Monday, January 5, 2009

two months post-op

It's been two months today since my surgery. Here's a two month post-op picture of my matches my shirt:

I was thinking about how fast things have happened the past few months, so I thought I would make a time line so I wouldn't forget all that has occurred. Here's the abbreviated record of all my doctors visits and such:

October 8: I woke up and felt the lump on my neck.
October 9: I went to my general physician--he thought the lump was just a cyst, but referred me to a specialist; I had blood work and an ultrasound; the GP's office called back with results of the ultrasound--I had a 2cm nodule on the left lobe of my thyroid and two smaller nodules on the right lobe.
October 10: The GP called with the results of my blood work--I had an increased level of thyroperoxidase antibodies, indicative of Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
October 14: I met with the endocrinologist, Dr. S. He also thought the nodule was a cyst and agreed that I probably had Hashimoto's thyroiditis. He still wanted me to have a biopsy.
October 16: I had the biopsy which was performed by another endocrinologist in the same practice, Dr. O. Based on the ultrasound images seen during the biopsy, Dr. O said it was not a cyst.
October 21: The endocrinologist's office called and said I needed to come in to meet with Dr. S to get the results of my biopsy. (I immediately knew it was cancer.)
October 22: I met with Dr. S and he told me I had cancer and needed my thyroid removed. He referred me to a surgeon.
October 29: I had a careful neck ultrasound to see if any lymph nodes on the sides of my neck needed to be removed. The radiologist said that only the nodes in the front of my neck near my thyroid needed to be taken out.
November 4: I met with the surgeon for the first time.
November 5: I had a total thyroidectomy and central lymph node dissection.
November 7: After struggling with hypocalcemia the previous day, I was released from the hospital.
November 10: I went to the endocrinologist's office for blood work
November 11: I met with the surgeon for a post-op evaluation. He had the pathology report, which showed I did have papillary thyroid cancer and it had spread to 10 of the 13 lymph nodes removed.
November 13: I met with Dr. S. He had the results of my blood work and said my TG level was low. He was ready for me to prepare for radiation, which meant a low-iodine diet and stopping my Synthroid so my TSH level would reach 30.
November 20: I went to the endocrinologist's office for blood work to check my TSH level.
November 24: A medical assistant from the endocrinologist's called and said I was ready for radiation--my TSH level was 38.
November 28: I went to the hospital to take my radiation. I received 150 mCi of I-131 in the form of two capsules. I swallowed them, then went home where I was in isolation for a week.
December 7: I went back to the hospital for my whole body scan.
December 9: A medical assistant from the endocrinologist's office called and said I had residual thyroid tissue in my neck, but no metastases.
December 23: I went back for yet another round of blood work.
December 30: I met with Dr. S who said my TG level has dropped about 25%. He increased my dosage of Synthroid from 100mcg to 137mcg.

It's hard to believe all this has happened in less than three months. But, at the same time, I am very glad that my treatment has moved along so rapidly. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me such awesome doctors!

"The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me." Psalm 118:14

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