Thursday, February 25, 2010

Adios Thyzilla

Goodbye my dear thyroid. Dr. Arguello cut you out nearly one week ago. Initially he cut out the left half like he planned, but he didn't like the looks of the tissue. He said that he saw Hurtle neoplasm cells, so while I was still "under", he went back in and took out the right half as well. Dr. Arguello said the tumor was huge, very agressive and looked like it had legs because it was spreading out. He also called it sticky and said that he has to literally scrape it off my vocal cords and trachea. Uggh. So, I went in on Friday and was released on Sunday morning. They gave me Ultram for pain, but I really don't like the way it makes me feel, so I try to only take it at night. I went in on Tuesday for a follow up. He removed the bandages and said the incision looks good, but no pathology results yet!! He seemed frustrated like I was but said that he does not want to rush them because he wants a thorough diagnosis. I will see him again on Monday or Tuesday. Below is a photo of the incision from this morning, post surgery day six. For those that do not know me very well, the rash is not really a rash but my lovely birthmark. I guess I should be used to people staring at my neck area already, huh? There is a great website called "Dear Thyroid" that sells some really cool thyroid stuff. They have a shirt that says "It's rude to look at my goiter, my breasts are down here." It made me laugh so hard that it hurt. :)

Ok, tired now, so that is all I have. These days walking up stairs makes me sleepy, so I need a nap now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What is significant about being 33?

I like my surgeon, Dr. Arguello-Rudin. He is funny, blunt, scruffy, kind, patient, and not at all politically correct. He asked me my age and when I replied with "33", he said "oh, the same age as Jesus." That one threw me off a bit. Wasn't that the same age Jesus was when he was crucified? I mean, Jesus was also 1 yr, 15 yrs, 21 yrs, etc. too, so why mention it? I think he was just trying to lighten the mood. I just met him yesterday. After we spent a few minutes talking about my medical history, he examined me. Then we sat down again and he said "let's get rid of this sh*t". See why I like him?

He still plans on taking only the left half of my thyroid, but is not opposed to taking it all. He ordered some blood tests and a chest xray. The chest xray will show if there are any suspicious spots on my lungs (just in case). Two of the blood tests he ordered I have never had before- Antithyroid Antibodies and Anti-something-globin. He said if these tests show a level of more than 32, then it is most likely cancer and he will take the entire thyroid out. He also said that if he sees any nodules or suspicous tissues on the right side, then he will take the entire thyroid out. If everything looks healthy on the right side, then just the left will come out initially. He promised me that he would personally take the tissue down to pathology after surgery to try and get some results. However, he also said that sometimes even then they can't tell. So, there is still an awful chance that I will have half of thyzilla removed, start to recover, and then go home only to return for a second surgery to have the right side removed. That would STINK! I really hope that doesn't happen.

So, my surgery is on Friday, February 19th at 7:30am at Memorial Hospital Main on Boulder St. I have to check in at the regretable hour of 5:30am. Ugh, well I am not sleeping right not anyway, right? If you would like to visit, I am sure that I will be up for it that afternoon or later. You can call my husband Andy if you are not sure of the timing. His number is 719-213-4807.

Thanks for all the warm thoughts, kind wishes, and prayers. I appreciate it more than you know. Now I need to go and prepare to be out for a while. See you soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Beginning

In search of information online regarding my thyroid condition I found a few helpful blogs. Reading them was comforting and it felt like I was reading a diary of sorts. I think that perhaps having my own blog might help me get a handle on my emotions and be healing for me. My sister-in-law has a blog and it seems that she is able to process some feelings and share them through her blog. I wonder if anyone will read this? I wonder if anyone cares to hear my rants? Maybe a newly diagnosed patient will want to hear a similar story? I guess it doesn't really matter who reads it, does it? So, off I go:

I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in 2007 just after I got married. Fun time, huh? I went for my usual check up and told my doctor I was tired and had dry skin. During the next 2 years, my levothyroxine dosage was adjusted (increased) about 5 or 6 times. In June of 2009, I felt like my throat was swollen. Was I growing an adam's apple or something? It looked and felt like it to me. So, I made an appointment with my GP. Unfortunately, she didn't think it was swollen, but checked my TSH levels and said "oh, you must feel like that because you need another dosage increase." I shouldn't have believed her. I should have trusted my instincts, but what do I know? I never went to medical school- she did!

Well, I had a very busy fall in 2009, so I delayed my checkup until the beginning of January 2010. I went back to my GP and during the physical she looked at my new adam's apple and said "hmm, what is this?" Well, apparently my new lump had grow to a size that she, my oblivious GP, finally noticed it. She ordered an ultrasound and said that she would probably refer me to an endocrinologist once she sees the results. The day after my ultrasound, during which the radiologist also made annoying murmurs, the results were sent to my GP. She said "yep, you have a nodule. I will send your records over to a specialist."

My new endo ordered a biopsy-which much more painful than I expected. I received the biopsy results yesterday (Tuesday, February 9, 2010) that revealed hardly any more information. The tumor/mass/lump/nodule/whatever is solid 3.6 cm follicular neoplasm. Apprently the same cell types that the tyhroid is made up of. So, it could be a group of rogue rebellious thyroid cells or it could be follicular cancer. My next step is to meet with a surgeon (on Monday, Feb 15th) and get my surgery figured out. It really sucks that I won't know if it is cancer until after surgery! At lease things are moving though. It seemed to take FOREVER to get the biopsy scheduled and then wait even longer for the results. Eeeeck, I used to think I was a patient woman. Afterall, I do have 4 boys!

So this is where I am. I am trying to plan out my next few weeks and any other life adjustments I need to make. I decided to withdrawn from college for a little while. I have also now decided that I need to stop volunteering at church for a bit. I think that is all I can cut out myself, I still have my family and work. Now I can let my surgeon cut out half my butterfly. I am thinking about a new tattoo with lots of butterfly's to help with loss. The thought of that does cheer me up a bit. :)