Friday, August 31, 2012

Out With The Old...Or Just The Thyroid

Yesterday I went in to see my endocrine surgeon at St. Thomas in Nashville for a routine re-check of my thyroid mass. I've been having this checked for almost 3 years now and have had it biopsied twice. Both times the biopsy has come back benign which is awesome, but the darn mass keeps growing. At this point, the mass is the same size, if not a tad larger, than my actual thyroid lobe.
So, after the ultrasound was done and the doctor had time to review it, he came into the room I was in and after exchanging pleasantries, told me that he was not comfortable leaving the thyroid in any longer because of how much it has grown...especially how much it has grown in just the past 6 months. He said that even though the biopsies were benign, that the thyroid could still have cancer cells in it and that if they don't hit the exact spot when the biopsy is done, that there will be false-negatives. He said it doesn't happen often, but it could. And with mine still growing, pressing on my trachea when I sleep on my stomach or left side, and being a solid mass (not a cyst) that it just needs to come out. He also said that he would take out the entire thyroid and not just the left lobe because of two reasons. First, if the left side comes back showing cancer, they would have to go right back in 2 days later and operate again to remove the right side. Second, the right side also has a small solid mass on it. He said if we leave it there, then that mass will likely grow because it will be doing double the work and then in a few years we will be right back to where we are now.
Dr. Thomas has been an EXCELLENT doctor as far as respecting my wishes to take the "wait and see" approach and has never pressured me. He's always been willing to just let me steer the ship per say. So when he was as "highly suggestive" as he was yesterday, I just felt comfortable to move forward and get it over with. I've put off the inevitable now for a year or more knowing that eventually it would need to be removed. Also, one of the nuclear medicine scans that I had showed that there is a higher chance mine could be cancer because of the way the gland took up the radioactive substance.
So, I say "let's do this thing." I have a date already set to have the surgery, but am highly considering moving it up because of some things that Team Blevins has planned and some other things going on. I didn't want to do it too soon because I want my body to heal from the chemo I have been taking before I go under the knife, but I don't want to wait and let it interfere with my family plans either. I have a call to his nurse already put in so that I can ask her a few questions and then see if I can move the date up. I know he won't have an issue with it because it was me who wanted to wait until November to begin with. Oh, and he is also going to remove my portacath (the permanent IV in my chest for chemo) while I am on the OR table so we'll be killing two birds with one stone!
Am I scared? Nah, not really.
Am I worried it's cancer? Nope. Not at all.
Could it be a spread of breast cancer? HIGHLY unlikely. It could happen, but it would be RARE
Does it hurt? Nope. Just can't sleep how I want to because it does press of my "windpipe"  making breathing and swallowing a bit harder.
When will this happen? As of now, early November, but hoping to move it to mid October. We will see.
Am I bummed out? Yeah, a little because I thought I would be done with all health related stuff for a while come middle September. But like I said earlier, I'm really okay with this because we have taken the wait and see approach and what we have seen is just not okay anymore.
Hospital Stay? One night and if I am comfortable going home, then that will be it. If not, then I will stay another night.
Incision: about 5 inches in the neck fold so it will be barely visible. No drains or anything like that so that is a plus! And then the portacath incision will probably be the same one that they used to put in it. About 2 inches on the chest wall below the collar bone.
Recovery Time: 5 days to recover from the surgery and then 2-4 weeks to get back to normal daily activities...lifting, sudden movements, etc...

And there we have it folks. That's the rest of the story... ;)

1 comment:

  1. Hope you get all scheduling issues sorted and you recover asap.