5.08.2009

Surgeon's Hands...

Just got back from Surgeon's office...

Started out with a general exam where he explained that I would most likely need surgery because of the size of the nodule and then a detailed explanation of thyroid cancer and its survival rates for people like me (under 50yrs and in good health and a woman - generally live longer than the normal population after treatment!). Yikes - uhm could this really be a possibility?!

Then we moved into the ultrasound suite where he did the u/s himself - said whoa a couple times then said I have "good news and bad news" and then showed mom and I what he was looking at... a massive nodule (over 3cms) on my left thyroid lobe that is compressing my carotid artery, my trachea (windpipe), and my esophagus (food tube) as well as the nerve that controls my vocal cords.

Good news: its most likely benign because it is mostly cystic and calcified parts
Bad news: it requires surgery

Because of its size it will most likely not respond to just taking synthroid (thyroid hormone pill) to shrink it and like i said its pressing on some pretty vital parts! Then he said he wanted to do the biopsy to be sure of things because if it is malignant then they will do a thyroidectomy instead of a lobectomy (take the whole thyroid out instead of just the left lobe of it) when they do surgery.

So had the biopsy - long tiny needle was stuck into my neck a few times after they numbed it with lido. It only hurt a little and still hurts only a little but that's kinda been my norm for a week or so. They are sending it out for pathology and cytology results and we should know benign/malignant by mid next week.

My surgery is scheduled for May 26th (day after memorial day) and I have to be in the hospital overnight. They do that because they want to make sure the airway wasn't compromised and I don't develop any complications. I will be off work the rest of that week and the following week to recover because apparently the thyroid is an extremely vascular structure in the body. I won't be able to talk much at first and will have some voice problems for a while because they have to inject a nerve stimulating substance into the nerve that controls my vocal cords to make sure they can see it during surgery and not cut it - he said it usually affects the singing voice more than the speaking voice so i'm off singing for quite a while too...

So that's as much as I know at this point... going to take it easy for a couple days sporting my new fashion accessory (small round neck band aid) and then try to sort things out and prep for surgery.

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