The Thyroid News

Yesterday was biopsy day for my thyroid.  If you’re late on coming into this story it goes like this.  In December I went to the doctor for a yearly check.  When the doctor was checking me she felt a lump in my neck.  I had an ultra sound done on it.  Nodules were found on it and I was referred to an endocrinologist for a consult and biopsy.

Hubby took me to Lacrosse and Kelli stayed with my childcare kiddos.  I had a 12:45 appointment.  Here’s what I was told….

-My thyroid was working in normal parameters.
-I had a 4.7 cm nodule on the left and 3.5 cm nodule on the right.
-There were other smaller ones as well.
-From the biopsy could come back as benign, cancerous, suspicious or non-diagnostic.
-I will get a call and be told the results in 48-72 hours.

If it is cancerous I’ll be moved on to the surgeon and have it removed.

If it is malignant I’ll have to continue this yearly… appointment, ultrasound and biopsy.

If it is suspicious or non-diagnostic it will have to come in every 6 months for appointment, ultrasound and biopsy.

BUT.  Anyone who has a nodule that is greater than 4 cm can opt to just have the surgery.  I was told once they get that large it’s harder and harder to properly biopsy them as cancerous cells could be there, but the person performing the biopsy just didn’t get the right spot.  Also people start having other problems with swallowing and such.

If surgery is done I’ll be on a pill for life….

At this point, my left nodule is larger than the 4 cm guideline and I am leaning towards having it removed regardless of the biopsy results.

I’ve been having left ear discomfort for some time.  I often feel like am going to be getting an ear infection or had plugged ear like when I have a cold.  She said that likely the large nodule is putting pressure on a nerve that’s the issue.  I also have a “catch” on the left side when I swallow…Also likely due to pressure from the nodule.  Both these things are problems that have “snuck up on me”.  Until someone talked to me about it I didn’t really realize how annoying it all is.

For now I’ve been doing some reading and talking with family in hopes to be ready to make an informed decision once the results come in.  I have very much appreciated all the notes, emails, texts and comments left here on the blog.  I’m doing fine with it all…this is just a hurtle in my road on the way to year number 51 of my life.  I’ll keep you posted.

31 thoughts on “The Thyroid News

  1. Lace Faerie

    You have, of course, all my best wishes for an optimistic spirit and a positive outcome! By taking a pill, I’m guessing you mean thyroid replacement therapy. It’s no biggie, I’ve taken thyroid since high school and I’m in my early 50s. My opinion is Armour Thyroid, natural non-chemical non-synthetic hormone is best but you’ll probably have to fight your dr for it. Most feel synthroid is best but definitely not for the women in my family!

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  2. Lisa

    Thanks for the update. Will continue to pray for good outcome, decisions to be made, and peace for you and your family.

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  3. Julie Schnuelle

    As I have had medical conditions in the past, I have always waited and put off surgery as long as I could stand it. Every time after surgery I felt so much better that I didn’t realize how much pain and suffering that I was in prior. I have felt more aches and pains as I near 50. I just want to say I am an advocate for the removal now rather than say 5 years from now. You will bounce back so much faster! Thinking of you in prayer.

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  4. ruth

    Most likely they won’t remove the entire thyroid, so you may not have to take a thyroid pill the rest of your life. Interesting to hear about the other small problems you’ve been having that are related. Best to have the nodules removed so they can’t grow larger. Best Wishes for a speedy recovery!

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  5. Deb

    Praying for your best outcome. Make sure you mention it to the Pastor, so we can ALL pray for your good health :)

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  6. Tina in NJ

    My mother has been on thyroid hormone replacement since before I was born, and I just turned 55. We once had a cat on medication for an over active thyroid and Mom really confused the pharmacist when she refilled both medicines at the same time! Even though one was for Dot and the other was for Sqeaky.

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  7. Gloria Fells

    I am 82 years old and had a sub-total thyroidectomy in my 20’s. It worked fine. I didn’t take supplemental thyroid for quite a while, but my thyroid did get so I needed medication. I take Synthroid and it works fine for me. You will have to have blood tests to make sure you are taking the correct amount. My mother and my son have also had thyroid problems. I think my son had his thyroid treated with an irradiated iron treatment and he is also on Synthroid. So far we have done fine with it. I will pray for a good outcome for you.

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  8. sharon

    Jo, I will be thinking of you on this journey. It seems all members of my family have thyroid issues and most of us take synthroid. My daughter has had more issues than the rest of us and has been thru the biopsy, 6 month watches, etc. It is no fun but definitely manageable. Hang in there –

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  9. Carolyn

    I have multiple nodules, and have never been told that I should have that ultrasound, biopsy, routine every year.(but had it done 2x) I also was diagnosed as Hypothyroid, related to Hasimoto’s thyroiditis. I do have to have blood test and medications. I would ask them why I have the nodules? What causes them.
    After the 2nd biopsy, I was told I shouldn’t have to have another one.
    Good luck and prayers to you.

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  10. Judy

    I had this happen to me about 6 months ago. Luckily mine was non-diagnostic. They removed some of the fluid and sent me on my way. It hasn’t gotten any bigger anyway. I have my follow up appointment next week. We’ll see what they say. Best of luck to you!

