The Tricky Thyroid Part II
If you haven't read "The Tricky Thyroid-Part I" yet, please read that hub first before continuing on with reading this hub. It will explain a lot of things. You can access it here: http://rlaha.hubpages.com/hub/True_story
I ended Part I at the year 2006. I had to change doctors because my surgeon was retiring. As I was not staying in one place, but moving around a lot, I did not see any surgeons to help me out with any of my issues. Instead, I went to see a thyroid specialist in 2008 after I got a referral from some family friends. They swore up and down that this specialist was the best in the country. So I went to see him. What followed were 4 years of this specialist experimenting on me. My hormone levels kept fluctuating, and I never felt completely well.
In 2012, I was asked to see an endocrinologist closer to where I live in Knoxville, TN.The physician has been a great doctor, and a great person to talk to. He has been very helpful and I can finally say that I have found a great doctor who cares about his patients' overall health. He wants his patients to be happy and healthy. For the first time in years, I have felt normal with the dose of medication I am on. I have been stabilized on this dose now for the past one year.
In 2013, my endocrinologist wanted to get a baseline scan to see how I was doing. He was worried that since I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, that some cancer cells could be left over. So I got this scan done and the only thing that showed up was a few lymph nodes in my neck, just above the clavicle (collar bone). He did an ultrasound which confirmed the presence of these lymph nodes. However, nothing else was picked up. He told me that these were not red flags as of yet, but that he wanted to watch them for another year. He classified the lymph nodes as yellow flags. He did do a thyroglobulin level which showed an increase when thyrogen was given to me prior to the diagnostic radioactive iodine scan. He wanted to watch this level and hope that it would go down this year.
This year I was not able to do the diagnositic radioactive iodine testing again until March due to financial issues. This time, the radioactive iodine did not show much, but the ultrasound showed that the same lymph nodes that were being watched had grown a little in size. He also noted that my thyroglobulin levels had increased from last year. He became a little suspicious and sent me to an ear, nose and throat surgeon (ENT) who deals primarily with thyroid glands in Nashville, TN.
I went to see this surgeon in June as that was the earliest appointment I could get with him. He suggested that not only would he take out the suspicious lymph node, but that he would take out the lymph nodes in the surrounding areas to make sure that if there was anything cancerous there, that it would not have spread to those areas. He also said that he would explore that side of the neck to make sure that nothing else was there that he could tell was cancerous.
I had surgery in the first week of July. The surgery itself was pretty rough but I made it through. The surgeon told me that at first all of the lymph nodes he removed were clean, with no signs of any cancer. He told me that we would know the final pathology report within a week. So I waited for that week, hoping and praying that all was well. When I called the surgeon's office a week later, I was told that the lymph nodes were all normal, but the tissue surrounding my trachea (windpipe) had remnants of metastatic (spreading) papillary thyroid carcinoma. I was devastated. I had really hoped that it had been taken care of the first time. However, I remembered that the first surgeon who removed my thyroid told me that there was about 1% of thyroid cells remaining, and that he couldn't tell me if they were cancerous or not. Well, if they weren't before, they turned cancerous in those 14 years.
Please read The Tricky Thyroid Part III to read the conclusion to this story. Thanks! As always, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated!
Written by Rlaha
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