I've had some strange swelling above my incision for about a week. Let's backtrack...first week post-surgery, definite swelling. It went away week two and reappeared week three. And I understand the shooting pains in my neck and that they are good. That means the nerves are regenerating, coming back with a vengance. However, I have this strange achy feeling from my ear to my jaw where the swelling is.
My endocrinologist noticed it on Monday, said I could ask my surgeon about it. I called the surgeon's office, and they worked me in to see him. He said it is not uncommon to see fluid collection when removing lymph nodes, to ice it as needed and use ibuprofen as needed. If it does not go away by July 1, I should go back to see him about possibly draining this or treating it with steroids.
Speaking of my endo...I'm getting a second opinion. He has already said no radioactive treatment without seeing thyroglobulin results. Didn't order them until the end of the summer. He said if we see anything at that time then yes, radioactive treatment. That doesn't match up with what he told me prior to surgery. Oh, and he told me that I "just need to learn to live with it." I do...I get it, but that stinks. I just need someone else to tell me that is a good course to take. Referral endo, please confirm some of this madness for me.
I read somewhere once (in one of my many Google sessions) that with every cancer recurrence, your possible survival rate goes down. Can anyone confirm this for me? I will research it more. Anyway, it stuck with me.
And MCA from the Beastie Boys...his death keeps sticking with me. His cancer was of the salivary gland, which has a survival rate of 91%. MCA was diagnosed in 2009 and died earlier this year. He was in the 9% of those who die from salivary gland cancer. Am I in the 4% of those who will die from thyroid cancer? I certainly will fight it, not plan on it at all, and will stay positive, but these are sometimes the things I ponder.
Someone I know who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer was told "you will not die from thyroid cancer." Not true. If you have cancer, you could die from it. Yes, the survival rate is high for thyroid cancer, thank goodness, but let's be real. It can happen. Some research has suggested even a link between thyroid cancer and breast cancer. Does thyroid cancer open the cancer floodgates?
I guess I am sensitive to this as I was told that I would have my cancerous thyroid gland and lymph nodes out in 2008 and that would be it. It would be fine, easy peasy and back to work in no time. I struggled...could not talk except in a whisper for weeks, was in the hospital for four days, not the quick overnight as predicted., and had a tough recovery period. And look at me now, with it again...third time in five years. I'm part of the 30% of thyroid cancer survivors who have a recurrence
Another thing told this to this person: "thyroid cancer does not spread." Hello...it can spread to the lymph nodes (exhibit A, me times two) and can also go to your lungs and bones. I have read about people who have this situation. Granted this is in a very small percentage of people, but it can happen.
I hope this person has a much better situation than I have had with thyroid cancer. In fact, I pray that for her. Desperately. I know some who have had it once and are cancer free to date...for years and years, and I am happy for them! I was not prepared for my current reality but for the yank-your-thyroid-and-never-get-it-again reality. That is not my reality. But who is prepared for this madness?
Lots of percentages in this post. Can someone please just call me a thinker and not a worrier? I want the information and want to analyze the "what ifs"...is that necessarily worrying?
My rant is concluded.