I thought I would write a quick post about something I get asked about a lot, and to clear up any confusion.
Two of the three current cancer spots in my neck are on lymph nodes (the third spot is where my thyroid used to be in the tissue there). The two lymph node areas are still thyroid cancer, it is just thyroid cancer cells on my lymph nodes. This can be confusing because cancer and lymph nodes can be REALLY scary, but thyroid cancer luckily doesn’t turn into lymphoma or somehow get into my blood stream through my lymph nodes. It just kinda hangs out there on them and makes them swell a little. It is still something we take very seriously, but it is still thyroid cancer.
I have had nearly twenty lymph nodes removed between all my surgeries, and about half of them have had cancer on them. No one has the same number of lymph nodes in their neck, and there’s nearly 500-600 lymph nodes around your whole body. So the fact that I have had to sacrifice 20, really doesn’t affect my health a whole lot. I won’t get sick more often or anything like that.
The touchy part is since it is hard to know how many lymph nodes are in my neck, it can be difficult to know where the cancer is. That is why if I need another surgery, they are encouraging the surgeon to look at my entire neck to see what looks bad and take it out.
Hopefully this helps understand a little more about what is going on. I will hopefully get a call today from UNMC about what the tumor board said and also when I’m going to Mayo.