Monday, July 6, 2009

Three months? Really?

I recently visited my endocrinologist, Dr. Pun, in six-week follow up. He basically said everything looked good after my terrific thyroglobulin results (best since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last summer!), and he would see me in three months.

Really? Three months? I have been seen at least every six weeks, if not more often, by a doctor since all of this started last summer.

Don't get me wrong...I'm thrilled! Woohoo! Great news! However, it feels a little weird. For the last year, I've had more doctors appointments that possibly in my entire life. Family practice docs, surgeons, endocrinologist, radiologists...Been hospitalized three times, two times for surgery, once for radioactive treatment. With that said, it just feels a little weird for a doctor to say "see you in three months" after what I've been through.

As I get used to the cancer diagnosis, I guess I also get used to being a survivor as well. Happy to do so, but again, just another curve ball that cancer has thrown me.

Speaking of being diagnosed, that "anniversary" date, some call it their cancerversary, is fast approaching. July 14 is the day everything changed. I don't have anxiety about it approaching, but it is a definite reminder on the calendar of the day I received the news. After the needle biopsy, the radiologist looked me in the eye and said "You have papillary carcinoma (thyroid cancer)."

My feelings as I approach my cancerversary are interesting and confusing...pride with how I handled it mixed tears for the pain (emotionally and physically) that I have been through. I'm curious how my feelings will evolve the closer it gets to July 14.


  1. We have a strokiversary in our house. The day everything changed not only for Seth but for all of us. Feb. 26. We had planned on having ice cream for breakfast annualy on that day, but the kids were less than impressed by that this year (also it was a school day and they woke up late - shocker), so now it's just a quiet milestone that Curt and I make note of in our heads, then go on about our business.

    GOOD for you - we'll raise a pint to you on your "anniversary"!

  2. I hope you do special things with all the extra time you'll have on your hands in the next three months! Enjoy!

  3. Hi Charlcie,

    How did you find out when you'd relapsed? Also, have you had any post-op problems with calcium levels being low? Finally, I have pain in some lymph nodes that were never even examined - should I expect that if they're suspicious, something will show up on my radioactive iodine scan?

    This has all happened VERY fast - I went from a 35 year old woman with a full time job and a lot of responsibilities to a thyroid cancer patient to a thyroid-less person, all in the space of a week.

    Thanks... I'd love to be in touch. Your blog is inspirational to me!!


  4. PS - I don't know if your blog will tell me if you write back to my comment or not, so I'm asking it to now. I hope this checkbox works!

  5. sometimes lisa,

    I found out about the recurrence when, after my radioactive treatment, thyroglobulin levels wouldn't get in the normal range. After 3 tests in a row not normal, they had me do an ultrasound, which showed the good 'ol "suspicious findings." Then followed by the ever popular fine needle aspiration (FNA) to confirm the papillary carcinoma.

    They found one 1 cm node on ultrasound that was sitting in my thyroid bed (post surgery, no thyroid but this place). In surgery he actually found three nodes that turned up cancerous.

    About the lymph nodes...I had two scans pre-1st surgery. One to find the cancerous areas on my thyroid. One to explore nodes. doctor went into my surgery telling me he was going to do an exploratory neck dissection looking for these suspicious lymph nodes. He found 14 he did not like, four were confirmed cancerous. Two the size of small plums were cancerous!

    The cancer business happened so fast for me as well...please ask me questions any time, any place! Its so helpful to find others going through the similar thyroid cancer issues. Wish none of us had to, but if we do, let's help each other as much as we can! :)

    Sending good thoughts and prayers your way...take care of yourself!