Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Big Fat Thyroid's expiration date

Wow, once that ball gets goes fast! I got the word today on the date of my surgery. It's currently set for next Friday...Jan. 9th. Seemed sort of fast to me. I mean, I know I've had a little time now to digest the news and research the informational highway and draw all sorts of conclusions about how things should go, but I was expecting a little more time to anticipate the date. I guess it's sort of like planning to have kids...are you ever ready? My guess is no.

So therefore, tonight I will say goodbye to 2008 and to that rotten cancer in my thyroid. Sorry you gotta go as well, thyroid...but it's best we end things before they get bad. I will start a new year with optimism and hope and more than ready to welcome another chance I've been given to make better choices when it comes to my health. I'm still focusing on the positive and I am so blessed and thankful for my husband, who reminds me of the things that are important to worry about and those which are not.

Bring on 2009!...thyroid or not!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Papillary Thyroid Cancer" really sounds worse than it is

Well, I finally broke down and told my dad. See, we just lost my mother to non-small cell lung cancer almost 2 years ago. Around this time of year, in fact. So, I've been dreading telling my dad this diagnosis, not because it is a bad cancer, but, because of that one word: cancer.

Despite trying to tell him that it's probably the best cancer one could have, and that the cure rate is almost 100%, and my prognosis should be incredibly good....he still just focused on the word. I certainly feel better for having off of my stress load....but, now I am struggling with the guilt that I feel better, but he feels worse. Perhaps I shouldn't have told him. Maybe I just should have said that I had something wrong with my thyroid and have to have it removed. I've just never been good at lying or hiding something...not to mention that when he tries to keep something from me about his health, I become extremely upset.

However, what's done is done and I must move on. But, it really isn't as bad as it sounds. So, if like me, you find yourself recently diagnosed with papillary thyroid's OK to not be happy about it, but keep in mind: it could be so much worse, so count your lucky stars.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pressure on my throat of my first symptoms that I ignored, or just attributed to how much weight I'd gained. I thought it was fat and soft tissue on my neck that was choking me. It started with just 'sometimes' when I'd swallow a certain pill. Then, it went to everytime I'd swallow pills. Then, just certain positions (i.e. reclining). Now to all the time. I'm an anesthetist by trade and I can correlate it to someone holding 'cricoid' pressure on my throat.

Interestingly, over the last couple of days, I've noticed that when I put my head downward to read, or work on the computer, or cook...I have this muscle fatigue feeling in my right neck and shoulder. I don't know if it has anything to do with my big fat thyroid, or the tumor, or just the stress from finding out that I have the cancer. Interesting note to self.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Blessing, so to speak

I just found out two days ago that I have thyroid cancer. It's papillary. The best kind you can have. Highest cure rate, slowest growing, and I'm sure there are a lot of other characteristics for which I should be thankful. My feelings: still sorting through them, but all in all I think I actually feel pretty lucky because of all the cancers to have, this may be the best. I know that sounds crazy...'best cancer'...but, I read somewhere that if you had to pick a cancer, that this might be the one you'd want. So, I'm going to try to look at it as a blessing, or good fortune, or whatever else I can come up with to be positive right now.

Although I was somewhat shocked to hear this, I was also not that surprised because I knew I had not been feeling well/right for the past 6 months or maybe more. I believe that if we listen to our bodies...they will give us critical clues to managing our health and wellness. Therefore, I'd like to sort of keep track of what it is that I'm feeling along this process. Who knows, maybe it will help someone else who may be having similar symptoms actually go and get checked out as well.