Thursday, September 30, 2010

"..but there's a full moon risin', Lets go dancing in the light. We know where the music's playin', Lets go out and feel the night. ...But now its getting late, and the moon is climbing high, I want to celebrate, see it shinin' in your eyes.... On this harvest moon." Harvest Moon, by Neil Young

i got a pretty good check up from my endocrinologist. i had my "mystery ultrasound" and it turns out they were looking for lymph node enlargement- pretty much like i had expected. she saw no growth!! hooray! things look good on that front. i just found  this fact out, but the surgeon removed TEN of my lymph nodes in the front part of my neck. i have a numb spot there ( DUH) - the feeling may or may not return to that area. gosh, i did not know that i even had ten lymph nodes in my neck. lol. well, i guess now, i have ten less. she could not see my two remaining, over-worked and brave parathyroids. who knows where the surgeon put them. she said that she would try to find out from his surgery report. i have not seen this report- just the pathology report. my endo said that in his report, the surgeon sort of congratulated himself on this difficult surgery .GREAT..  i can see him doing that. brillant  surgeon, but  not a people person. my largest, but not the only one by far, cancerous tumor had burst (Yuck) and spread out into  the vascular system in my neck. things look good now, i guess those Jedi I-131 knights took care of the bad guys. but i have an ultrasound scheduled in 6 months. my endo likes ultrasounds better than full body scans. i do have a full body scan scheduled for  a year from now, but she says that ultrasounds and tests for thyroglobulin/thyroglobulin antibiodies are better indicators of a problem.

all in all it was a good and productive visit. i hope that we can communicate better in the future, but i will always get a copy of any test results that i have done going forward. my endocrinologist did not realize that i have only two parathyroids- that there was cancer in two of them. she also did not realize that i had cancer in some lymph nodes, or that one of the tumors had burst open. i had my copy of the pathology report and pointed that out to her.( i felt like we were in a conference- : " Now, if you will just turn to page 3- at the top of the page...") .  she also did not know that i had received a larger dose of I-131, 154.9 milicuries, instead of the standard 100 milicuries. this process has been a learning process for me. i firmly believe, even more than before, that we must all take charge of our health care. i am keeping a file of all of my reports, for reference and really for my peace of mind. i think that all of us should do this. i feel very lucky too, at this point. if i had waited only a few months longer before changing doctors, i would be in serious trouble now. that brings up the need for trusting yourself. trust how you feel- get things checked out no matter what others might tell you, if you feel something is wrong. my previous doctor told me my bad lab values, extreme tiredness,etc, was "stress". i really felt that something was very wrong, and luckily found another endocrinologist who would do the necessary tests. she saved my life- literally, even though sometimes i have to help a little with test results,etc. that is acceptable for me. i want to be responsible, and not depend entirely on a doctor to handle things for me.

now, for the first time since my diagnosis, i feel a certain amount of hope. could there be " bad thyroid cancer cells" lurking around in my neck to cause mayhem later. certainly. but also, there is the possibility that the I-131 did its job, and that i am on my way to calling myself a survivor.i am trying very hard to have a positive attitude, and not worry so much. i am thinking ( hoping) that my husband and i will have many more wonderful times to dance under the harvest moon. once again, i would like to thank my husband for his love and never ending support. i can never thank him enough.

1 comment:

  1. Bea, I still have numbness in my neck and after my stressful last two weeks, I have had some little "bursts" of pain near my incision.