Thursday, April 26, 2012

A quick update~

I am one week post-op here in this photo and I went to the ENT this morning to have my stitches clipped and for the pathology reports on my lymph nodes. I had a feeling that the results were not going to be good, only because I had a goiter for so long and I have suspected a thyroid problem for at least 4 years. My lymph nodes did come back with cancer in them, which totally sucks.

Dr. Richards, the ENT, is confident that a round of radioactive iodine will get rid of all of my cancer, which is good and something to remind myself of every time I think, “Oh my God, I have cancer.” Dr. Richards also said that the type of thyroid cancer that I have has a 90+% cure rate. She also said that I am young and healthy so that also improves the odds. Papillary cancer is not aggressive and is very slow to grow and spread, it is also the most common type of thyroid cancer, which I am hoping is a good thing for my outcome. 

I have an appointment next week to meet with an Oncologist in Stuart, so I will know more information then. I  am hoping that I can be clear of all of this by the summer so I can relax and play with my kids. If I didn't have kids I think I would still be freaked out about having cancer, but its different when you have 3 little kids to take care of. They are the best part of my life by far and the thought of not being around for them is just the saddest thing. But with the optimism of Dr. Richards, I am hoping that this is just a little hiccup in my summer plans. Until next time.....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trust your Gut!!!

Cancer. It’s a word that no one wants to hear. A couple weeks ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least. I feel like I haven’t really had time to process the whole thing yet, which honestly is probably a good thing. So here is my timeline of events----about a month ago I saw the ENT about a lump in my throat (swollen thyroid---aka Goiter), she sent me for blood work and an ultrasound with follow up in a week, next appointment I had a Fine Needle Aspiration done (they stick a needle into your goiter about 6 times to get samples of the tissue) with follow up in a week, then at follow up from my FNA we scheduled surgery.  I had surgery on Wednesday April 18, I had my drain removed on Thursday, and today I just have to have my calcium levels checked. The doctor removed my entire thyroid, as well as a few lymph nodes. Pathology will be back in about a week on those. I am praying that they come back negative. I have to have a neck scan done to see if there is any signs of cancer anywhere else (not sure when this will take place). I also have to complete a radioactive iodine treatment sometime in the next 6-8 weeks. I will be spending a weekend at a hotel for this since I have to be away from my kids, well all kids actually, while I am radioactive.

I had a feeling that I had something going on that was more than what met the eye. The trick is finding a physician who listens to your symptoms and show compassion for what you are going through. Here are some of the symptoms that I was having:

  • Fatigue---- even if I just slept 8 hours
  • Weakness in legs
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles----like every other week
  • Decreased libido
  • Ear aches that were not from infections
  • Goiter
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Panic attacks
Just to name a few. Anyways, I was seeing a family physician who was treating some of these symptoms as if it were unrelated to one another. I had a hunch that something else was going on so I tried to make an appointment for an endocrinologist, but you need a physician to refer you to get an appointment. So I went to the ENT instead, and I am happy that it ended up this way honestly. Who better to remove neck cancer than an ENT. Anyways, the moral of this story is ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!!!!! No one knows you better than YOU! If you have a goiter and want to see a good doctor let me know and I will give you the name of my surgeon.