Roadtrip to Reset – escape to B.C.

Posted by on 10/10/2012

Sorry for the lateness of my post, this weekend was a break for me. I needed to reset, and get my mind in order as I prepare for radio-isotope therapy. I needed me time, so I told thanksgiving to take a hike and put my blog aside to travel to the cabin on kootenay lake.

The highway to the ferry

As I’ve said before, I had gone in for thyroid surgery with the hopes that what they had found was simply a benign nodule. Sadly, it wasn’t. I was diagnosed with “Follicular Thyroid Cancer”, a variety that affects anywhere from 7-15% of thyroid cancer patients from what I’ve read. Seems to be that 9 out of every 100 cases are this one, but it is still the second most common type of thyroid cancer around.

Follicular Thyroid Cancer can be cured. It has a very high success rate in people under 45, close to 95%! I’m hopeful, thankfully being young works in my favour this time. However, the mass they found was on the large side (6cm, with over 4cm being considered large and under 1cm considered a “good” size). The Mass was also very vascular- it had a lot of blood vessels. Unlike other thyroid cancers, this form will spread through the vascular system instead of the lymphatic system. Thankfully, the previous scans I had done didn’t show any evidence of a mass or growth in my lungs- so I’m hopefull it has stuck to the home range. I will be going in for treatement with I-131 radioactive iodine, followed by scans to see if and how far things have spread- sadly I don’t really have a lot of information as to how far things have gone, or whether this will be the entire treatment plan.

Wild crocus in the yard

It’s a whole story of not knowing. It has been over 6 months since I first had a cyst show up on my neck that showed them something was in there. It took 3 weeks after my surgery for them to even complete the biopsy and get results. It was a full month after surgery before I had my follow up and results. Wait, after wait, after wait. It gets frustrating… every appointment I entered would be done with the expectation that, hey, I’ll finally know what’s going on, and I’ll be on my way to better health! But… no. Now I’m sitting here without a thyroid, on replacement hormone therapy for the rest of my life. I still don’t know where this journey will end, but I’m very very optimistic. I’m not worrying, why would I? things are out of my hands. All I can do is wait, and bounce between appointments. Still… it’s a lot of stress, and not something I like dealing with.

The stream on the cabins lot

Because my next phase of treatment involves radioactive Iodine, I have to spend the next few weeks to a month on a low-iodine diet. This involves a list of foods that I have to limit or cannot consume, including anything processed using iodized salt. No dairy products whatsoever. I have to limit meat portions to under 4 a day, and grain portions to under 8. I cannot have anything that has come from the sea, whatsoever. This includes Agar and carageenan, products made from seaweed. It has been tough. Doing this with Celiac disease makes it worse – I feel as if I have been cut off from flavour. However, things have been getting better slowly as I get used to the diet regimen, even if I very much dislike it. It very much impacts my creativity and desire to produce new recipes, so things may be a bit different around here until I get this overwith. Funny really, I feel like I’m obligated to continue with my updates despite everything, and I feel guilty that I’m not producing the weekly recipes that I have come to truly enjoy making.

I did manage to do a bit of cooking on the weekend. We had a limited thanksgiving dinner, and it was delicious. I also made some beef sausage patties – they were simple but a good breakfast. It wasn’t difficult to do, and I did get some pictures so I’ll briefly tell you how I did it.

Ingredients:
diced: onion, chive, garlic, mushroom
Grated potato
ground beef
kosher salt (should be iodine free)
mustard powder
Pepper
2 egg whites ( egg yolk contains iodine)



Technique: Chop all the vegetables, put in a large mixing bowl. Add the spices. Separate the egg whites, mix them in. After everything is prepped, mix in the beef by hand.

to cook: Add oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat. Form meat mixture into balls, press down using a flipper. Wait until you see the edges have gone grey, and flip. Should have a nice carmalized top to them already. Press them down with the flipper, let them continue to fry until they no longer stick to the bottom (this is a great sign that the patties have browned for you)

And that is it! Take off the heat when done, serve with a breakfast hash or a salad. We had a salad, I used a lot of fresh vegetables and an oil& vinegar dressing. Can’t have commercial dressings right now so I made it myself. Simple really – vinegar, oil, kosher salt, pepper, mustard powder. Whisk with a fork.

This meal hit the spot, we had it for breakfast on sunday. I saved the leftovers for my breakfast on monday before we left the cabin.

I’m not sure when my next blog post will be. I’m hoping I’ll manage to have one for you monday, but, since food creation has been bland at best I cannot guarantee it. I will make the effort, but whether the food I produce is something I deem worth sharing or not is an entirely different story. For now, I will leave you with this one last look at the cabin, here is the view we have out of the kitchen window of the garden. I really did enjoy my time there, and managed to get myself at least able to face the next few bouts of waiting.

Hopefully you find the view as enjoyable as I did. I’m going to work on getting healthy so that I can continue to write my blog and do these recipes for a long time to come – this should just be a speedbump on my road to recovery. It has truly made me realize how little time we all have, and that doing things that you love is what is important in life. Thankfully, this is one of the things I love.

Would love to hear any comments or questions people have on my blogs and posts, I do keep an eye on things here even when I’m not posting and am very willing to help people with culinary adventures!

Sean



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