It’s just over 3 months since my repeat ETV (brain surgery #6).
I stared at a similar photo to the one at the top of this post last week, in my Endocrine surgeon’s waiting room. Having just had a consult with him and agreeing to go ahead with my right-sided hemithyroidectomy (surgically removing half of my thyroid), on the 25th of August. I have a few nodules on both lobes, however, there are two pushing against my oesophagus, making it hard to ignore. The consult itself went well, though it left me with a lingering concern.
An itch I shouldn’t scratch but simply can’t help noticing. CANCER.
He emphasised that the biopsy I had done on both nodules previously, may have come back as being benign BUT, “there’s no guarantee when you do these tests. The part they test may not be cancerous but that doesn’t mean the rest isn’t”. (They stick a needle into your neck and puncture the nodule a couple of times, drawing out some cells to test. If the piece they go into isn’t cancerous, that doesn’t mean the rest of it isn’t). Ever since our first consult last year, he mentioned the increased risk of Cancer, due to being exposed to too much radiation since my Hydrocephalus diagnosis.
We all react differently
It’s not just me being paranoid but hearing the same thing over and over, knowing that I need to be aware of it as I would the risk of surgery, kind of hits home. Some people in my life think I’m being negative, almost wishing it upon myself or already living as if I’ve been diagnosed, when in reality I haven’t been. Fair enough! BUT, I am not them and this is my reaction to have, whilst trying to process and digest the mere thought (and possibility) of it all.
Change and Risks
He explained that when the right lobe is removed, it will be sent to pathology and a more thorough check will be done of the entire sample to ensure an accurate result. He also explained the risk of bleeding, accidentally cutting the vein which supplies blood to the Thyroid and potential of unintentionally removing the parathyroids. Going forward, the left side will need to work harder as it compensates for the right. A blood test after 3 weeks should indicate if what’s left of my thyroid, is coping AND if I’ve switched from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism or not.
I mentioned the brain bleed, and the effects thereof, which I had during my repeat ETV surgery, something I had never anticipated or expected to happen. I alluded to that maybe being a sign I could have a bleed again or, because it happened once, it won’t happen again. He assured me, he’s not that superstitious and will hope for the best.
While his receptionist sorted out the paperwork, I distracted my mind with the photo on the wall (similar to the one in this post with crystal clear water and a white sandy beach). Thinking out loud, I said; “That is so beautiful …”, as my mind filled with thoughts. She smiled and agreed.
Something she said, prompted me to explain that this consult to discuss my thyroid surgery was meant to happen in May, but I needed to have brain surgery instead, the week before my appointment. Also, due to Covid-19, there’s been a directive to put a hold on elective surgeries in the public system, meaning, I probably wouldn’t get the surgery we had planned anyway. Therefore, I booked a private consult with him, to move things along and because the discomfort and pain in my neck, simply isn’t worth it.
She was empathetic and said I definitely needed to make sure I take time out to go to that beach, which is just up north from where we are now.
It’s on my bucket list!