Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More Thyroid Woes

I met my surgeon today. Dr. Lisa B is an attractive, personable woman who looks to be a little younger than I am. She once again expressed her disbelief that last year’s surgeon did not remove my entire thyroid. She seemed to have a much greater concern about papillary cancer than my doctors last year, who never did anything aggressively to treat my cancer, other than remove the affected lobe, knowing that there were already two small nodules in the other lobe. I had been led to believe that this form of cancer only rarely occurred in other body parts. So I thought that if my entire thyroid was removed and I underwent the radioactive iodine treatment that I would be home free. Dr. B said that even after all these interventions, it can recur in the lymph nodes and the lungs. And how would I detect it there? The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that it is extremely slow growing.

My surgery will be at 1:30 on Wednesday, November 23, the day before Thanksgiving. I will be in the hospital overnight. After the surgery I will take another synthetic hormone until one week prior to the radioactive iodine treatment. For that week I cannot be on any medication. I can imagine that I will feel like an absolute slug, devoid of energy. I will be in the hospital for 36 hours to receive the radiation treatment. For the next few days I will have to keep my distance from everyone because of the emission of radiation. It sounds like I will be glowing! I can’t imagine what I am going to feel like if I have to be this careful about subjecting others to the radiation.

So once again, I’m wallowing in self-pity asking why this happening to me. When in fact I should be happy that this is being done in the name of prevention, that I don’t even know for sure that I have anymore papillary cancer. I should be most grateful for Deborah, Dr. P (the endocrinologist), and Dr. B. It would really have been great if I had gotten this behind me a year ago, but it just didn’t happen that way.

I’m already looking forward to seeing people and hearing from people as I go through this over the next few months. You can bet my New Year’s wish is going to be for a year of good health!

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