Thursday, October 21, 2010

post op rewind

So remember when I mentioned that the bump on my thyroid was benign? What I didn't mention is that when they do that initial test in the operating room, it's only 95% accurate. There's a small margin of error, so small that you generally just go with the diagnosis, although they do continue to test and disect the removed portion.

Today I went in for a check up with the endocrinologist. The main reason for the visit was to check my hormone levels (after removing half the thyroid, sometimes the other half thinks it wants to work or overwork) and adjust if necessary. When she walked in, she said with big eyes, "Did you see your pathology report?!" I told her that I was told it was benign, but that's it. She's all, "Oh, check this out. You'll never believe this." She then proceeds to read that in the middle of the removed portion of my thyroid, they discovered a "trabecular neoplasm," which is to say in terms we can digest without the aid of a few Tums, there was a small cancerous tumor in my thyroid. Had it been left alone, it would've grown and taken over the thyroid (and theoretically, it could also further spread, although very unlikely).


Because I have Hashimoto's, nodules on the thyroid are pretty common, and my chances for having cancer were less than five percent. Less than five percent. If I'd just had a biopsy done, it would've been missed entirely and would've continued to grow.

I feel incredibly blessed. And lucky. And I want to kiss my nurse practitioner for following her gut. And then my endocrinologist for supporting me in removing the thing instead of just poking it.

On the bright side, my hormone levels look great. I will take hormonal supplements and be monitored for the rest of all time, and the right side of my thyroid will be specifically monitored for any growths (in hindsight, of course, we wish the whole thing was just removed, and had the surgeon known at the time, he would've removed it all). But for all intents and purposes: I am "cured," but will always be considered a "potential cancer risk."

I am one of the lucky ones, who had cancer and then didn't all in the span of ten seconds. I don't really have any words tonight, to say how grateful and lucky I feel. I just want to hug and squeeze every person within my grasp. Simply because I can.


jaesi said...

oy! thats a lot to swallow- literally.

I want to kiss your nurse prac. too!

cause you needed for at least 70 more years here :)

Diana said...

What a tender mercy! I am so glad you chose the path you did. Wow!

I'm sending a hug across the country for you, my friend!!

The Harrises said...

Phew! That is scary and I am very glad for the doctors you had. Glad you're okay.


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