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Five days post Completion

Oct 30, 2010 - 0 comments
Tags:

Pain

,

Cancer

,

Work

,

sleep

,

Life



Here am I, five days after my second surgery.  The recovery hasn't gone as well this second time.  The pain and stiffness was mostly over and done by the third or fourth day after surgery last time--but I am still very sore today.  Granted, I took pain meds last time, but opted not to this time--so that may have something to do with it.  But, I had an allergic reaction to the pain meds last time, and the docs were only offering me narcotics this time, so I decided to just go with the Tylenol.  My calcium was low after the surgery, so I've been taking Os-Cal 500 morning and night since then, and I just didn't want to deal with the whole "gastric" issue associated with narcotics.

The only symptoms I'm experiencing (other than the pain and stiffness) is some generalized body aches and a. . . well, kind of a "grogginess."  Like my eyes feel a bit gritty and I'm having some trouble concentrating.  Can't really sleep that well, though.  Who knows what that's from?  Some research suggests that general anesthesia changes your brain wave patterns for up to six months after surgery.  No value judgement; not saying the change is good or bad, just that it is.

I go on Tuesday to have the suture removed, then on Friday for a visit with my bear of an Endo.  I guess I'll schedule my RAI then.  Whoopee.  Back to work on Monday.  Double whoopee.  Grad school is so bad right now and my adviser is such a. . . a. . .prat, that I sometimes wonder if, between cancer and grad school, grad school isn't the worse of the two?  I think it may be.  

Really ***** having an adviser who calls you into his office the Friday before your second surgery. . .for cancer. . .to tell you that he didn't like your lab meeting presentation and he's "concerned" that you're getting "distracted."  Ya think?  Hmm, what could I have to be distracted about?  Let me think?  Oh yeah, dunder-head me, I must be distracted by my cancer diagnosis and impending surgery.  Yep, guilty as charged.  Where could my priorities be?  Yeah, nothing like caring and understanding to help one along life's sometimes difficult path.

A typical interaction with my Endo.

Sep 30, 2010 - 2 comments
Tags:

endo

,

Cancer

,

Research



Twisted Helix:  The surgeon told me my nodule was malignant, but didn't give me very many details.  Could you tell me exactly what kind of cancer I have.

Endo (in a withering tone): Follicular variant of papillary carcinoma--if that helps.

Twisted Helix:  It helps, yes, to know the name.  I'll just research it.

Endo (snappishly):  You don't NEED to research it.  Nothing you find on the internet can change the outcome.  You need to have surgery and radio-iodine therapy.


Okay, so, erm, apparently what's happening with MY body is none of my business, and I should just stop worrying my pretty little head about it.  Follow doctor's orders.  I mean, I know what needs to be done, and I'm okay with it--but what's the guff about trying to understand it, UNDERSTAND what my body is going through, what I am going through?

Typical patriarchal doctor.  If I weren't stuck in this stupid, one-Endo town until I finish my Ph.D.--i'd fire this guy's ***, and get an Endo who wouldn't act as if I said I was going to eat raw babies for breakfast when I suggested I might, I don't know, do some reading or something.  Whatever.  

The "good" cancer

Sep 22, 2010 - 0 comments
Tags:

Cancer

,

follicular variant

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diagnosed

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papillary carcinoma



I have been diagnosed with the Follicular Variant of Papillary carcinoma.  Aren't I the lucky one?

One Week Post Lobectomy

Sep 20, 2010 - 1 comments
Tags:

lobectomy

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Thyroid

,

post-surgery recovery



This time last Monday, I was on the operating table, having the right lobe and isthmus of my thyroid removed.

In June, my Gynecologist found a lump on my thyroid during my routine physical.  She referred me out for an ultrasound, which showed an approximately 2.5 cm solid nodule on the right lobe of my thyroid.  I was then referred out to an Endocrinologist.  I had no idea that Endos were so hard to get in to see, so I was a little shocked to find that my appointment wasn't until six weeks later.  I called and got put on a waiting list for a sooner appointment, and was seen for my initial visit in the middle of June.  The blood work on me came back "normal," and I was scheduled for an FNA in August.  My FNA came back "suspicious" for a follicular neoplasm, with cellular atypia, so I was referred to a surgeon for removal of the suspicious nodule.

The surgery wasn't as bad as I had anticipated.  Intubation was, for me, the absolute worst part; I felt as if I had a case of strep throat for several days after the surgery.  Swallowing was painful, much more so than the incision.  My voice was hoarse for about three days after the surgery and is still a little weak now.  However, I sounded like my old self very quickly.  The frozen section was, of course, inconclusive (I understand from reading some of the medical literature that frozen sections are accurate only 20% of the time).  I stayed overnight in the hospital and was released the next day before lunch (which, unfortunately, meant I had to eat disgustingly undercooked eggs for breakfast--yuck!!).

Recovery wasn't that bad, either.  I only used the Lortab the doctor sent me home with for three days, and then only at night.  I starting some light neck stretches the day I was released from the hospital, and began a lighter version of my exercise routine five days after I was released.  My digestive system, um, took a few days to come back on-line, and I was a bit worried about that, but everything was back to normal by four days post surgery.  To be honest, I think I could have gone back to work after three days recovery, but I took the extra time off because I wanted to give myself a good amount of time to recover.  I'm going back tomorrow.

My sleep cycle is a bit off because I can't seem to get to sleep as easily as I did before surgery, but I imagine that will settle out again as soon as I get back into my usual exercise routine.

I go tomorrow to have the stitches removed and discover the results of the pathology report.  Hopefully, I won't have to do this again.  It wasn't "bad," but it's not really something I want to repeat.