No more cancer!

The other week, I had forgotten about my lab for blood work and ultrasound appointment and missed it. Oops. I spotted it only because I had to check my calendar for something else. I immediately re-made the appointment, but I couldn’t have all this done at the medical center that specializes in these types of ultrasounds. My new appointment was to be done at a different medical center instead.

I had my blood drawn into one tube instead of the typical 2-3 in the past. For the ultrasound, the technician spent a lot of time on the right side of my neck and not so much on the left side. (The left side is where this unknown mass could be growing). That appointment took around 30 minutes. I left telling the technician that I’m expecting the mass to either stayed the same size or gotten a little bigger, but no big deal either way.

A couple days later, I received a notification that some of my test results were available online. I took a screen shot and sent it to my husband after I read it. It said

Findings: Previous thyroidectomy. The previously noted nodule is the left thyroid bed is no longer identified. There are normal-sized fatty centered lymph nodes in both sides of the neck.

Conclusion: No evidence to suggest recurrent malignancy.

Yay! No more cancer!

Now for the results of my blood work

UFree T4 is 1.2 ng/dL (Standard range is 0.7-1.5 ng/dL) and TSH, Sensitive is 0.13 ulU/mL (Standard range is 0.30-4.50 ulU/mL)

To help prevent cancer, I am (trying) to eat less sugar, as medical experts say that cancer loves sugar and is fed by it. Gross. I gave up soda a years ago, so that’s not a problem. But when I see those doughnuts and cakes…yummy.

Ultrasound Checkup

After doing the whole body scan, I went out and had a cheese burger and fries. Over the next three days, I gained back all the weight that I had lost. (It was worth it).

Cheeseburger and fries
Cheeseburger and fries

The day after the body scan, my blood was drawn for testing. I had forgotten to come in for the blood work on Monday, the day before first injection, as the doctor wanted to see the thyroid levels in my body before going through the procedure. Oops.

After a week or so, I got a phone call telling me that I needed to schedule an ultrasound as the doctor saw that a node/lump/thing (I don’t have my medical record for the actual term) was getting bigger, indicating possible cancer…again. If the ultrasound showed that the area could be cancer, the next step was another biopsy and then surgery, if the result tested positive for cancer.

Naturally, I wasn’t happy about this and later called my insurance to see if I would have another choice of surgeon if I had thyroid cancer had returned.

I scheduled the ultrasound appointment and when the time came, went in for it. The jelly they coated my throat was warm. I used lots of tissues to remove it when the technician was done. I always miss a spot, usually below an ear. The jelly doesn’t feel as nice when the jelly is cold.

A week or two later, I got another call from my doctor. I was told that the lump/tissue thing was stable, so no biopsy was needed right now. I was told to book another ultrasound appointment in 6-7 months to check on it again.

At this point, I’d rather have them take it out now, so it doesn’t have a chance to grow bigger or into cancer. Also, I’d rather a surgeon cut a different opening to remove that tissue than the same spot in front of my throat. The scar in the front of my throat is slowly disappearing. I don’t want to make the tissue weaker or cause a permanent scar.

My adventure continues…

Biopsy to check for thyroid cancer in lymph node

Lymph node biopsy incision sites
Lymph node biopsy incision sites

There are benign-appearing lymph nodes within the right neck. Within the inferior left neck is a 3 x 3 x 2 mm hypoechoic nodule. Previously, it measured 4 x 3 x 3 mm in size. Within the superior left neck adjacent to the submandibular gland is a 2.4 x 0.9 x 1.0 cm lymph node. It does not demonstrate an internal echogenic fatty hilum though is ovoid in appearance. It compares with 2.1 x 0.7 x 1.0 cm in size.

Nervous. That’s how I feel. I was hoping that I would be done with this thyroid cancer stuff. I thought that after the radiation iodine treatment and body scan, no more cancer could possibly be in my body. But after the last ultrasound came a phone call from one of my doctors to tell me that a lymph node has been growing. Because of that, I needed to have a biopsy done.

Arriving in the ultrasound room, I stayed in my clothes and laid on the bed. The ultrasound tech stomped on the foot lever several times to raise the bed so that she could find the spot to biopsy. (Why the hell she couldn’t have raised the table earlier, I have no idea). She pressed that ultrasound wand hard into my throat. (I don’t think this woman had any bedside manner). She found the growing lymph node and called in the doctor and the gal who brought in the glass slides for the cells.

Unlike the last biopsy where six needles gathered the cells, this time the doctor injected some muscle numbing agent. He went in deep and jabbed it around many times. That hurt. He did that with two different needles.

He waited for a minute or two for the numbing stuff to take affect and then dove in with the other needles to collect the cells from the lymph node. Although the numbing stuff was working, he went deep so there still was pain and pressure. I swallowed a couple of times; I guess you’re not supposed to swallow, but that’s hard to avoid when someone’s pressing on your throat like that.

Once he was done and the cells were on the glass slides, he and the slide gal left to make sure that the doctor had collected enough cells. If he didn’t, he’d be back to jab me again.

After five minutes or so, he was back to tell me that they collected enough. Thank goodness. I quickly gathered my jacket and things and took off as fast as I could go. I didn’t even stay long enough to ask when I would have the results. I figured that I’d have them in a week anyway.

I’m hoping for non-cancer, of course. I’ll keep you updated with the results. I’ll celebrate with cheesecake, if it’s not cancer. If it is, I’m having a beer.

Oh, and I think that I’m going to be sore for a couple of days from the harshness of the ultrasound wand and all the needles. On the way home, I stopped at a grocery store and picked up a bag of dark chocolate Reese mini’s. After that adventure, I deserved these yum-yums.