Friday, December 7, 2012

On the 12th Day of Cancer, My Doctor Gave to Me...

... remission!

Seriously, twelve days and the Cancerpocalypse is over. The whole thing was blessedly quick. Here's the full timeline:
July 26: Dr. P notices the nodules have grown
August 1: ultrasound (normal) and blood work (normal)
August 14-15: radioactive iodine reuptake scan (normal)
August 23: biopsy (normal)
September 11: meet with Dr. B, decide to have right lobe of thyroid removed before any of the growths turn into something bad
November 19: right lobe and isthmus removed
November 26: routine post-op appointment... oops, it's cancer after all <sad trombone>
November 30: left lobe and surrounding lymph nodes removed
December 7: post-op appointment... cancer free!

There are a few loose ends to tie up. The cancer was contained in one lobe (hooray!) but was still somewhat... plus-sized festively plump big (boo!). I'm in a weird gray area for recommendations as to whether I should have the I131 (radiation pill) treatment to help prevent thyroid cancer from recurring.  I'll start seeing Dr. S, the endocrinologist, who will help me make the final decision on that.

Honestly? While the I131 treatment makes it a little less likely that the thyroid cancer will come back, I don't want to do it. There's a small chance that the I131 will increase the chance of me getting a different cancer in the future. More importantly, there's a chance it will affect my sense of taste. I think it'll be hard enough opening a bakery without everything I make tasting like burnt metal to me, ya know? I can't blame Dr. B for passing this one on to the endocrinologist. I actually change my mind about what I should do every few hours.

I also still have to get my synthetic thyroid meds leveled out. It's... weird. I get tired but not in a normal way. I get tired from the inside out. And the weird inability-to-regulate-my-body-temperature thing that plagued me since the summer keeps popping back up. In related but awesome news, none of the other symptoms have shown back up since the rest of the thyroid was removed.

I'm recovering like a boss. A little swelling but nothing to worry about, it should go down in a few weeks. I can't yell or inflect my voice much, but that'll come back in a few months. Meanwhile, Dr. B was surprised by how clear my voice is already (*gold star*). I avoided hypocalcemia (I'd like to thank House for teaching me what that means) so I can scale way back on the number of pills I take a day. Way back. To like one. AND! I keep the streak alive: my SIXTH consecutive surgery without a post-op infection. SIX! That's how many months that infection kept my first c-section from closing. True story.

By the numbers:
years nodules were dormant before they decided to get ugly: 11
cm of main nodule: 3.5
cm of actual cancer inside the main nodule: 1.8
type of cancer: stage I papillary carcinoma, T2N0M0- official final answer (I still say it's T1bN0M0)
number of times my kids heard the word "cancer": 0
surgeries: 2
nights in the hospital: 2
Sprite Zeros in the hospital: 8
cranberry juices in the hospital: 9
dozens of cupcakes taken to nurses: 4
days of work missed: 6.5
days in which I experienced actual pain: 2
prescription pain pills taken: 3
hospital food eaten: none

And... scene.

Next up on the hit list: the boy's adenoids!


  1. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?



  2. Ummm... sure? What's your e-mail address?