3.11.2013

Lymph Noooooo….

This blog originally started as a way to keep family and friends updated as I went through thyroid cancer. If you haven’t been along for the journey, you can read some of the highlights {lowlights?} here.  This year will mark 4 years since my diagnosis – 5 years is magical point where cancer patients are declared “cancer free.”  Until that point, I have follow-up appointments and screenings every 6 months. Since I’m pregnant and have no thyroid, I am monitored monthly because of necessary medication adjustments.  The thyroid is a pretty important little organ!

About 4 weeks ago I went for a neck ultrasound. Friday at my monthly endocrinology appointment I got the results. The report found 7 lymph nodes that are enlarged, 2 of which are significantly enlarged.  There is also a cystic area noted on the left side which is where my original nodule was – and if you don’t remember my papillary thyroid cancer was cystic in nature. {ie: looks like a cyst on scans rather than a solid mass}  My blood tests show no indications of recurrent cancer, however, and my doctors cannot feel the enlarged nodes on physical neck exams. lymph nodes

So what do we do?  My options were:

get an ultrasound guided lymph node biopsy done
OR
watch and wait for 3 months and repeat the ultrasound. 

Lymph nodes can be enlarged for many reasons, one of which is illness, and I had been sick with a flu-like illness a month prior to the scans. Knowing this and knowing that my blood tests have been clear {Tg, TgAb} my doctor and I have decided for the watch and wait for the repeat ultrasound approach. 

It seems very contrary to my normal aggressive approach toward all things cancer related, but being pregnant changes things immensely.  While a biopsy would be done with just a local pain reliever, if it came back positive for recurrence I would need major surgery followed by radioactive iodine treatment. I know surgery can be done while pregnant but it can be risky.  The radioactive iodine cannot be done without harm to our baby girl.  I feel like surgery and RAI are just not options at this point.  So we wait until June for a repeat scan {that will hopefully be all clear} and about a month later baby girl will arrive and then additional decisions can be made if necessary.

I know I ask for prayers a lot on here but we would really appreciate yours these next few months.

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