I Had a Thyroid Once

I had a thyroid once

I feel better now than I did before my thyroidectomy.

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My Scar – 6 Months Out

My scar continues to look better. There are some days I don’t even think about it.

This picture was taken 6 months from my surgery date.

My Scar at 6 Months

My Scar 24 Days Post-Surgery

Slowly, but surely, my neck is looking better. I can’t wait for the puncture marks made by the staples to go away. They still seem a little angry. The incision doesn’t look too bad at all, despite being asymmetrical.

24 Days Post-Op

Second Post-Op Appointment

The bad weather held out long enough so that I was able to make it to my appointment with the surgeon today. Thank goodness! I was ready to get the 38 staples in my neck removed. It was a bit uncomfortable as he removed each staple, but I felt much better afterwards. The incision doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would, although my neck still looks a little shocking. The doctor didn’t put gauze over my incision and I had to walk out into the main office full of people. Lovely.

38 staples out

I could feel people staring. I didn’t care, though. I had just gotten some good news. My surgeon had the final pathology report. The lymph nodes he removed during the surgery were clear of malignancy. The samples from the neck tissue around my thyroid were also clear. I think he also said that the samples taken from the thyroid around the nodule didn’t contain cancer. I can’t remember the details. I wish I had a copy of the report to be sure. I’ll have to remember to ask the oncologist for a copy. It appears I caught this thing early, but I’m cautiously optimistic. I will have a full body scan in 6 to 8 weeks. When that comes back clear, I will feel much better.

I also found out from the pathology report that I have the follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer. It was located in the right lobe of my thyroid and measured 1.4 cm. A microcarcinoma measuring 1 mm was found in the left lobe of my thyroid and it was pure papillary thyroid cancer. I am so glad the whole thyroid was removed. I will have to undergo a radioactive iodine treatment (RAI) in 6 to 8 weeks to ablate any remaining thyroid tissue.

Another interesting piece of information contained in the report was that my thyroid was severely damaged due to Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disorder that attacks the thyroid. It is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 12 years ago. I have been tested for Hashimoto’s in the past by two different doctors and was told by both I didn’t have it. Hashimoto’s tends to cause a rise in certain thyroid antibodies and mine were never elevated. I also never had typical Hashimoto’s symptoms. Even though it wasn’t previously detected, it apparently did a number on my thyroid. My surgeon said my thyroid was shriveled and hard, almost rubbery. I am so happy it is gone. My thyroid was rubbish and I expect I will feel much better now that it is out of me.

I’m 11 days out from my thyroidectomy and honestly, I feel pretty good. I’ve been able to keep taking Synthroid (although I prefer Levoxyl and can’t wait for it to be back on the market). I think I have an advantage since I was hypothyroid and on meds before having a thyroidectomy. I hope that means I won’t have to adjust my dose much. I’m not looking forward to getting off my meds to prepare for RAI. I can’t imagine how terrible I am going to feel.

I was scheduled to meet with the oncologist on the 13th, but the appointment was cancelled because of ice and snow. The appointment was rescheduled for the 21st. I will know more about the next steps then.

My Neck 5 Days Post Thyroidectomy

I’m 5 days out from my total thyroidectomy. I saw my neck/incision/scar for the first time today. I thought I was going to pass out. Wow!

Here’s what my neck looks like:

2-4-14 Thyroidectomy Scar

How’s that for a battle scar? My husband said it looks like I survived a Columbian Necktie.

Sneak Peak of My Post-Surgery Neck

It’s been 4 days since my total thyroidectomy. I got a sneak peak at my post-surgery neck today. Horrifying. I haven’t even seen the whole thing, but my husband has. He says it’s not symmetrical and he thinks that is going to drive me insane (I’m a bit OCD). We will see. It may not bother me at all.

sneak peak neck

I’m feeling a little better each day. I was totally unprepared for the level of exhaustion and weakness I am feeling. So grateful that my mom is here to help with the house and kids. She amazes me.

Saw my surgeon today. He had not received the final pathology report yet. I’ll have to wait another week. I’ll feel better once I find out that it has not spread to the lymph nodes. His office set up an appointment for me to meet with an oncologist next week. I’m cleared to get my incision wet and take a shower tomorrow. I’m happy about being able to shower again. The little things.