Everyone is asking “how am I feeling?”: I started feeling better the last two days…I just still get tired quickly. I still have a VERY stiff and sore neck and shoulders (started Physical Therapy yesterday). Also my voice is not back. So I’m avoiding the phone and unfortunately can’t raise my voice. I may need to get a whistle so I can get the kids’ attention. 🙂 I’m still uncomfortable and choke often on liquids (the nerves along the left side that control coughing and prevent choking are still irritated). I see the vocal nerve specialist in two weeks and he can help with those symptoms if they persist.
I had my post-op with thyroid surgeon yesterday. The scar is healing very well and we went over my biopsy results.
During my 7 hour surgery she removed the entire thyroid, 1 parathyroid (left 3 intact), and 20 lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. 11 of those 20 lymph nodes tested positive for papillary thyroid cancer. She also removed some cancer from my vocal nerve and cricothyroid joint. Even with those results though I am STAGE 1 which is good. However, I am at a High Risk for recurrence. So…I am no longer “fighting” the recommendation that I need to proceed with Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment. I realize now that I do need a dose of that to help “kill” any remaining microscopic thyroid cancer cells.
One positive thing is: my surgeon has said this many times…”This thyroid cancer is not what will take ‘me’ to heaven”. She is confident that I can live a long life regardless of this thyroid cancer (even if it returns years down the road). I do get to “check in” with her every 6 months for the first 3 years and then every year for the rest of my life. Good thing I enjoy going to see her. She is extremely gifted in her specialty and very funny. She always has several medical students and residents following her around and she loves that I don’t mind helping them out. I let her video tape and photograph my neck, voice, etc for education.
My sister Kim came from Virginia to help. She left her own 1-year old at home and came here to cook, clean, take care of my kids, and even organized some cabinets for me! Loved having her here! Now my mom is here to help for the rest of the week. I’m so lucky to have so much help. Thank you also to my other sister and the rest of my family too for all the food, organic juices, and meals to freeze. I’ve also received some very useful restaurant gift cards and boxes of healthy snacks from extended family and friends! THANK YOU all for your continued support! It sure makes the recovery process easier!