Skip to main content

Been meaning to do this...

Many of you know that I write posts for the CureSearch blog (www.curesearchnccf.blogspot.com). I've been meaning to start my own blog so here it is...

I'm not sure exactly what my blog will be about but myself, my family, things I find interesting, etc. I think I'll start with thyroid cancer.

Lately, I've not been doing much anything but preparing for, having, and then recovering from thyroid cancer surgery. I was diagnosed on July 14, 2008. I had a feeling the diagnosis was coming after the initial ultrasound. In fact, I asked Chris to go with me to the biopsy. When the pathologist walked in the room to deliver the results, I knew. When he said "you have papillary carcinoma," I looked at Chris and said, "I knew it!" He knew I had a bad feeling as well.

On July 16th, I met with Dr. Enoch Sanders, my surgeon who would navigate me through all of this. I had a wonderful experience with him, not so much with the cancer. He took an hour with Chris and I explaining the surgery, the positives, the negatives, what to consider. He sent me off for an ultrasound of my lymph node nodules to make sure there wasn't something suspicious there, and we scheduled the surgery.

The next Wednesday, July 23rd, I had the neck ultrasound. Again, I didn't have a good feeling and again, I was right. They wouldn't say much at the time of the neck ultrasound other than there is something "suspicious." Dr. Sanders called me two days later to talk about what they found. Two worrisome areas....we decided on him extending the surgery time to include exploration of this area and a "frozen section" of these areas, a bit of an on-the-spot biopsy. We would later find out there were in fact four cancerous lymph nodes, two of which were the size of small plums.

Surgery was July 31st. I expected an overnight stay and home the next day. I went home four days later. I had problems with calcium levels and swallowing from the intubation/anesthesia.

Recovery has been SO slow...I feel a little better every day but still have problems with swallowing, pain in my neck, being tired (still sleeping 10-12 hours a day), a killer cough (more antibiotics for that). Plus, I'm trying to get prepared, physically and mentally, for some radioactive treatment I am to do about six weeks after surgery. I'll find out more about that next week when I have an appointment with my endocrinologist.

That's all for now in terms of information on the thyroid cancer. I promise I'll write about other things but just wanted to get the details down of this particular period of my life for myself and others.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Back to the Doctor...and 10 Things I Hate About Thyroid Cancer

OK, look at the last time I added a blog post....yes, January. Ridiculous. It's been too long since I've written, and I apologize for that. Time marches on, for the good or bad, and it has slipped away from me.

One item on my thyroid cancer timeline I see not documented in my blog: I did get more bloodwork done in April. It was good news: no change in the thyroglobulin. Just gotta keep on top of it and make sure that it doesn't get above 2.0.

I'm going to see Dr. W on Friday to check in, let him tell me it's time to get it and the TSH checked again. And...OK, here's the thing: I feel something/am having strange twinges on the left side of my neck. Everything has been on the right side to date so maybe......what is it? I will listen to my gut and let Dr. W tell me it's nothing rather than assuming that. Because even though I can say "oh, it's nothing," the thinking about it and worrying will drive me crazy.

Also, I discovered yesterday an amaz…

Letter to Dr. W

The latest and greatest (?) on the beast that is thyroid cancer, best expressed via the letter I sent to my new endocrinologist/thyroid cancer specialist:

Changing the Focus

I will turn 50 this month. In honor of this milestone -- and just because I want to -- I am changing the focus of my blog.

10 years ago at the age of 40, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer -- papillary carcinoma. I started this blog after my first surgery as a means to communicate. I had lost my voice for about three weeks, and speaking was a challenge. Many well-meaning folks called in the days after my surgery to check on me. While it was fine that Chris and my mom provided updates, I missed being in contact with people. So I started writing.
Along the way, I learned that I liked to write and also found other cancer patients and survivors along the way. I needed an outlet, and, unexpectedly, my blog provided some perspective for those newly diagnosed as well as those of us who must endure the various follow-up visits and the anxiety that accompanies them.
My last cancer blog post was three years ago. Believe me, the anxiety is still there, but after two recurrences, I've had no…