02 June 2011

Hemithyroidectomy

Decision is made

Just a quick health update for those that have been wondering.

My biopsy came back as I had expected – no major signs of cancer cells but also somewhat inconclusive.
I had my follow-up with the surgeon yesterday and was asked to make the difficult decision. My options are as follows:

(a) continue to monitor the nodule every 3 months with more ultrasounds and biopsies or
(b) remove the left lobe of the thyroid entirely and send to pathologist for final verdict.

Given that I have been living with this eight on my shoulders for over two years, I have decided to go with option #2. While there is still only a 7-10% chance that the nodule is cancerous, I simply can’t live with “inconclusive” as a result. Given that the nodule has also grown slightly, albeit slowly, I don’t want to take any chances. I hate to lose a vital glad for potentially nothing, but I would regret apathy even more if this turns out to be something serious. Much of it comes down to having watched loved ones suffer from advanced stages of cancer. One can’t help but think, “If only they caught it sooner.” I have been given the opportunity to be as proactive as possible. After going through all the battery of tests, the decision was actually an easy one for me – get it out!

As with any surgery, there are some minor risks, namely damage to the nerves affecting the vocal chord. That being said, the risks do seem low and this is a fairly common operation. If all goes well, I will be released from the hospital the same day and on medical leave for two week to rest and re-cooperate. I have no doubt that my throat will be sore as hell and quite swollen but, like anything, it will pass.

I am hoping that I can get in for the operation by this August. Come hell or high water, I’m going on my 5-year anniversary trip to Boston already booked for September. I don’t care whether I look like I’ve been sliced in the throat, I have more than earned myself a vacation.

1 comment:

Doctor J said...

You have a third option to ask for the molecular testing of biopsy specimen!!!!