Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dumb Luck

So a couple of months ago I decided that since I hadn't been to the doctor for a physical in a few years, it was time to schedule one. Mostly I was interested in getting my cholesterol levels checked, not becase they'd ever been high, but because I've been eating more high-cholesterol foods lately and was curious to see if it would affect my levels (it did, but not much and my cholesterol is still considered "low"). Otherwise I'm pretty healthy generally, and usually don't get an annual checkup by my Primary Care doctor, just the gynecologist for the annual PAP smear.

I noticed during the exam that the doctor kept returning to the right side of my neck to poke around (I think they call it "palpitating"). He informed me that I had a "nodule" on my thyroid, but that it was probably nothing to worry about. He sent me over to the imaging place to get an ultrasound, to determine the consistency of the nodule and whether he'd be able to do the biopsy himself or whether I'd need to have it done under ultrasoud. During the ultrasound they also found some nodules on the left side, too small for the doctor to be able to detect. The consistency of the nodules was such that I needed the biopsy under ultrasound. That was done a couple of weeks ago and the results came back "indeterminate", so now I need to have a thyroidectomy. My chances of having thyroid cancer are still pretty low; statistically with my type of biopsy result the chance that there is cancer is between 10-20%, but they have to remove the thyroid gland altogether to make the determination. The bummer part of this is that I'll have to take thyroid hormones the rest of my life to regulate my metabolism. We interviewed one surgeon today and will meet with another one tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to get the surgery done early in November, so I'll be recovered in time for our Mexico trip the week after Thanksgiving.

Anyhow, the reason I titled this post "Dumb Luck" is that it was just purely chance that I went in to see the doctor when I did. I had not noticed the nodule on my neck at all and probably would not have until it had gotten much bigger. Of course, now that I know it's there I can feel it with my fingers, and see a slight swelling when I look in the mirror (the nodule is about 1"). So even if you're feeling fine, getting an annual checkup isn't a bad idea. I was also lucky in that my primary care doctor specializes in Endocrinology, so was probably more likely to notice the nodule and understand what it was.

I'll blog about the surgery when it happens, so you all can share in the fun.


Anonymous citizen spot said...

There is no such thing a dumb luck, but holy shite! Please let us know what up! My thoughts are with you, and D & S.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

It's weird how non-freaked out I am about this. I'm more anxious about a potential root canal on a back molar I may need. But the docs have been very reassuring: this is a fairly routine surgery, even if I have thyroid cancer (which is still at most a 20% chance) it's apparently one of the most treatable/curable forms, and doesn't require any chemo. But the one surgeon who examined me yesterday said the big nodule is "soft and moveable" which he called "a good sign".

5:59 AM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

Yes, good that you went when you did. Good that it is easy to deal with. Sorry you need surgery. And, keep us informed.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

And so -- what about keeping us informed?

11:32 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

So sorry! Things have been quite busy but I'd actually planned to post an update tonight. I'm scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Hopefully it's just a one night stay in the hospital and I'll be home Wednesday morning.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous citizen spot said...

Whatever you do on your overnight stay, DO NOT EAT THE JELLO! ;)

10:40 PM  

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