TSH

When you have your whole thyroid removed, you lose the ability to make thyroid hormones (hello, Captain Obvious!) Thyroid hormones do important things like regulate heart rate, metabolism, and body temperature (and ... some other stuff. I don't know. I'm trying to learn thyroid stuff while avoiding Dr. Google.)

Synthetic thyroid hormone is a good replacement but it takes some time to find the right dose. It's a balancing act. The way it's been explained to me (not a doctor! Non sciencey brain! Do not quote me or take this as fact!) people with thyroid cancer are given a higher dose than medically necessary. This keeps thyroid cancer patients slightly hyperthyroid (too much thyroid hormone) to prevent their bodies from producing TSH.

TSH is baaaad for thyroid cancer patients. It's possible to have thyroid cells in your body even after having your thyroid removed. TSH stimulates thyroid cells to produce thyroid hormones. Stimulating thyroid cells can mean more thyroid cancer (even if you don't have a thyroid! Fun fact: you can get thyroid cancer in your kidneys! Or your liver!)

I have my first post-surgery appointment with my endocrinologist tomorrow. It cannot come soon enough. My TSH level was 8 last week and is 19 as of Friday. Healthy thyroids are lower than 5 (or 3 depending on your endocrinologist.) High TSH means my dosage is too low. I'm hypothyroid (opposite of what we want.) I'm not functioning. I'm tired like I've never been tired before. I hurt, right down to my bones. My hair is falling out. I know, logically, that my doctors will find the correct dose and I will feel better. I know I need to wait and be patient. But it is so hard. Another symptom of hypothyroidism is depression and, yup, I can confirm that is certainly true.

I believe that a positive attitude and a smile can go a long way. I know that I can't let my head go to the dark places because the reality of cancer is shitty enough without considering all the scary hypotheticals. I feel like I'm stuck in an impossible cycle. How can I fight a depression that is a physical symptom of my disease?