Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Creeping in again....

I'm really, really trying to not have worry and anxiety about my thyroid cancer, but sometimes it just creeps back in.

On Thursday, I have another set of blood work to be done. My endocrinologist is drawing another thyroglobulin level in follow up to my follow-up tests in April post-second cancer surgery.

A very loose definition of thyroglobulin levels for thyroid cancer patients: if it is higher than 0.5, there is a possibility that there could be more cancer to deal with, especially if you had positive lymph nodes, which I did. However, one reading above 0.5 is not enough to indicate recurrence. It is more of a trend to watch. If there is a consistent 2-3 (or obviously more) levels that are above 0.5, then there is probably a need for an ultrasound.

Last fall, I had three thyroglobulin levels in a row post-first surgery above 10. Ultrasound found more suspicious nodules. FNA confirmed it. Yet another surgery on my neck in January 2009 to remove more cancer.

My level in April was 3.5. That is a bit worrisome. Since I was diagnosed in July 2008, my thyroglobulin level has never been below 0.5.

I'm hoping that I have a thyroglobulin below 3.5 this time. That would indicate a trend towards 0.5. What a treat that would be if it went below 3.5!

But what if it goes up? I'll probably have another ultrasound. What if there is more suspicious stuff on that? I'll have a needle stuck in my neck again (FNA) to biopsy it/them. What if it is positive? I'll have surgery...again.

I don't want to have surgery again....but I might not have to. And what if my level trends downwards? That would be awesome! If not, I know what I'm in for at least. No real surprises.

A fellow cancer survivor and friend has a blog called The Cancer Warrior. I'm beginning to think that's me: not yet a survivor, not a patient as I don't like that...I'll be a Cancer Warrior like Mel!


  1. we are all warriors, fighting the same fight, battling the same battle, the war may be different for each one of us, but hopefully the outcome is the same.

    I know what you mean, it took me a while to embrace the word survivor.

  2. Yeah also Charlcie I walked in a breast cancer walk 11 days after my lumpectomy. I couldn't embrace the word survivor either. It takes a while to get that word in your head, for it to be a part of you. Some people may never want to have that word be a part of them. I embrace it. I have adopted the term warrior also because of the battle we all fight. I got my tattoo so I would never forget what I have been through.