Monday, April 22, 2013

Thyroid Update & Happy Earth Day

Happy Monday everyone,

This morning before work I went to have my post surgery follow-up. I arrived and waited in the waiting room for a few minutes (during this time I obsessively watched the puffer fish swim back and was very memorizing). My name was called by the nurse and I went back to the exam room.

In came the nurse practitioner. She is great and I enjoy her personality and she makes you feel like a long lost friend, in short she is awesome. She asked me question about pain, fatigue, and look at the wound and said it looked great. However not all the news was good. She told me that the biopsy results came back and the 1.1 cm nodule that was on the left lobe of my thyroid was in deed cancerous.

The cancer is called papillary thyroid cancer and it is the most common thyroid cancer. It is most common in women (this must be a result of growing up with only sisters...I knew having a brother would have been beneficial). It is also the predominant cancer type in children with thyroid cancer, and in patients with thyroid cancer who have had previous radiation to the head and neck. This makes sense because I have had radiation to the chest on two different occasions.

So that is the update. I guess you could say I have a case of the Mondays. I have now been told I have cancer 4 different times and now my first cancer diagnosis (Ewing Sarcoma) will not have to go through life all alone. It will have a friend to keep in company!

I wanted to thank everyone for your positive vibes, thoughts, and prayers for me over the last week. It means a lot and I felt all the positive energy. Thanks to everyone who sent me words of encouragement through phone calls, visits, texts, and Facebook messages (especially Chad and Ian).

Lastly, Happy Earth Day to you All!

Also here is my thyroid surgery/cancer theme song...just wanted to share it again! It can also be your I have a case of the Mondays theme song...because You'll be Okay!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I will finally shed that 16.4 grams I have been trying to lose (average weight for a thyroid gland)

It has been a long long time since I have updated everyone on my battle with cancer (November 16th to be exact). A lot has happened since that beautiful fall day. I have had ups and downs. In fact, the drug I started taking last October has been working! When I went for my routine 3-month scans over Christmas break I had a CAT Scan. The cancer in my chest/diaphragm had decreased in size (not a lot, but just like technology smaller is better).

However, during the CAT Scan of my chest the radiologist accidentally included my throat in the field being scanned. This in itself is no big deal (I mean come on I have been radiated more than the Hulk: see below), however after analysis a nodule on my thyroid was discovered. My doctor suspected that it was just a growth due to my thyroid overworking (once I began my new drug in August I became very lethargic and exhausted. It was discovered that my thyroid levels were out of whack). This made perfect sense.

Nevertheless with my cancer history the most amazing BEST doctor (Dr. Schiff) wanted to have a biopsy done on the growth. After a carousel of new ENT doctors and multiple biopsies and test (I was stabbed in the neck 6 times with rather large needles and to get material from the growth they jab the needle back and forth…it is one of my favorite feeling in the world…it brings me as much happiness as seeing my mother doing her world famous flat foot dance), the results came back and the genetic make-up of the nodule is 77% suspicious (of cancer). What does this mean? (Hint to keep reading).

This means that I will be having surgery lucky #13

(For some reason right after I wrote this line images of the movie Watcher in the Woods popped into my head….NERAK!!!! YouTube it if you haven’t seen it. It caused 5-7 year old Dave to have many nightmares).

My thyroid is to be removed. The surgery is scheduled for this Tuesday the 16th of April. They will be removing my entire thyroid and I will be on thyroid medication for the duration of my life. I have had many surgeries of different magnitudes and evasiveness, so I am not nervous to go under the knife once again. In fact I oddly enjoy the anesthesia, I try to fight it see how long I can last until my next memory is walking up in the recovery room.

The main difference with this surgery is that it will be my first surgery in Utah. I will see if their anesthesia is weaker than California’s (hopefully it is not regulated like the alcohol content of beer in Utah….this would make the surgery not as HIGH a memory...sorry for the horrible pun...but not really).

I am writing this to update everyone on my cancerous journey and I will update after the surgery (once I am no longer high from morphine).

Lastly, I wanted to share the theme song for surgery #13! So listen to it for me on Tuesday as you give positive thoughts/vibes/prayers my way!

Thyroid Removal Theme Song   (Please listen) It is by the band A GREAT BIG WORLD! (They also write my theme song for life)