Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On a Brighter Note

I started the day feeling somewhat depressed by the conversation I had had yesterday with Dr. B (my surgeon). I called Dr. P (my endocrinologist), who unfortunately is leaving WHC and moving to Baltimore at the end of this week. She returned my call within a half hour and patiently began to answer all my questions. She thoroughly explained everything that is going to happen to me between November 23 and mid-January. She went over all the prep for the radioactive iodine treatment, including the special no-iodine diet for two weeks prior. But most importantly, she gave me all the numbers I failed to ask Dr. B for yesterday.

It turns out that papillary cancer recurs in 10-15% of those who have it. I will get a scan of my lymph nodes and a blood test yearly. Between these two tests, she will be able to detect any recurrence. If it is identifiable, it can be surgically removed. If not, I will undergo further radioactive iodine treatment. It sounds like if I follow this yearly testing, the risk of any real future problems from this form of cancer is minimal.

Whew! I feel like I am finally learning the real truth about this disease. Having this additional information today has really put my mind at rest. Dr. P is worth following to Baltimore!

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