I met with my doctor yesterday afternoon.  He went over the results of the blood work and neck ultrasound with me. My levels look good!!  There were a couple of lymph nodes that we are watching, but they look normal on the scan.  Once again, I am cancer free!!!

My levels of calcium and vitamin D were a little low.  I should be taking calcium and vitamin D pills daily.  My doctor smiled at me and said “Take the damn pills.”  So this is something that I will start doing on a regular basis.

My doctor also told me to get Thyrogen shots and blood work to make sure we are not missing anything. Hmmmm…what? This caught me off guard.  I got Thyrogen shots during the low iodine diet to help my body prepare for the radioactive iodine treatment, but I did not know that it could also be used to further test my levels My understanding of Thyrogen is that it tricks your body into thinking that you have gone off of your thyroid medication.  This sure beats actually going off of your thyroid medication for a couple of weeks.  (I have not had to do this, but know many people who have done it.  More power to you!)  Anyway, when I got my Thyrogen shots in May 2009, I was amazed to find out that my insurance company covered it.  Each shot is around $1,200!  Two are required to get the job done.  So I was extremely grateful to my insurance company for covering the shots.  Now, I am supposed to get the shots again?

What a great topic to blog about!  I am going to do some research to learn a little more about Thyrogen.  I plan to write another post about my findings soon.  This opened up the door in my mind about the Thyroid Cancer SURVIVOR blog.  There are still many topics that I would like to write about here.  I’m going to do a “brain dump” to name a few.  Here is my random list:

  • Life beyond cancer
  • Preparing for tests and doctor visits
  • Affirmations and Mantras for cancer survivors
  • Being an advocate for your health – Ask questions, Speak up, Second Opinions, Feel heard
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Thyrogen
  • Calcium and Vitamin D post thyroidectomy
  • Swallowing food post thyroidectomy
  • Voice post thyroidectomy
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Fertility with RAI (Radioactive Iodine)

That is all that comes to mind for now.  I would really appreciate your feedback, experience and input on any of these items.  What has your experience been?  What other items would you like to see posted on this blog?

Thank you!!!

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                                            as of 2.28.10
With only 47 days left until the relay, Wings of Hope has raised over $3,000.00! Thank you to those of you who have contributed to our success and have ultimately put us one step closer to a world without cancer!

This week is crunch time for our team and we need all the support we can get.

Thursday, March 4 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What’s going on…
Wings of Hope is holding a bake sale at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, 601 N Caroline Street, Baltimore, MD. Angel is furiously baking away in preparation for Thursday.

What we need…
1. We need volunteers to help us run the event any time from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
2. We need more baked good donations.

Please contact Angel at angelmcmellin@live.com or myself at chrisp730@yahoo.com if you can help.

Also, please update your attendance status by Tuesday at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=305306920993&index=1

Thank you to…
– Kim Thompson who is donating her famously yummy red velvet cupcakes.
– Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center for allowing us to host our bake sale in their facility.

Friday, March 5 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

What’s going on…
RFL JHU Committee is hosting a Birthday Bash to raise money for the American Cancer Society at the Homewood Campus Beach. Wings of Hope will be distributing thyroid cancer awareness materials at the event.

 
                                         as of 2.28.10
What we need…
Volunteers to help us distribute pamphlets. Please update your attendance here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=298322843386&index=1

Thank you to…
ThyCa for donating our awareness literature.

Saturday, March 6 at 11:30 a.m.

What’s going on…
Wings of Hope is having our first (and only) team meeting prior to the April 16th relay at M&S Grill on Pratt Street in Baltimore, MD.

What we will be discussing…
– Introductions
– Our bake sale
– Fundraising efforts
– Logistics for April 16

What we need…
A final headcount by Thursday, March 4th. Please update your response on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=457912620132&index=1

Important Information For Team Members…
In order to get an official Relay for Life participant shirt, you MUST raise $100 by March 10, 2010!

Again, if you haven’t all ready, I encourage our team members to log in to their participant centers on the ACS website and start updating their personal pages for donations. There is also an application on facebook that will help you with meeting your $100 personal goals. Both of these tools will provide donators with official receipts from the American Cancer Society.

Online Fundraisers Update…

As of 2.28.10
 
Our first fundraiser for the $25 Macy’s Gift Card ends today. Unfortunately, no one on our team raised $500 in the month of February to win the contest.

Our second fundraiser is going strong thanks to our wonderful ladies at Dear Thyroid. We are encouraging the Dear Thyroid community to form fundraising teams to help us in our goal for the American Cancer Society. The first team to raise $3,000 wins TEN free “Invisible No More” bracelets; the first team to raise $1,500.00 wins FIVE free bracelets; the first team to raise $750.00 wins THREE free bracelets; and the first team to raise $500.00 wins TWO free bracelets. For more information, contact me or visit us at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010. The contest ends March 16th!

April 16th Update…
We at Wings of Hope are very excited to announce that our newest team member, Rona Taylor, will be providing our team with some amazing food the night of the relay. Thank you, Rona!

Thank you to every one for supporting us, our fundraising efforts, and our goal of living in a world free of cancer.

