I can’t believe it’s taken me a week to sit down and update since my post-op follow up appointment!
I’ll start there…
First of all, the path report on the left side of my thyroid was cancer free. Woo hoo, right? So was the lymph node that he removed. Dr. B offered me the option of a referral to the nuclear medicine doctor, but he and I both felt that I didn’t really need RAI ablation/treatment, so we are just going to skip it for now. Double woo hoo!
The other side of my thyroid did have some weird stuff…for one, it had a LOT of nodules, which I knew, and “hurthle cell change,” which I was pretty sure they would find. They also found some “giant” cells, which can be associated with Hashimoto’s (which I have–or had?), but also has an association with PTC and even Anaplastic cancer.
I was a little afraid ahead of time that if no cancer was found in this second surgery that I would regret having it done….but I don’t. I just know with all the weird stuff that was in there that I would have required a lot of monitoring to stay on top of it, and I feel, myself, that some of that would have morphed into more cancer at some point. No, I’m just glad it’s out, and that we know for sure there wasn’t any cancer there. If it had stayed in there, I would have wondered forEVER. I have this feeling like I am “clean” now.
Dr. B does want me to have a WBS (Whole Body Scan–they use a small “tracer” dose of RAI) to check for any possible metastasis, but I get the sense that it is just kind of a formality, just to make extra, extra sure. That will be at either 6 months or a year, I can’t remember which. Beyond that, I will have my thyroglobulin levels tracked. (That’s a protein only made my thyroid cells.) As long as they stay stable, it’s unlikely that cancer has returned. And I will also have periodic neck ultrasounds to make sure there’s nothing abnormal springing up in the thyroid bed. But that’s it. Nothing more than a low-level annoyance, if things go as expected.
I am so, SO thankful that God has seen fit to give us a favorable answer. I look around at others who are going through so much more right now–one college friend who just had a kidney transplant, another whose four-year-old daughter is in a battle with leukemia that could last for years, another whose younger brother has just learned he has stage IV, terminal stomach cancer. I feel like I have gotten off pretty easy.
I am also SO grateful for all the kindness we have been shown. I have gotten so many cards from people. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are STILL bringing us food to help us out. Jessica stayed with me overnight in the hospital AGAIN. I could go on and on. I LOVE being part of God’s family. His children are the best siblings I could ask for.
I am also doing pretty well so far on my thyroid medication. More about that next time!
Today is Mom’s birthday. I bought some Mayfield Brown Cow Jr. ice cream pops at Publix to celebrate. She used to always have them when her grandkids–my kids and Nathan’s–came to visit. She called them “Cow Bars,” and that’s how my kids know them now.
I miss her SO much, but in many ways, the intense, sharp pain of her loss has faded. She’s been gone just over three years now. Happy Birthday, Mom! I raise my Cow Bar in salute.