animals - sometimes in the hospital where even the doctors and nurses can't come in the room until the guy with the geiger counter comes and says you are no longer a danger to the general public. During this isolation time, you must wash your sheets & clothes every 24hrs, eat off disposable utensils, flush 3 times after "going", spit into the toilet, shower 3 times a day, oh and suck on lemon drops hourly for the first 24-48 hrs among other things.

I think that's a good start - now study! There will be a quiz! :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the info. I put a link on my blog to yours for my prayer warriors to stay updated! We are in MI for vacation and enjoying the cooler weather.

    ReplyDelete

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