Last Friday, I had a total thyroidectomy and lymph node removal, which confirmed a solid presence of papillary carcinoma–the most common type of thyroid cancer–in my neck. They removed several cancerous lymph nodes and my thyroid in a 4-hour surgery. I am so thankful we got it taken care of now, because there was a cancerous node that had spread to just above my collar bone, and I am glad it does not seem to have spread any further down!
The first day was particularly rough, it was nearly impossible to swallow, and I was extremely nauseous from the anesthesia. I have a hard time not being able to take care of myself, and it was frustrating having to depend on people to help me to the bathroom and to get out of the hospital bed. It’s definitely a lesson in progress!
I was released from the hospital the second day, because my calcium levels were more predictable. This is HUGE! I could’ve have been there another full day, but not this chica! 🙂 I have been recouping at my grandparents’ house, with the help of my parents (Who flew in from California for this whole process–BLESSED). It’s humbling having to depend on my parents and grandparents to wash my hair, lay me down and re-bandage. I haven’t been able to sleep laying down yet, because of the amount of junk still stuck in my throat and the weight of my bandage on my neck–when they lay me down, I start choking and have trouble breathing. I’ve been getting very good at sleeping in the recliner though!
I think the craziest thing for me right now is looking at the pill regimen I have now that I have no thyroid. Some of it will go away after a little bit, but it’s so cool to me that someone out there figured out that even though I don’t have a thyroid, if I take one of each of these, twice a day, I’ll be fine. Crazy! I didn’t think I’d be on a daily pill-dosage at 22-years-old, but hey, I’m alive and doing well 🙂
I was able to see my battle wound for the first time today–I’m taking ideas for stories that I can tell about how this happened! (Leave a comment with a creative story I can tell ;). I get my stitches out Friday, meet with the endocrinologist in three weeks to figure out my medications, have radiation in a month (which I get quarantined for several days), and then a follow up CT scan six months later to see if everything is clear. The process is moving along, and I’m going to be just fine. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!