Yesterday was Doctor day…Today it’s back to childcare. I swear, I really don’t think of my whole thyroid cancer much at all until I’m in the car heading towards Lacrosse where my doctor is.
Today, back at childcare, I’m exactly that. Back at childcare and not thinking of the results from yesterday much. It’s really the only way I can live life with the looming return of cancer.
The drive over was nice. The trees were so pretty.
Once to the hospital yesterday, my first stop of the day was to say Hi to Mary Jo, my blog reader friend, who works at the library in the hospital. She’s super sweet and has been so kind to both Kramer and I. She says she put in for retirement…it’s a ways out but I’m going to miss her when she’s gone. I love seeing a smiling face when I come.
Then it was on to get a CT neck scan. They were trying to find out if the lymph node behind my trachea was growing or not. Right now, it’s the spot they are suspicious that the cancer might be hiding.
I’ve had plenty of CT scans before but not one with contrast. That means they start an IV and put contrast in you so they can see better. Well before she put the contrast in she said that these three things often happen:
-you taste something funny
-you feel warm all over
-you feel like you have to pee
I went in the machine in and out a couple times. I was thinking look at me. I had none of the side effects. Well then she actually put it in. I thought she already had. WOW. Was she ever accurate on the side effects. I was sure I was peeing my pants.
From there I went to the lobby to wait for the girls. They had gone and done an errand while I was getting the CT scan done. From there to the cafeteria to eat…
See Georgia has her quilt that I made her with. Someone walking by commented on it and I ended up giving her a business card. How fun.
…and then we met Sally, another blog reader. She had a bunch of goodies to pass along to me. We had intended to meet another time but Iowa weather didn’t cooperate so this day we met. How FUN!! I’ll have to tell you more about what Sally brought in another blog post.
After that, it was time to see my doctor. Here’s what we found out…Two doctors are consulting on my case- one is a endocrinologist- the other specializes in neck/ENT surgery. I’m told my case is “challenging”. I was actually told that a couple of times.
That lymph node behind my trachea has grown. It was 7mm. It is now 13mm. Another lymph node in my neck has grown as well. The thought is that it one or both are cancerous.
The problem…it’s deep in my neck, actually about the middle of my neck. They have tried and tried to do ultrasound guided needle biopsy on it but they are unable. My surgeon is a little hesitant and wants to make absolutely sure it’s cancerous before removing it as it is a risky surgery…but in the past, they’ve not been able to get to it. A new needle biopsy guy who studied at John Hopkins is on board now. He, in the past, has done CT guided needle biopsies. Well..my doctors are going to talk to him and see if he thinks he can do it. If not, I’m being sent back to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
If this is cancerous I’ll be having surgery. There’s a good chance that might be at Mayo. There’s a problem with all of that. My insurance isn’t approved for Mayo. UGH. My doctor said not to worry about that and she thought she would get that through and the insurance would cover.
The reason I’d be sent to Mayo is because of the risk. The nerve that works with the vocal chord is right next to the troublesome node. There’s a risk my voice could be damaged in the surgery. There’s a risk I could end up with no voice. Another danger with it…they cut me open, blood pools and in that blood they need to find a 13mm blob. I can’t imagine doing that. But the best chance of getting this cancer (if it is cancer) gone, is to have it surgically removed.
If we get this far, then, after I heal, it will be time to go on the low-iodine diet and get the radioactive iodine treatment.
There is a chance that all of this could come back as non-cancerous too. If that happens, we are back to testing of all sorts to try to figure out where the cancer is. My tumor marker is high enough that we know there is cancer…it’s still a matter of where it is.
Talking to Buck on the phone last night he said, “Mom, you sound a little sad. I’m more worried about you than the news”. It’s true. I did feel a little sad. I’m tired of it all. I’m back to the not knowing. I can’t hide in my home and pretend I’m normal. I’m back to taking days off of work with no enjoyment out of it. I’m back to waiting for test results. I’m back to worrying about the weather and getting to appointments. I’m back to waiting for phone calls and email and messages. Back to filling the gas tank on the truck to make the trips back and forth. I’m back to being dependent on others to help me…I’m so terrible about it all. If someone told me this is the plan and I just had to do it, all of it would be so much easier.
But there was good news too. Karl treated me to supper.
It was a Gigantic pork tenderloin sandwich!! It was so good. It was nice to come home and not have to cook. So the day ended good. THANKS Karl.
As always, I’ll let you know more when I know more on the cancer front. In the meantime, prayers and wishes for perseverance are much appreciated.