Monday, October 22, 2012

Thyroid Is Gone

A few days ago, David and I took off once again for St Thomas Hospital in Nashville for my 7th surgery in the past 3 years. This time it was nothing to do with breast cancer, but was my thyroid instead. I've written about the problem with my thyroid in an earlier post (back in August I believe), but to make a long story short, I had a nodule that was as large as the actual thyroid and it needed to be taken out and tested for cancer. The biopsy that had been done had been shown to be negative, but with the thyroid, it's best to take the whole thing out when it keeps growing and when you have a history of cancer anyways.
So, that was what I did Friday. I was so nervous this time around for no real reason. I tried to figure out why I was so scared about anesthesia this time but there was nothing to explain it. I have been down this road a million times before (or at least 7) but this time I was just plain scared. As I sat in the pre-op holding area alone and waiting for the surgeon to come in I began praying and just asking God to help calm the storm in my soul. And then I kid you not when I tell you that the next person in my room was my anesthesia doctor and get this...I KNEW HIM!!!! I worked with him when I was a recovery room nurse at Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio. What the what?!? I was immediately relaxed and gave thanks to God for this very visible sign of comfort. My friend, Wes, was assigned to my case and was with me through the entire surgery.
As for the surgery, everything went great. Of course Friday night was rough but I was in the hospital with some of the best nurses ever and they took great care of me. I could not have asked for better care. My doctor came around and told me that the mass ended up being huge - the size of a golf ball and that he got the entire thing out (mass and thyroid) while sparing the parathyroid glands and not damaging my vocal cords (yay!). We will get pathology results on Wednesday to determine if any part of the thyroid was cancerous. If it is, we will go on to the plan to treat it, and if not, I will keep right on trucking on my new medicine, Synthroid. Synthroid is a medicine that mimics the thyroid and regulates lots of body functions - think cardiac, temperature, etc.... It's imperative that I take it and is dangerous if I ever don't. I believe that for the first 6 months or so I will have thyroid levels drawn frequently to make sure the medicine is at the correct dose and then I will be managed yearly.

As of now, day 3 post-op, I feel pretty good. My pain meds are helping and I am beginning to rest a little better. The incision is what hurts if I don't stay on top of the pain along with some neck and shoulder pain from just how they had to position me on the OR table. I think I will be 100% by the weekend but will have to remember that I am not supposed to do full activity until 11/3.

I will update with pathology results on Wednesday or Thursday but I wanted to go ahead and fill you all in with how things are going so far. Sorry if this was randomly written or cut short, but the pain medicine I took a little while ago is hitting me hard so I need to hit the sack. Goodnight friends!

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