Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Stop your whinging and go home'... or was that my wishful thinking?

So... if you've read my Twitter or Facebook, you'll see that I had an appointment with an head and neck  surgical oncologist. I know you're probably saying "Whoa, back up a little. You looked fine at GRL and you just visited England."

For about a few months now, I've been struggling with my thyroid and having trouble getting it under control. I thought it was the stress of being diagnosed with lupus but I noticed a couple of symptoms, including a lump in my throat. After chatting with my primary care (who got mad when he heard how long I had been silent about it) I was shuffled to ultrasound which showed the nodule in my thyroid.

Now, nodules in thyroids are pretty common, especially with hypothyroidism. So when I went into my appointment with the surgeon, I expected her to say, "No problem with this nodule. We'll remove it since you're having trouble swallowing." Or I expected her to shove me out the door and tell me to stop wasting their time.

Instead, I got the talk about 80% of nodules are benign but we're going to test it and get a sample from your thyroid before we schedule you for surgery because this could be cancerous and at that time, we would have to remove your thyroid instead of just the nodule.

Wait, back-up. WHAT?

Now I've known a few people who had thyroid cancer. You have surgery, maybe some radiation. It's serious but you have like a 99% survival rate. So I was cool. Even with this big fat camera scope they pulled out to check out my throat, I was doing okay dealing with this. Great odds and my nervousness was disappearing because my doctor had a great bedside manner, as did her nurse and PA.

I drifted down the hall trying to absorb all the details and when I sat down at scheduling, which was by the front lobby and a small waiting room, I looked around. Big mistake.

All around me, there were the people with cancer and it shocked the hell out of me. Some people might be lucky and escape with a scare. I hope I'm one of them. But the people who were tired of fighting and the people who fought and won but bore scars, they frightened me.

I was among their numbers now and it sunk in fast that this was serious. It took me a day not to just be in complete shock. Even my posts on FB and Twitter were slightly disjointed. I'm still dealing and just taking it one day at a time, which is all I can do.

So the biopsy on the 26th looms. It's a day most people won't notice but for me and my family, it'll be an important day. So think of me and mine on that day and think good thoughts please. I'd appreciate it.

On a side note, Chester cuddled to me the night before my appointment. He knew exactly what his mum needed: lots of tender loving care. :)

So more when I know more. Laterz! :)

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