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November 1st, 2010 at 12:01 pm

IT's my turn!

What a flipping year!

My Doctor just got back to me and told me that he got my ultrasound results. I do have a thyroid nodule and they want to send me for biopsy. I said, "So, if it's benign, we'll leave it be?" Oh no, of course not! IT's so large that they have to remove it. Biopsy and blood tests are just a starting point to gather info. (Glad I asked?)

The bright side is that if it is cancer, that it is 96% cureable with my age, etc.

The practical side of me quickly googled recovery time for thyroid surgery. 2 weeks.

IT's a mixed bag. We have an emergency fund, and if I can have the surgery this year (no idea) it shouldn't cost too much. But, I do recall from pregnancy that there was a 1-week-waiting period of no pay for disability (which pays about $900 per week. IT's not bad at all).

That said, I don't believe I can be paid during the waiting period. I'll have to check, but it may be easier to ask my boss to advance me vacation time. He has done it before. Disability may be better to apply for in case it becomes prolonged, though. But I may only get paid $900 for 2 weeks. *sigh*

LOTS to figure out.

I kind of had a feeling all along. I felt like the bump on my arm (which was absolutely nothing) was serendipitous in that it was the only reason I noticed the bump on my neck. So I really had a strong feeling it would come back as something. What, I wasn't sure.

Just like dh's ordeal, it probably sounds much worse than it is. Kind of a headache, but nothing earth shattering. I am not sure if I should consider that lucky or not! I Feel lucky since I know so many people dealing with much worse medical problems right now (Cancer cancer cancer).

ETA: Oh - I could probably use sick time. I last had surgery when I was 18. I've had a few so no real biggie, but I suppose it has been a while!

27 Responses to “Surgery ”

  1. momcents Says:

    Well, that is probably not what I would want to hear either. It sounds like worst case prognosis is still good, and you do have an EF. ((hugs))

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Best wishes for the best outcome!

  3. davera Says:

    Sending you good wishes that all will work out fine.

    As you confer with your doc, be sure to ask about alternatives to surgery. A quick search on the net yielded the following info:

    "Thyroid nodules are very common; up to half of all people have at least one thyroid nodule, although most do not know about it. Thyroid nodules can be caused many different conditions. Reassuringly, about 95% of all thyroid nodules are caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions.

    If a thyroid nodule is not cancerous, but the nodule is large, some clinicians will suggest a trial of T4 to shrink the nodule; this is called suppressive treatment. Thyroid hormone levels should be monitored carefully during suppressive treatment."

  4. HouseHopeful Says:

    Hey, I had a very large nodule on my thyroid taken out this year. They didn't know until after the surgery whether it was cancer or not. It wasn't. I still have the other half of my thyroid and I was back to work in 2 weeks, no problem. The scar is almost fully gone (the trick is cocoa butter cream in the day & vitamin E oil at night). Most of the time, with 1/2 a thyroid, you don't even need monitoring or meds. I'm sure it will be fine.

    If it is cancer, the treatment is pretty simple. My best friend went through thyroid cancer a few years ago and the treatment is basically - surgery, removal of all the thyroid, radioactive iodine pill to kill off any remaining cells and then thyroid meds to simulate the hormones that the thyroid works with. It can be a pain to get the med levels right, but its not too bad to work through.

    I wish you luck! And a tip - getting in & out of bed the first few days/nights is a pain (but not painful) because of all the bandaging on your neck. I found using a recliner to 'pop' me out of worked best for the first few days.

  5. HouseHopeful Says:

    And to comment on the non-surgery question. My doctor explained to me that a needle biopsy CAN be done on the nodule to determine cancer. However, there's no point if the nodule is above a certain size. Mine completely took over one side of my thyroid, surgery was necessary.

    Mama - Did you go to your regular doc for the results, or were you referred to a Ear, Nose, Throat & Neck doctor or endocrinologist?

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    Househopeful - Thanks! I remembered and was just looking at your blog. Sounds very similar but they want to send me for a biopsy first? (If you did you didn't mention it?). I just saw you had surgery within 2 weeks of being told about it, so is helping me to prepare for the possibility that it may be very quick!

    By googling, it clarified that they take the thyroid and not just the nodule, which did leave me a lot of questions about meds, etc. (I know now the doctor said that, but I didn't grasp it at the time - said they may need to take both sides).

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    HH - I met with an ENT surgeon. Surgery was expressed as a must do to size. Obviously I have many questions to ask (& research to do) before anything is decided.

