Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2012

Dusting off my "cancer card"

After sticking the needle in my neck yet again, the biopsy was positive as we all expected. For the third time since 2008, the pathologist, Dr. Brown, told me that I have "metastatic papillary carcinoma."
Many who know me may remember that I had my thyroid removed in 2008, along with 14 lymph nodes, may ask "how can you have a recurrence if your thyroid is gone?" Thyroid cancer, or mine in particular - papillary carcinoma, can recur in a variety of forms and place other than the thyroid. For me, it is the right side of my neck in my lymph nodes. For my 2009 recurrence, three cancerous spots were found in the thyroid bed where my thyroid used to live.
What is next? I was able to meet with my endocrinologist Wednesday after the biopsy, and he presented options. Basically he could "blast me with radioactive iodine", but there is no guarantee they would "get" it all. His recommendation was to proceed with surgery, which is my choice as well. Well....m…

Third time is a charm? Third time stinks.

So....unfortunately it seems my gut (and the thyroglobulin blood test) was right. Ultrasound showed two "metastatic" lymph nodes. Same right side of the neck where I had four cancerous lymph nodes in 2008. Radiologist said we could biopsy them but he showed me...."here is what a normal lymph node looks like. But here is what this one...and this one look like. Not normal....with metastatic characteristics."

Third time is a charm? Third time stinks. First diagnosed in 2008, recurrence in 2009, and now a recurrence in 2012. About 30% of thyroid cancer survivor struggle with recurrence, and I am in that 30%.

What's next? A procedural biopsy next week. Surgery next month.

Those are the facts. I'm still sorting through the emotions of it all so more on that later. Thanks for your prayers and positive thoughts.

Reluctant, Incomplete Update

I kept waiting for complete results to post the "final" results here on the blog. However, I still don't have it all, but here we go....

Good news: scans are clear! Hooray!

Maybe bad, certainly incomplete news: I finally got my thyroglobulin (TG) blood test back, and it is 5.8. Optimal is 2.0 or less. My last one was 0.6 about a year ago.

According to my endocrinologist, the blood test is the best indication of a possible recurrence issue going on. This same thing happened two years ago when my scan was clear and blood level elevated. Eventually my TG came down, and that was good because that is what counts, the TG level over time. Summary: one elevated TG result does not indicate a recurrence.

The other thing that still needs to be done is an ultrasound, which is scheduled in about two weeks. If they find anything questionable during that, then we move forward with a recurrence discussion of what to do. If not, we keep monitoring/taking TG levels and hope that it goes do…