Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Three cheers for Hashimoto Hakaru

It's brilliant news. I didn't have cancer of my thyroid lobe but rather a colloid goitre (nothing to worry about) and Hashimoto's disease which is (thanks Wikipedia) chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed by a variety if immune processes - it's an autoimmune disorder and it's fairly common. Basically the thyroid packs up. I knew that was on the cards anyway since I've been taking extra thyroxine for the past few years, so the only difference now is that I have a name for it and I'll probably need to up my synthetic thyroxine replacement dose. In reading up on Hashimoto's I find it is seven times more common in women than men. It tends to develop slowly, over months and years - which pretty well ties in with my experience. Phew! I'm glad that's all sorted then.

After my appointment with the ENT registrar (I asked, he's an ENT consultant in training and a surgeon himself - he sewed me up and made a very good job of it), I went along to join the cancer patients' group that works with the professionals at our local hospital to improve cancer patient care. You know me - though I'd only just joined I still found something to say. Ears pricked up when I told one of the professionals that I'd been phoned about an appointment with the oncologist before I'd been for the diagnostic surgery. Similar interest was expressed when I explained how, having finished with the lung, I had to go back into the system via the GP to get the thyroid issue investigated. I'm going to write up my experiences in a short narrative, with notes where I think there were failures in the system, for the relevant professional. Then I suspect I'm going to find myself involved in lots of other committees and initiatives. It isn't what I would have chosen post-cancer; in fact I have stated repeatedly that I do not wish my life to be defined by my cancer. However her upstairs (Mountjoy to those of you who watched the first episode of Eternal Law) in whom incidentally I have no conventiional belief, obviously has other things planned for me. Is this what you would call a calling I wonder?

So, even though it is at this point I sign off from active cancer investigation and treatment, if you've enjoyed reading this blog do carry on. It's become a bit of a habit and I don't suppose I'm going to stop writing it now, though you might find the updates not quite so regular. Cheers!!!

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