Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Endocrinologist and the "C" word

In March 2007 met with endocrinologist. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but whatever I was expecting - that isn't what happened. This is the first time I heard the measurements of the thyroid nodule in my neck - nearly 4 centimeters, which is evidently very large for thryoid nodules. Met with the physician's assistant first and she broke the news that the doctor would possibly recommend surgical removal rather than continued monitoring through biopsies, which is quite frankly what I was expecting. I wound up meeting with doctor for a period longer than I've met with any other doctor in my life and I truly appreciated all the time he spent with me answering all my questions. He did recommend I have the nodule removed. For I moment I thought he would perform the surgery, but he explained that an ear, nose and throat surgeon actually performs the surgery. I suppose I should have known this, but I'm not sure my thought was exactly logical at the moment and I'm not in the medical field. He also explained that these types of masses are extremely slow-growing and that this had likely been growing inside me for the past 15 to 20 years - which I found both interesting and a little creepy at the same time. Today was also the first time I heard the possibility of the "C" (Cancer) word. Definitely was not expecting to hear that nasty little word today. I like to think I'm reasonably well informed, but in my entire life I've never, and I mean never, heard of thyroid cancer and know no one who has had it. I decide today that I will write to Oprah and perhaps she can do a show on this and other health items everyone should know about but don't. The doctor tells me there is a small chance what I have is cancerous. I can't remember the exact percentages he told me but later read about 90% chance my mass is benign. If I do have cancer - I believe there are four types - two of which are highly treatable and the remaining two are more serious. The first two types (will post their names in later entries) are highly treatable and a normal life expectancy is expected - the scenario for the other two types is not so rosy. My doctor believes if I do have cancer, he said it is very likely I would have the two types that are treatable because of the way my nodule presented. Left doctor's office feeling overwhelmed - was very late in day and did not go back to work.

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