Being Proactive with Cancer and Pregnancy

I’m 25 weeks pregnant now, well into our adventure.  Over the past few weeks, I have felt more driven in making sure that I am well educated and proactive in my treatment – both for Thyroid Cancer and for Pregnancy.

As I entered the second trimester, I was looking forward to an increase in energy and a decrease in several symptoms that are generally associated with the first trimester.  As the weeks continued however, they did not cease but worsened.  I spoke with my Endocrinologist about increasing my medication, as I believe that the continuation of the symptoms was due to my ThyCa and a continuing rise of my TSH.  She refused, I appealed to her with several articles including the Endocrine Society guidelines on the Treatment of ThyCa during Pregnancy and she was steadfast in her refusal.  My labs continued to show a rising TSH week after week.  So I fired her.

I don’t recall ever firing a doctor before. Usually, I would just go along with whatever recommendation that they placed in front of me because they are the experts and they are supposed to know more than me.  Recently though, my intuition and my quality of life has become my priority.  If a care provider isn’t willing to listen to me – the one person who knows my body best – then they aren’t the right one for me.  It was actually rather anti-climactic.  Upon her refusal I made an appointment with someone else, and called and canceled with her.  Her receptionist asked if I wanted to reschedule and I said no.  And that was that.

I found a new provider who was willing to increase my medication as I requested, and since then I have started to feel better.  Increased energy, decreased hypothyroid symptoms, better healthy feelings overall.  I am still exploring a long-term solution, as this new provider does not want to prescribe my preferred medication, but in the mean time I feel more at ease about being heard and understood.

I am being seen by a midwife group that practices out of a large women’s hospital in the city nearby.  Up until my 20 week appointment, every midwife that I met there made me feel at home and comfortable and that my care was a priority.  My 24 week appointment was the first that I felt like I had a less than stellar appointment, and the midwife that I saw that day and I just didn’t click.  She was concerned about my weight gain (23 pounds at the time, an average of one pound per week – not the best but MUCH better than I was doing last pregnancy) and threatened to classify me as high risk which would jeopardize my chances for a VBAC.  I was really taken aback by her attitude.  But it was a great reminder to me that when you are being seen at a practice with ten different midwives, you really don’t know what you’re going to get every time you walk through those doors.

The next day, I called my Monitrice and set up a time to meet and talk over my 24 week appointment.  We discussed what was going on and it really helped me to focus on what I can and cannot control about when my baby arrives.  I cannot control what midwife is on duty at the time.  But I’m mitigating that by having a designated labor helper, my monitrice, be there through the whole labor.  What that means for me is that I can put out of my mind the uncertainty of who will be there at the hospital and I can focus on myself, my husband and my monitrice being on the same page and working together.

After that meeting, I knew even more that we made the absolute right decision in hiring a Monitrice.  Only 15 more weeks until our estimated birthing time, and I am feeling so blessed to have a great support team behind me.  God has really moved in our lives to make all of this possible, and I know that he wants what is best for me and my family.



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