Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cautious vs. Paranoid

For about two weeks, I felt a strange nodule in my left underarm. How long had it been there? Was I just now noticing it or is it new? "Its nothing," I reasoned with myself.

Then....reading stories/studies on the internet about a link between thyroid cancer and breast cancer started to creep in my thoughts as did my aunt who battled breast cancer twice.

"Could this be an extension of a possible breast cancer in my underarm lymph nodes? I did have lymph node involvement in my thyroid cancer." If for no other reason, I would get it checked out to get it off my mind.

I call and surprisingly Dr. T is available the next day. Actually, I think given my history, they made her available the next day. When she walks in the room, I start writing this whole thing off..."please just tell me it is nothing so I can get on with my day."

Dr. T: "I'm going to send you for an ultrasound. Let's get this checked out. We'll know by the end of the day if it is anything to be concerned about, but I feel something too."

Vindicated because it was something? "Ah ha! I knew it!" But who wants to be right about THIS? Crap.

Dr, T: "If the ultrasound shows nothing of concern, here is a prescription for an antibiotic and it could be an infection/inflammation. Otherwise, we'll talk more about next steps."

Then she stands in the doorway, smiles and asks if I am OK. I assure her I am (I am not). "I've done this before, I can do it again if I have to."

I leave from her office straight to the radiology office. They were able to get me in right away. Yes, I had previously had a mammogram, but this place was new since the July test.

Nothing was seen on ultrasound. All of this worrying and ultrasound for nothing? No, this is good! Hooray, nothing. I truly am glad it is nothing.

Wait, was I being paranoid? What is too cautious vs. cautious? I just put off my thyroid cancer yearly follow up until January because I don't have enough money in our Medical Savings Account from now until Dec 31 to cover it. What if something else is growing in there? Probably nothing, right?

I just finished taking my antibiotics. The spot feels smaller but is still there.

I am a worrier by nature. How do I balance cautious vs. paranoid? It's a work in progress....


  1. Charlcie,
    I don't think there is such a thing as a paranoid cancer survivor. You always have to be watching. Your family understands that. Hope you guys have a great Christmas.

  2. Charlcie,

    Everything I know about thyroid cancer is that the earlier you detect something the better your chances, especially if its something like Medullary thyroid carcinoma. I'm so glad you didn't "slack off" on your follow up! I now have a friend who seems to have slacked off and I'm so worried about her.

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