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  11. Robby

    I’m on that ‘pill for life’ plan and after a bit of an adjustment to my morning routine, it’s really no big deal. This coming from a girl who is pretty much the opposite of “a pill can fix anything”. Hope they get you sorted out soon and it is fairly easily resolved. Sometimes it’s more about the recognition that we aren’t quite 20 anymore that is the toughest bit. Prayers and good thoughts for you.

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  12. Marie

    Jo, it’s just like you are telling my story, all the same symptoms that I had 4 years ago, right down to the plugged ear and catchy throat..
    Turns out that I had thyroid cancer and had both sides removed even though one side was not infected. I manage very well on one pill a day and don’t have any further problems.
    The very best of luck to you in the results, thoughts and prayers.

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  13. joyce

    Hi Jo–Thanks for the info on the thyroid picture I am sure your blog will be helping others with your journey. What a great group of quilters that share not quilting but other problems. We are just like sisters their for each other. You are one of the best teachers and friends we all have. Sending our prayers for a healing and more quilting for you Jo.

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  14. Melissa Bratland

    Sending good thoughts and prayers your way! I had the radioactive iodine treatment on my thyroid almost 20 years ago and take a daily pill. It has worked out well. Can I ask what doctor you saw in LaCrosse? Mine retired and I need a new one, as does my daughter. It is very hereditary, so make sure your children, especially the girls, also watch for symptoms!
    DId you drive through Spring Grove? Went right by me working at school! :) Best wishes!

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  15. Debbie B

    I don’t envy your situation, but am so glad you had it checked out. Good thoughts and prayers being sent your way for a resolution. Thanks for sharing all your info as I’m sure it is important for us all to be aware. Take care.

    Reply
  16. Susan in Dublin

    Best of luck working through your diagnosis and treatment. After being told I had nodules but not pressed to investigate, a new primary doc strongly urged me to be evaluated. I had several nodes that were benign, but big enough to be affecting both my swallowing and voice. The surgeon recommended a total throidectomy because of the various locations. She used a nerve monitoring technique to protect my voice during the op. Easy surgery and recovery, with an ‘outpatient-overnight’ stay in hospital, so that blood levels of calcium could be monitored to watch for a potential complication, which did not occur. I take the lowest regular dose of levothryoxine once daily and have my blood levels checked about every 6 months.

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  17. Kristin

    Sending best wishes and hopes your way. But if worse goes to worst… being on a thyroid pill for the rest of your life isn’t the end of the world. Hypothyroidism runs in my family. My mother, sister, and myself have all been on thyroid hormone replacement medication since our thirties. Just a tiny little pill to take each morning. No big deal.

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  18. Mary Jo

    My prayers are with you as you go thru this. Surgery and a pill everyday is not a big deal if it helps all of the other problems you are having!

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  19. NM Sue

    Sending good thoughts your way. And, it sounds like it would be best to have the nodules removed even if non-cancerous.

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  20. JanetB

    I take Synthroid and it’s not a bad medication (meaning little or no side effects). Synthroid actually cleared up a lot of side effects I was having because I was hypothyroid (thyroid wasn’t working). The women in my family has thyroid issues on both sides — Mom and Dad’s sister, and all the kids. It is possible that the thyroid could end up non-functional because of the nodules and you’d have to take the medication anyway. My mom had the surgery and had a very positive experience. If you have questions about my experience, feel free to PM me.

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  21. Melanieds

    Saying prayers for a good report, Jo. Keep up your positive spirit and I’ll be watching for an update soon. Hugs to you!

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  22. Shelly Branscom

    Jo, when I was in my twenties, I learned I had an overactive thyroid. Back then they gave me radioactive iodine which killed the gland. It now does not function and as a result I take synthroid. The daily pill is no bother and as others have said, has very little side effects. I pray your biopsy comes back negative. I know several people who have had their thyroid gland removed and are doing just fine. Sending prayers.

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  23. Gisela suski

    My Mil has had the surgery many many years ago & she is 91. I have been on thyroid medication for 20 years & no problems.

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  24. Lisa

    Hey Jo!

    I am going through the process now. Had my thyroid removed due to a cancerous nodule in January. Next week I go for iodine radiation. Then a full body scan on 2/22. It really hasn’t been too bad. My only complaint is that my voice is not 100% and it’s killing me not to be able to sing. Although I can speak well enough to do my job as a hospital switchboard operator. Hang in there. God is in control. I’ll be praying for you.

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  25. Michael

    I had a routine test by Doppler of my thyroid which I never had before & the radiologist said that I have a small lump on the right side of my thyroid & he said to see my doctor for him to decide if I should have a biopsy or to keep it monitored. I am very scared & upset about this news. Can someone give me more insight into this please.
    Thank you in advance

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Well worst case scenario is this…they want to remove it. The surgery is an easy surgery. I was back to work in less than a week. From there it’s thyroid meds for the rest of your life. It’s as simple as popping a pill. The real worst case scenario is that they find it’s cancer. Then you take the radio active iodine pill and that will set you back about a month or so. I’ve only been dealing with this for 10 months. It hasn’t been fun but it’s not been horrible either. The best advice I can give you is to take it one step at a time. Do what your doctor says. You can email me specific questions at rogjok@iowatelecom.net. Please keep in mind I’m not an expert and can only share my experience.

      Reply

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