Discussions that mention synthroid

Thyroid Disorders board

My body scan was on Friday. The technician, which was with me for the RAI treatment, said, “Would you know what I mean if I said you were very boring?”

My Endo didn’t even call me. His assistant called and told me the results were, “very encouraging. There are some cells left, which is to be expected, but nothing unusual.”

I’m a little disappointed that I did not actually speak to the doctor. I would have liked more details. I would have liked to know when they plan to do the follow up scan (Six months? A year?). I guess they will make that determination based on my blood work in six weeks. Does that sound normal? What in my blood is going to tell them when to do the scan again?

I am very relieved. Also, I feel a lot better after just one week on the synthroid. Can it be that I will be able to pull my life back together? Dare I even hope??
Hooray, ringbearer! I'm so glad to hear that the RAI went well and you can now begin the road to recovery. You can call and ask the doctor or the hospital radiology deparment (or wherever the scan was done) for a copy of your scan results.

I actually got copies of EVERYTHING from the hospital -- post-surgery pathology results, surgeon's comments, etc. And it came in handy later when they did my follow-up scan and asked for all the grimy details (including the dose of RAI plus I was given for ablation) and EVERY dosage change in the prior year.

They may charge you a nominal fee for photocopies, but it's worth it. But you can probably train your Endo's assistant to expect you to ask for copies of each and every test. Mine sends it to me automatically now, but it was like pulling teeth initially because the doc doesn't think it's necessary for me to have copies.

Also, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the assistant if she/he would relay a message for the doctor to call you back so you can ask a few questions.

As far as what to expect: my experience was the following: I went on Synthroid right after the ablation was considered "complete." Blood tests and dosage adjustments followed every 6-8 weeks for the next 6 months or so until I stabilized. Thyroid scans are typically done every year, around the same time of your Surgery/RAI Ablation.

My first follow-up scan was a 2-day scan and it is typically done completely off medication. The doctor put me on Cytomel (T3) for one month, and then stopped the Cytomel for the 2 weeks (and put me on a low iodine diet) prior to the scan. After the scan results showed no growth of thyroid tissue (concluding that additional RAI ablation would not be necessary), I was able to go back to eating anything and re-starting my Synthroid. I seem to require a little bit more than I did before the scan, but since the increase I once again feel great.

My doc says that additional annual scans can be done with Thyrogen instead of stopping my meds. Thyrogen is a TSH-stimulating medication that makes the patient temporarily Hypo for the scan. I don't know much about its effects -- if it "wears off" or you just go back on meds as if you were "naturally" Hypo and then wait for things to normalize. I've not yet decided if I want to use Thyrogen, and haven't heard anyone's experiences with it.

People without Hashimoto's antibodies (TPO and, more specifically, AntiThyroglobulin antibodies) can also have their Thyroglobulin blood levels tested on a semi-regular basis. (I'm not a candidate.) Thyroglobulin is a protein that the body requires to make thyroid hormone -- a precursor if you will. Elevated levels would suggest that there is some active thyroid tissue present in the body (and therefore potentially requiring another round of ablation).

Because my post-surgical RAI ablation was done in the winter, my doc felt it was kinder to wait another six months for my scan rather than making me Hypo in January. I had a one-year Ultrasound instead, and it was clear, so he deduced that we could wait until June for my scan. I guess that's my new annual date, but I was just mentioning it because it means that my first post-RAI thyroid scan was 1 1/2 years after the ablation.

Hang in there, and watch your body. You may even want to take notes to correlate your symptoms to your blood tests and medication doses. I found this quite helpful later. (You can read it on Page 2 of the Stories Thread, titled "My Boring Personal History".) When your doc says that your levels are in the target range (probably keeping your TSH below 1.0 since you're a cancer person like me), if you still have residual symptoms, you may want to consider taking Selenium and/or Maca. Or you can start the supplements now. I've found them to be almost wonder-drugs for me.

Keep us informed.....