Yesterday afternoon we got a call from my surgeon’s office to meet him today, Friday, 2/17/2017.
The hubby and I both had a feeling that we already knew the outcome. The doctors have been hinting at it for the last three months, 84 days to be exact.
So we went to the appointment and waited in the exam room for what seemed like forever. As I waited, I read Psalm 59: 16-17 to myself over and over again.
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Psalms 59:16-17 ESV
That helped to calm my nerves a bit.
My hunch grew stronger when the surgeon came in with another doctor in a white coat. He got straight to the point and said that it was in fact cancer. Papulillary Thyroid Carcinoma, to be exact. Which has a 90% survival rate. We both took the news pretty well, considering we have had the chance to process this possibility for almost three months.
Now the unexpected news. Apparently, according to the surgeon, I am “special”. My vocal cords sprout earlier than most people, which makes the surgery a bit more difficult. He checked the progress of my vocal cord recovery and they aren’t healing as quickly as he would like so we are going to push the next surgery back a few weeks. Since my PTC is pretty slow growing he is comfortable waiting a little bit to lessen the risk of bilateral vocal cord paralysis. So we decided that was the safest option at this point.
In about six weeks I should have my next surgery. They will remove the rest of my thyroid and remove the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. And about four to six weeks after that I will do Iodine Radiation.
I know there is a long road ahead of me, but I am just glad to know that we finally have answers and a plan.
On Thursday, 2/9/2017 I went in for surgery. The plan was to remove half of my thyroid and some of my lymph nodes removed and while I was under anesthesia they would check and make the final decision on my cancer diagnosis. If they found the cancer they’d do a full neck dissection. So I woke up in the recovery room in a lot of pain and immediately asked if I had cancer. Nobody could tell me the answer, so I asked if I was staying the night at the hospital, because of it wasn’t cancer I’d be going home. The nurse said I was being discharged so I took that as a sign that I didn’t have cancer.
I was wrong. The surgeon came into the recovery room and explained that they couldn’t get anything from a frozen biopsy and they still couldn’t tell me if I had cancer. I’d have to wait longer. At this point the first thought that popped into my head was, “so they just want more copay from me.” I was still in pain and pretty livid after I found out that they still couldn give me answers.
So the waiting game continues. In the meantime I do know that I get my stitches out on Thursday, 2/16/2017. So I got that going for me.
On Monday afternoon, 1/30/2017, I met with the Thyroid Cancer Surgeon for a consultation. After a 30 minute wait in the exam room we finally met him. He is a younger guy with a straight forward personality.
So long story short, I will be having some sort of surgery on 2/9/2017. I will also have one last biopsy done about a week before then, on 2/3/2017 The invasivness of the surgery will depend on the biopsy results. If the biopsy is malignent then I will have my entire thyroid and some lymph nodes on the left side of my neck removed. If it comes back benign, I will have a lumpectomy and only part of my thyroid will be removed. The recover time for the latter is much shorter, three days, compared to the two week recovery time of the former.
I am not looking forward to another biopsy, but I am ready to get some answers.