I don't like to blog when I am feeling down because it translates to my words here. Of course, if the kids read this one day, they will be reading about some (at times) pretty harsh stuff. But I would like to think that most times my writing here is limited to real events, not worst case scenarios that I cook up in my head. Lately, a lot of those worst case scenarios have been swirling around so I've avoided the blog pretty much all together.
Take for instance last week when I had my 6 month follow up on my thyroid. After the ultrasound I was a mess. I was sure they were measuring a lump in my left (good/existing) side so I spent the past week feeling sick about it, envisioning another painful, horrible surgery, and worse - a two week session of iodine radiation therapy where I'd need to be isolated from my family. Those that I told about it assured me that I was over reacting - but I knew. Remember, I have had multiple thyroid ultrasounds in the past where they are measuring a lump; I know what it looks like. So needless to say, my head has been a pretty nasty place to reside.
I saw my endocrinologist this morning for the results. Of course, I was hoping that I was overreacting, but no, that wasn't the case. There it was, on my left thyroid - a 4mm lump.
So what to do now? Well according to my doctor, radiology would claim that a 4mm lump is too small and difficult to biopsy, regardless of the fact that I have a history of thyroid cancer, so given that, I was given a couple of options:
1) Wait the prescribed 6 months for another ultrasound, see if it's grown, and if it has, have it biopsied then
2) Assume the worst (cancer) and go ahead with a complete thyroidectomy without a biopsy
We discussed both of these options at length and neither sat well. While I am by no means comfortable to "just wait and see", I also don't want to rush into a surgery if I don't need it. Not only have I lived through that surgery once, knowing how much it sucked, it would be riskier this time. The whole thyroid would be going, which has more risks associated with it than just the usual surgical stuff.
But then, when we were at a loss, my doctor came up with the best solution. My surgeon (an ENT), who I respect and trust immensely, has recently acquired an ultrasound machine for his office. While radiology at the hospital may not feel a 4mm lump is worthy of a biopsy, the surgeon who has operated on me in the past, and who knows and cares that I have a history of cancer, would likely be willing to attempt it. THIS seems like a good plan.
It's not without complications, however. While the chance is slim, the surgeon may not be willing to even attempt it, leaving me back with the decision of whether to take it out or leave it. But even if he does want to attempt the biopsy, the lump is so small that he may not get a successful sample, also taking us back to the exact same fork in the road.
So, unlike my usual worrying, I am going to try to assume the best. I am going to go forward planning that not only the surgeon will agree to do the biopsy, but that he will get a good sample that will tell us if the lump is benign or malignant.
While obviously the good news is a benign result (people can and often do live with non-cancerous thyroid tumours), my greatest hope is for a result at all. If he gets a good sample at least we have something to deal with, even if it's cancer. If it is cancer, obviously it will come out. If it isn't cancer, it obviously will stay in. If it's inconclusive, as last time, I will be leaning towards surgery just to be safe.
So if you're willing to send me positive thoughts right now, please do. If you are a praying type person, I would not only love your prayers for my mental and physical state to stay strong, but just as importantly that at the end of this we have an answer. Good or bad, I want results. I don't want to have to decide something that is not black or white. After all the crap we've been through, please God, just give us some results to work with.
So there you have it. I would imagine it will be weeks before I even get to see the surgeon, if that is the path we are on. Obviously updates will be shared as soon as we have them. In the mean time, I am going to have a nice weekend with my boys (Rio and Jordan are going skiing) and try to focus on anything but my thyroid.
As always, your support is appreciated.