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Been meaning to do this...

Many of you know that I write posts for the CureSearch blog ( 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.


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He could have easily said, gesturing to me, "This is exhibit A, a papillary carcinoma patient who has had multiple recurrences." I actually think he did that before I came in the room.
I started the appointment with honesty: "Hey, I am really nervous because I have not gone a year between appointments since my recurrence." He understood. The students nodded.
I showed the students my scars along with their accompanying stories. I have two scars: one large one about five inches long centered on my neck, lower half, and the other about three inches long on the upper right side of my neck. The longer one was used twi…