Thursday, January 13, 2011

So what do/did I have?

Papillary carcinoma
*Occurs MOST often in women in their 30's

*Only 20% of nodules must be removed after biopsy
*Only about 20% of those turn out to be any type of cancer
*Of those that turn out to be cancer, 78% are papillary

Over 90% of thyroid cancers are non-fatal, likely due to the fact that they are caught early enough, usually due to an over or under active thyroid.

Normal Thyroid hormone runs from Hyperthyroid >.40 to Hypothyroid < 4.50

My hormone level was .64 meaning that I am closer to hyper, which completely makes sense due to my size and energy level.

Most people realize there is a problem during treatment for Hypo or Hyper.

I found my nodule a few years ago just by feeling it. It was a huge knot. I even took video just before it was removed. You could see it move up and down every time I swallowed. My doctor always said that since it was symmetrical and smooth, it was nothing to worry about.

Since my thyroid actually functioned flawlessly (thus the ridiculously abundant milk production) they have MY level of "normal" hormone production. HOPEFULLY once I get on hormone replacements it wont take very long to get my body thinking that I have a thyroid.

A lot of people who have the total removal have ridiculous depression and weight gain. That is because they hormone levels are not their normal levels. Hopefully I wont have to wait long to be adjusted and can avoid those issues.

Also, I finally understood this today. I can not go on the hormones NOW because if I end up needing the radiation (Radioactive Iodine) then those thyroid cells that attract the iodine need to be CRAVING it. I need to watch my diet and keep my iodine and sodium to a reasonable minimum and if I need the RAI then I go strict on myself. When they give the RAI pill, those iodine craving cells suck up the RAI and then die. The hormone replacement will trick my body into using the iodine for whatever it is that it does.

My next appointment is Wednesdayat 7:15am with the radiology doctor. Several people I have talked to seem to think they will still recommend the radiation as a precaution so that the cancer doesnt grow back. I am really praying that my case is different.

I know that is MUCH more than anyone asked for. This whole process has been a lesson in anatomy to me. And while I am grateful there are people out there that will do it, there just ISN'T enough money in the world for me to be one of those people who can slice open someone's neck and remove a major organ. bleh!


Got a call today - my Calcium levels are now a little high... better than low! This means my bruised parathyroids (there are four of those suckers) are returning to normal function and I can go off of one of my prescriptions and reduce another of them over the next 6 weeks to eventually not be taking them!

Go parathyroid!