Monday, July 7, 2014

Finding Cancer

I have been asked quite a bit how I found the cancer.  The answer is that I didn't find it.  It was just kind of by happenstance that it was found.  In October of last year I was having neck pain on the left side of my neck and found what felt like a hard lump.  I was planning on making an appt. for that when over the weekend my entire neck swelled up for apparently no reason. That was the motivation I needed to make the appointment.  

My normal Doctor was on vacation so I saw an unknown.  He was not the best at bedside manner, but he was okay.  He felt my neck and said he thought it was a muscle issue and was going to leave it at that, but my thyroid felt swollen as well, so he went ahead and referred me to the ENT.  

When I went to the ENT my thyroid was still a little bit swollen on one side and the hard lump I had originally felt he thought was just a bone that had grown larger on that side than the other side.  I did have a swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck, so he sent me in for an ultrasound.  At the ultrasound they found the swollen lymph node as well as some nodules on my thyroid.  From there the ENT sent me in to have them biopsied.  He wasn't really concerned with any of it, but since they were there he wanted to have them checked out.

The rest as they say is history.  They found cancer and when I went in for surgery it had moved into two lymph nodes near the thyroid.  The original reasons I went in had nothing to do with the thyroid cancer, it was luck as some would call it, or as I would call it, hinging on the miraculous.  

Currently I am on a low iodine diet (LID) for the majority of this month.  I go in for a scan to see where/if it has spread and then I go in for radioactive iodine treatment and a three day hospitalization towards the end of the month to kill anything that they might find.  I will let you know how all of that goes.