After I received a second opinion regarding the cancer that I had…I decided to have the surgery now and not wait. Apparently if the cancer becomes undifferentiated and no longer encapsulated it could turn into a different cancer of the thyroid, anaplastic. My characteristics were favorable for this to happen as my nodule doubled its size in less than one year. Anaplastic cancer comes with a poor prognosis and is usually a fatal diagnosis as it is aggressive and spreads to different areas, fast and requires chemotherapy. I did not want to face the chemotherapy battle again so I went ahead with the surgery. I have to say, it wasn’t bad as I expected. The surgery was around 5 hours from beginning to end and when I woke up from my anesthetic coma I had a headache and I puked once. Other than those two minor issues, I’ve felt fine after. My pain is very minimal and it’s more of a soreness than pain. My voice is very raspy and for the most part I am having to whisper because when I talk it tickles my throat and makes me cough. This is a common finding after surgery and will resolve within a few weeks. My neck and face are significantly swollen still and that is caused by how I was positioned for the surgery. I also have lip ulcers from the breathing tube. All of these are minor things. The nursing staff told me that I was one of the best male patients they’ve had to take care of and said that normally men who have this surgery are whiners, ha. I was up walking within an hour after arriving in the hospital room.
Now I must wait again for pathology reports to see if I need another surgery to remove more lymph nodes and the other sliver of the thyroid tissue on the lobe that wasn’t affected. If the lymph nodes come back malignant then I have to undergo radioactive treatment and quite possibly more surgery. The dressing on my neck has to remain in place until my post operative appointment in two weeks. This will be hard because I really want to take a peek at the incision. Doc says he was able to utilize my natural crease in my neck for the incision and it will heal very nicely and will not be noticeable after 6 months or sooner, depending on how fast I heal. I’m also ready for the dressing to come off because my facial hair is growing back in and it’s incredibly itchy and I’m not supposed to scratch around the area. The doc also states I should notice a decrease in my negative Bipolar symptoms, what a relief that will be.
The silver lining? I get to shower today …I haven’t been able to shower for 2 days.