My first post-op appointment was with my surgeon and just 7 days after my release from the hospital. I really felt great about seeing him and even better about getting out of the house again. The only other time I saw this office since surgery was to have my drain removed 4 days prior (all 12 inches of it pulled from beneath my skin – pretty disgusting!!!). I also saw my Endocrinologist the next week just to do another follow up on my Thyroid medication and discuss my pathology report again.
My surgeon just went through everything again as to what he did – as we all know, I was a bit out of it after surgery and on a few pain meds so I may not have remembered a few minor details pertaining to my surgery haha. My surgeon and Endo both clarified that things were a lot worse than they initially thought. They knew that there was a lot of lymph node involvement but not to this extent. They removed 56 lymph nodes – 7 from the center (front of my neck, over top of my thyroid) and 49 on the left side of my neck (much deeper than initially thought and had to clamp my neck muscles back longer to remove them). They also thought I was only a stage one – just a little background info, if you are under the age of 45 with Papillary Thyroid Cancer, there are only 2 stages of Cancer. After my surgery, they determined that my surgery was more advanced than originally thought and officially staged me at Stage 2 instead for multiple reasons. Because the amount that it had spread already already, in additional to the type of aggressive tumors located in the actual thyroid. They found 7 nodules (or tumors) in the Thyroid and they were called multifocal – which are actually uncharacteristic of Papillary.
Now with each of these appointments, as you would expect, it was extremely overwhelming. My Daddy came with me to my Surgeon appointment and Mom Brady came with me to my Endo appointment. Thank God for that – I swear, I with each of the appointments, I’m only able to digest the first 5 or 10 minutes of information then it takes the next 24-48 hours to let the remaining fully sink in. That’s the combination of talking it out with the other person(s) with me, thinking about it, telling my Hubby on the way home, then sleeping on that night then BAM – that’s when I feel like it all finally comes together. I was just told I have aggressive tumors and Stage 2 Cancer. HOW? I’m 28 years old. I have 2 babies at home. And I still want more with my Hubby who want to pass his name on himself. Did she say I needed Radiation? Oh wait – she said I needed Radioactive Iodine Therapy which is much easier on the body. Oh goodness. After each of these appointments I always have at least one good cry – you know that ugly cry that everyone has (you know what I’m talking about – anyone ever listen to Dane Cook haha). And this is when that happens, when it all hits me a day or two later when it just hits me and it’s so overwhelming.
So my next step will be to have Radioactive Iodine Therapy but I needed to wait a minimum of 6 weeks after surgery. So my next post will be dedicated to what is involved in the process and how this will help my recovery process. 🙂