- He agrees he should operate, although the lump is incredibly small. No screwing with cancer - ever.
- There are risks, and quite a lot of them, although the risks are small. The biggest risk is of vocal cord damage, which he said has happened in 1% of his surgeries - he has done this over 1000 times. Never has the damage been permanent, but it could last months. Not talking for 3 months? Ouch.
- Of course there are the normal risks associated with surgery - infection, blood clot, death. You know, the usual. I will look at those like things he "needs" to tell me, but really not very likely.
- It is only day surgery. Woo hoo! I know no one "likes" to stay in the hospital. Let's face it - if you're in there things aren't good. But considering my only experience with hospitalization involves either losing a baby, or delivering two way too early - I have some pretty painful memories of hospital.
- The scar will heal nicely. Whatever that means. My neck will be numb for a year (or longer if anything like my c-section).
- Recovery will be a week of feeling not great, followed by another week of no heavy lifting - i.e. no taking full responsibility for the boys (I asked specifically about the boys and he said no lifting them for two weeks). That will suck, so when surgery is booked we will indeed be needing a bit of help.
- There is no chance he will get in there and see things bad enough to remove my entire thyroid. I guess he is pretty confident with the ultrasound results that the lump is small and contained - so small that he couldn't feel it when he palpated my neck.
- Even if it is cancer, the lump is so small he thinks there is a good likelihood that he wouldn't need to go back in and take more in a second surgery. So here's hoping that no matter what the pathology finds, one surgery is it. That puts my mind at ease a bit.
- There is only a 15% chance that I will need thyroid meds. This was the best news of all as my endocrinologist made it seem like a done deal. 85% of people with only half a thyroid can function completely fine without. He did say I am likely at higher risk because my thryoid got out of whack post partum, but regardless, I will take those odds. Considering I thought that I was 100% medicated, this is good news.
- Because it is only a partial thyroidectomy, my parathyroid glands (connected in the back I believe) will remain in tact. Your parathyroid controls a host of other important things (like calcium) and can cause problems regulating if they are removed. More good news.
All of my questions answered, even though I liked some of the answers more than others. Now we just wait...and wait and wait and wait....for the surgery. He said it is very likely it won't be until the fall, and given we are in Mexico the first half of October, not until after that. That is VERY disappointing, as I was hoping Mexico would be a bit of a celebration of everything being OVER....not having my surgery still lurking. Oh well, what can I do. And for all I know, he could be wrong. Asher's surgeon also told us 'months' and Asher got booked for his not three weeks later. So I'm still holding out hope for later this summer.
All in all, sounds pretty routine for him (in fact he said it is INCREDIBLY routine for him). But of course I am still worried sick about the possibility of complications. And of course, since this all started in April 2010, not having surgery till fall 2011 seems an awfully long time to be carrying on with this and still having no results.
Today at least got the ball rolling...