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

*This update was written by our team captain Chris Kidwell
Wings of Hope Week 12 Update
2/15/10 – 2/21/10
*This update was written by our team Captain Chris Kidwell

 

The heat is on! There are only 54 days left until the Relay for Life at Johns Hopkins

 
As of February 20, 2010
 
University. We are 60% of the way to our goal with a total of $2,991.00. Who is going to be the person to break the $3,000.00 mark? Will it be you?

Again, if you haven’t all ready, I encourage our team members to log in to their participant centers on the ACS website and start updating their personal pages for donations. There is also an application on facebook that will help you with meeting your $100 personal goals. Both of these tools will provide donators with official receipts from the American Cancer Society.

We have a lot of exciting things happening the first week of March!

Thursday, March 4th from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., we are holding our own bake sale at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, 601 N Caroline Street, Baltimore, MD. We need food donations and volunteers to help us run our booth. You do not have to be a team member to help us, our supporters are just as important as our relayers. Please contact Angel (angelmcmellin@live.com) or myself (chrisp730@yahoo.com) if you want to help.

Friday, March 5th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., there is a relay wide fundraiser at Johns Hopkins University. We need volunteers and fundraising ideas. If you are interested or want more information, please contact me at chrisp730@yahoo.com.

Saturday, March 6th at 11:30 a.m. we have a team meeting at M&S Grill, 201 E Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD. This is an open meeting, so if you have joined team Wings of Hope yet please join us.

We are currently holding two online fundraisers: The first contest is all thanks to our wonderful friends and supporters at Dear Thyroid. We are encouraging the Dear Thyroid community to form fundraising teams to help us in our goal for the American Cancer Society. The first team to raise $3,000 wins TEN free “Invisible No More” bracelets; the first team to raise $1,500.00 wins FIVE free bracelets; the first team to raise $750.00 wins THREE free bracelets; and the first team to raise $500.00 wins TWO free bracelets. For more information, contact me or visit us at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010. The contest ends March 16th!

As of February 20, 2010
Our second online fundraiser is to reward one lucky team member. The first team member to raise $500 between February 7th and February 28th wins a $25 Macy’s Gift Card. Will it be Jennifer Bridge, Rachel Markus or Samantha Kidwell? Go to http://main.acsevents.org/goto/wings2010 and donate in honor of your favorite team member today!

We would like to welcome our newest team member: Melissa Lorenzo. Welcome to the team!

As of February 20, 2010
 
As always, we would like to thank the generous souls who donated to Wings of Hope this week: Danielle Collins, Elena Primost, Robyn Goode, Karen Welsh-Mulachy, and Lisa Hensley.
It is crunch time. We need the support of everyone: our team members, our supporters, and our communities to ensure our success. As you can see, there are numerous opportunities to support Wings of Hope, so send us an email today!

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

One of the awesome things that I have found about this blog is that it has drawn in some amazing readers. So if you are reading this right now, then you are one of them!!! I have been very touched by how so many of you have found inner strength and moved forward after your cancer diagnosis.  Let’s keep the motivation going by commenting here about how you have moved forward after being diagnosed with having cancer.  How did having cancer give you that push to take a chance at something new? There is such a huge list out there and this is your place to comment about it.  Are you moving forward? Well, what are you waiting for?  Start commenting!

Wings of Hope Weeks 5 & 6 Update         

12/26/09 – 1/10/10

*Written by out Team Captain Chris Kidwell Prestano.

Happy New Year from Wings of Hope! We hope the holidays treated you well and that the New Year will bring you all that you wish for. We are still the number one team for this event and our resolution is to continue raising money for cancer research. We have 95 days left until the race on April 16th and we are 40% of the way to reaching our goal of $5,000.00.

We would like to thank Bill Fanaras for his generous donation to our team. I had the privilege of meeting this gentleman at ThyCa’s (Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association) conference in October 2009.

We would also like to welcome our newest team member, Brian Ferrina. He is the tenth person to sign up for Wings of Hope.

Now that the holidays are over, we are going full swing into our fundraising efforts. We still need to borrow camping equipment for the relay event, so if you know anyone who has tents, sleeping bags, coolers, etc. please ask them to help us.

Angel McMellin is making progress on setting up our bake sale, so please contact her if you would like to help.

Until next week,

Wings of Hope

As the clock ticks and we get ready to transition from 2009 to 2010, I found a few quotes to share with you.  So say them at a NYE party, email them to friends, post them on one of the social networking sites or just enjoy them for you.  10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” ~Anonymous

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” ~ T.S. Eliot

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”  ~Oprah Winfrey

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” ~Bill Vaughn

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” ~John Burroughs

“Though even thinking on the subject of time may prove discomforting, it is not a bad idea—especially at the beginning of a new year.  As we look into <2010> we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.  The gift of time is not ours alone. It is given equally to each person. Rich and poor, educated and ignorant, strong and weak—every man, woman and child has the same twenty-four hours every day.  Another important thing about time is that you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on.  And you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain. We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.  Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the kingdom of God.  The new year is full of time. As the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count?” ~Steven B. Cloud

“What a blessing it is to start off this New Year’s Eve as a thyroid cancer SURVIVOR.  Thank you for all the love and support.  I wish you a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Positive NEW Year and Decade.  2010 is going to be a year full of amazing change!” ~Jennifer Bridge