    HE wanted to do the biopsy just to get more info. He told me it isn't very accurate and they will do surgery regardless. If it's obviously cancer they want to start treatment and know what they are getting into, is all. If it comes out benign, it means nothing. He didn't entirely convince me it was terribly fun or worthwhile. Wink But I understand that more info is always better, if he can gleam anything. *sigh*

  8. CB in the City Says:

    Oh my. You have had your troubles this year. I'm sorry you have to go through this, but it does sound like the prognosis is good either way.

  9. HouseHopeful Says:

    Yeah, they told me the same thing. They will not know until they go in if they would have to take half or all of the thyroid. Mine was a very, very, very big nodule. So there was no point of the biopsy since it overtook my thyroid and half had to go no matter what.

    If you are getting a biopsy, the doc's right - its mostly for trying to see ahead of time if its cancer.

    My doc explained that with one healthy half of my thyroid, I would likely never need meds. And I should point out, that I'm having some health issues now - but they have ruled out the thyroid several times, so don't worry!

    If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, feel free to contact me. I'm sure you will be fine, it really wasn't a terrible process.

    You will need pain meds for a few days, but I didn't even stay in the hospital a full 24 hours. I had the surgery in the afternoon, spent the night & went home in the morning.

    Oh and since your neck will be a little swollen, don't plan on eating any big bite kind of things Smile But my appetite and eating were just fine Smile

  10. HouseHopeful Says:

    And I should note that my doc felt comfortable to skip the needle biopsy, but he did warn me, the quick test they do during surgery is not 100% accurate. They could have taken half of the thyroid, not seen cancer in the first test, still sent the sample out for the more accurate test and had to go back in for a 2nd surgery if the 2nd test came back cancerous. He was taking a chance there.

  11. Ima saver Says:

    Hope everything turns out ok!

  12. LittleGopher Says:

    What a year for you - gosh, when it rains, it pours! Best wishes to you!!

  13. rob62521 Says:

    Hope everything works out for you and that you have no bad news when it's over!

  14. My English Castle Says:

    Oh my! Our best wishes to you and your family. Hope you can find some stress release and relaxation techniques. You've had so much on your plate.

  15. campfrugal Says:

    It is probably just a groiter. MY SIL just had one taken out, but now she also has to take a hormone pill. hers was benign. Good Luck.

  16. Looking Forward Says:

    Good luck MM!
    Glad you had it checked out. Smile

  17. miclason Says:

    Good luck, Monkey Mama, keep us posted!

  18. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    Sending you every good Wish MM !!

  19. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Wow! I'm sorry to hear that you are going to have to have surgery. I hope that the biopsy shows it to be benign.

    If they do end up taking your whole thyroid, and you have to begin taking Synthroid, be sure to take *only* the name brand. The generic (Le....something) is not guaranteed to have the exact dosage for each pill. That can wreak havoc with your thyroid levels. You also may want to check into the best diet for an under active thyroid.

  20. HouseHopeful Says:

    Frugaltexan - I'm surprised you said that about the generic Synthroid. The friend of mine who has had her whole thyroid removed went from Synthroid to the generic and has seen no difference. I will have to research more about that.

  21. Broken Arrow Says:

    That's terrible, but I'm glad to hear that the prospects are good at least!

  22. Jerry Says:

    Good luck with everything, and I am glad that you have some insurance to cover the down time as you recover. Above all, it's great that you had it checked so that it can be taken care of, even if it doesn't lead to the most enjoyable experience in the interim. Lots of good thoughts for you, MonkeyMama!

  23. frugaltexan75 Says:


    I don't remember exactly where I read it, since I've been taking Synthroid since I was 20?? However I have had it reaffirmed multiple times by various sources. One of whom is my doctor - she pushes generics for most everything else, but insists on brand name for Synthroid.

  24. baselle Says:

    How did I miss this? Sending you positive thoughts for a safe and successful surgery.

  25. fern Says:

    I'm sorry you'll have to go through that, but it's good that you've discovered it and are taking care of it.

    As you may remember,I had to have an ovary removed about 3 years ago after a cyst i'd had for years on it got larger. They couldn't tell until they went in whether it was benign or not either. It did turn out benign, fortunately.

    I guess this kind of thing happens more often than you realize. I hope everything goes well.

  26. Homebody Says:

    Ok I missed this too, it has been a bad week for me. I am glad they finally decided something. My SIL had hers removed and it was cancerous about 10 years ago. She has been fine since. Keep us updated, and good luck!

  27. Dido Says:

    Wishing you the best of luck with the surgery, diagnosis and recovery!

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