Friday, May 29

Dusty Around Here: Biopsy

Last night Husband remarked it had been a long time since I made a blog post.

And he's right.

I've wanted to write. But I haven't been able to. I've been dealing with some medical issues, that have been affecting everything. And in order to blog about the boys, the holidays, work and what not I would have been impossible to not write about what was going on. And honestly I have been tired. And sore. I've kept up a good front around the boys. We have not said anything to RR, but as my surgery comes closer we will. I've been making the rounds telling people. I waited a long while to tell most people as I had to tell my mom first and in person. I have a few more people to tell and talk to about everything, and a few of them may read this blog before I get a chance to call. But it's time. I've mentioned it casually enough to enough people. And honestly I need to write about it. I need to get back to blogging. It's good for the soul.

It all started a little after Easter. It was a Tuesday. The kids were on spring vacation from school and I was driving home. I was about to be on vacation myself - traveling to see family in NJ and a wedding in MD. I was driving on a back road, by a farm; the day was warm the windows in the van where down. I had reached up to scratch my throat and I felt a lump in my neck. I played with the lump on and off while driving and when I got in the door I was very concerned about it. I told Husband I thought my thyroid was swollen. With everything we had planned for the next few days we felt it would be best if I went to urgent care to have it looked at. Urgent care had taken on a "serious case requiring many sutures" and was not taking anymore patients that evening when I walked in. The next morning RR woke with a fever over 103, then shortly after that Uncle F ended up in the hospital and out travel plans quickly came to a halt, so I made an appointment to see the NP at my primary doctors office.

The NP sent me for blood work and an ultrasound.

My blood work, testing thyroid function came back normal.

When my ultrasound results came back, no one in my primary care office would speak to me about the results. They referred me to an endocrinologist. Originally my appointment was for some time in June, but then I got a call that I couldn't wait that long to been seen and was given a same day appointment. Everything was moving very fast and no one would tell me answers. I was scared. I feared the worst. I was crying. Crying a lot.

The first endo doctor I saw finally gave me my test results. I had a 5cm nodule on my left thyroid. A biopsy would need to be done to see if it was benign or not. The odds were in my favor that it would be benign, 95% of thyroid cysts are.

More ultrasounds followed and the biopsy. Which was terribly painful. During this time we learned that the cyst was multi-nodular, it was a big pocket with lots of small pockets in it. It was officially labeled as a hemorrhagic multinodulous cyst. During the biopsy a good deal of blood was removed from it, but it quickly filled with blood again.

Within a week of the biopsy I was scheduled to meet with surgeon. Regardless of how the biopsy came out, at least half of my thyroid would need to be removed.  It is pushing my esophagus to the right and causing restricted movement in my neck.

When we met with the surgeon he gave us the biopsy results - inconclusive.

Still no answers. Once that part of my thyroid is removed they will test further for cancer. If it comes back as cancerous then I will have to go and get the rest of my thyroid removed. And possibly do a "one and done" radioactive iodine treatment.  Which has no hair loss or other nasty side affects, but would be a permanent end to breastfeeding. This is something I simply cannot comprehend. And just the thought brings tears to my eyes. ERP is no where ready to wean. At nearly 18 months, he isn't even 20 lbs. He wakes multiple times a night to nurse. He's not ready. I'm not ready. But who knows if it will come to that.

We are still waiting.

This whole ordeal started as a big rush.

Now I wait.

Wait for a date for surgery. My surgeon wanted to do it in June. But he is fully booked and can't get me in until late July. But that isn't even the final answer. Next week he'll look to see if anything in his schedule can be moved to have me brought in sooner.

My surgeon says most of his patients go home the same day as the surgery. Some stay over night. One guy went to work the next day, although most do not. He seems very versed in this surgery, having done some 7,000 over his professional life. He has bright white hair and a very faint British accent. He has an excellent bedside manner. He promises me the surgery will hurt less than the biopsy - which left me unable to speak for days and pain if I thought about speaking for the better part of a week.

For now, some days are better than others. Some days I can hardly feel the enlarged thyroid. Other days the pain is so intense, like it's sitting on a nerve - which I've been told is totally possible.

And while I know there are bigger battles in life I could be facing, this one has certainly given me a good scare. Some days the fear is overwhelming. Other days I can't get enough of my kids and other days I just want to lay in bed and wish the pain away.

But I take it one day at a time. For the last few weeks I have been at the mercy of my doctors and their schedules. I welcome getting the date for surgery and for the ability to plan around something. I want to be able to confidently schedule things - at home and at work - and not have to worry about "what if the doctor" calls today.

But most of all I am eager for the results of the biopsy. To know one way or the other for certain. to know if this surgery is the end of this mess, or the middle point. With half a thyroid there is a 70% chance that the remaining half will function as normal. So the surgery really could be the end of this mess... or it could be the half way point...

Only time will tell. And so I wait. One biopsy done. One more to go.


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