Tuesday was my routine 6 month check-up at UNMC. I can’t believe how easy these are now. I used to fret for days or even weeks about what would be said at these appointments. Now it is routine. I wish I could go back to myself three years ago and say that truly the day does come when panic and fear don’t control the time between appointments.
After bloodwork and my neck ultrasound, we head to see my endocrinologist. She is pleased to say that my ultrasound shows no change. Of course it would be even better if the ultrasound showed no tumors, but stable tumors are the next best thing I suppose. She reiterates that she is pushing for surgery at some point in the near future to remove these tumors and be done for good with cancer (maybe she is sick of seeing me every six months?? 🙂
I ask her about adjusting my thyroid medication. Since I have active disease, they keep me in a hyper-thyroid state. Doing so keeps my body from producing its own thyroid hormone and thus feeding my cancer tumors. MOST of the time being hyperthyroid is okay – but about 25% of the time, I have extreme anxiousness, trouble sleeping, and heart palpitations (and I bet Neel would say irritability – but he would never say that to my face because I would snap at him ;). Not fun (especially for my family). And coming up on five years of this, I am ready to be back to a normal thyroid range.
She says there is no way should would consider bringing me back to a normal range with these tumors. She says the only reason my tumors aren’t growing is because I’m maintaining my hyperthyroidism.
Ugh…I really will have to have surgery.
We meet with the surgeon, and although he sees no reason to operate anytime soon since my tumors are stable, after sharing with him my desire to go back to a normal thyroid range, he says that he would feel totally comfortable performing this surgery and feels very optimistic that he could remove all the cancer without doing permanent damage to my vocal chords or other negative side effects. Of course any surgery has risks, but he wouldn’t do this if he didn’t feel like he could with an optimal outcome.
The good news is we don’t have to decide anything quickly. I am totally comfortable with waiting awhile and enjoying this time with my young kids (and dealing with the craziness that comes along 25% of the time). There will be a surgery down the road, but this time we get to call the shots on when we do this. Nothing is life threatening, and I will be fine. It really is a “pain in the neck” to have this hanging over us, but we are more than anything thankful for options, thankful for TIME, and thankful for these wonderful physicians who look out for me.
And if I ever seem snappy, irritable, or tired, you all now know why. Thank you for the continued prayers and please keep them coming. It helps more than I can say.