Saturday, June 29, 2013

About my thyroid

I wanted to take a moment to update you all on my whole thyroid cancer thing.

The last time I went in  to the Cross Cancer Institute, my Oncologist told me that I currently have no cancer markers in my blood (thank you all for your prayers!). This was a giant huge indescribable relief. I will undergo a few more consults and blood tests between now and my one year from radiation anniversary, and then next February I will have the full work up with blood work and all the fancy scans etc, and they will tell me then on a more official level how I am doing.

I remember that after my thyroid surgery, I was mortified at how my scar looked. Soon enough, I began to view my scar as a reminder that I was winning the battle with cancer, and I began to regard my scar as a happy, life saving scar. I didn't mind it anymore. I had my surgery in October 2012, and now, just 8 months later, you can hardly see it. I am lucky to have had a wonderful Surgeon. I doubted I would heal "pretty" at the time, but now I don't even notice or think much about it.

Me with my goiter and before my surgical scar: 

Me with my scar approx. 5 months post surgery: 

Me with my scar approx. 7 months post surgery:

Thor wondered on the phone with me the other night if it all seemed like an eternity ago already. To some degree it really does. I'm putting it into that space in my memory that I can access if I need to, but I tend not to, if I can help it. That does make it seem like a big thing of the past, even though I'm still dealing with the aftermath on a daily basis.

I'm writing this because it appears as if lots of people search for help or information regarding: thyroidectomy. I'm here to tell you that if in doubt, get it done. Save yourself. The crappy initial side effects like the pain and the voice hoarseness went away within a month or two. Then they became memories. I didn't lose my voice, and now I even sound better than I did before. My parathyroids were all kept in tact. My scar, while it was intially shocking to me and lowered my self esteem, is really a thing of the past now, and I'm sure it will be for you too. If you have a great surgeon, I think the percentage of having a long lasting side effect is fairly small. But I'm no expert.

Being on Synthroid is strange, but ok. I set a reminder on my phone so that in case I forget, it will remind me daily. Easy. Because you don't want to forget to take it. Symptoms of not being on the right dose of synthroid have included these for me thus far: eye twitchiness, dry itchy skin, more hair loss, fatigue, lower sex drive and less natural lubrication, irritability, dry mouth (irritated tongue). I think that's about all. But the doctors will keep testing and adjusting your synthroid levels until they get it right, so hopefully those symptoms and whichever others you may have will subside as you level out.

I hope that for all of you searching about this topic, you can rest a bit more easily now. This has been my experience. I'm not saying it will be yours, but it might give you a little bit of hope that things will turn out alright for you, too.

Best of luck... conquer!!
Jules :O)


SIMON said...

Obviously any cancer free period is good and I am happy for you over that.
What you've done in this post is to allay fears that people have and that is such a good thing.
Well done, I would be very happy if I needed to know all about thyroidectomy and the consequent medication and after care.

The Grunt said...

I'm glad that things are working out for you health wise. I'm on Levothyroxine and it took my doctors six months to get me dialed in, so hang in there!

Jules said...

Si - yes, I was just amazed at how many people stumble upon my blog looking for answers for this topic, so it had to be posted about.

Grunty - Thanks! me too! I am on Synthroid.. is that the same as Levothyroxine but a different brand name? I wonder. I'm hanging in there! Hope they get it right soon.

Quiet Paths said...

It IS good to know how you are doing. You look fantastic and glad you feel well.