I had planned on posting an update the same day I got back from the doctors office but couldn't bring myself to do it. Somehow it felt like putting how the appointment went into words made it more real and I was not ready to do that.
So I put it off.
I had a test scheduled for first thing Thursday morning, the day right after my pre-surgery consult, to find out for sure if what the doctor suspected was what was actually going on. That night I was up most of the night worrying about what those results would mean. I woke up Thursday morning and panicked. Couldn't do it.
So I put it off.
(I'm nothing if not consistent!)
The news I received from the surgeon was not all bad. He did have some good news for me. The one tumor they'd been following on my thyroid since 2006 that they were most concerned about is gone. Just disappeared. He said that does happen in 22% of cases like mine so that was a bonus. Score one for... Well, for whatever the hell happened! He also said that the new tumors appear more cyst like in the ultrasound but he couldn't be sure unless he biopsied them. They also thought the current tumors I have now were more "cyst like" as well until they biopsied them and found out they were not cyst like when they tried jabbing them with needles. That was good times.
For the bad news... He has not taken thyroid cancer off the table yet but he has shelved surgery for a second until more test results come back. He is more concerned about throat cancer.
I know right?!?!?!
My first thought was: How the hell would I have throat cancer? I don't smoke! Don't only smokers get throat cancer?? Obviously not! He went on to explain how throat cancer symptoms mimic many other illnesses so it's hard to pin them all down and point them at throat cancer. But when you add them all up, bam, there it is! Or, there it could be. Here's a list I grabbed off the net which is what he explained in his office:
Common throat cancer symptoms include:
- A lump or sore that does not heal (mine is a lump-1st complained of in 2001)
- Sore throat or cough that does not go away (I have a sore throat all the time, cough usually in the morning)
- Pain or difficulty swallowing (I have both-1st complained of in 2001)
- A change in your voice such as a new hoarseness in your voice (1st noticed around 2002)
- Trouble breathing (I started noticing this getting worse over the last year)
- Difficulty speaking (check)
- Pain in the ears and frequent headaches (absolutely! suffered from for years though)
- Blocked sinuses that will not clear (Have had problems with since 2003)
- Bleeding through the nose (Started having nosebleeds in 2002; never had problems with before)
- Pain in the upper teeth (yes! Dr once told me this was because of chronic sinus infections)
- Headaches (Chronic sufferer)
- Swelling in the eyes (This is the only thing I haven't noticed though doc says otherwise)
- Chronic sinus infections that do not go away when treated with antibiotics (Have had problems with since 2003)
And I KNOW it's not a diagnosis and I KNOW it's not for sure and I KNOW he's only running tests to find out but this is what he said to me: "I'm afraid that while we've been focusing on thyroid cancer, we may not have been looking at the bigger picture. You can have a lump feeling in your throat if you do have GERD or chronic heartburn. But, since you're missing the main symptom of that, which is the burning sensation that is heartburn, I'm thinking that is not it. I'm thinking there is a blockage in your throat that we need to address. Which is where throat cancer comes in." Obviously that's not word for word because I didn't record him but that was the gist of it.
I may have down played what he said a bit to my family so as not to freak them out. I know, not exactly honest, but with Mr Man's mom dying of cancer right now, I can't exactly put this on him as well. I did try and explain a little of this to him earlier tonight but he was a little distracted and I don't think he heard me. I figured I'll wait until i know more and then let him know for sure.
He did a procedure at the appointment where they stuck a scope and camera up my nose down my throat to collect some cells to send off to be biopsied. (I may have twittered during the appointment. I may also have made the nurse wait while I finished sending a tweet so she could spray the numbing stuff up my nose. She may also not have been very happy about it! lol) They said my nose would get numb but they failed to mention all of my teeth would also. Oh, and they also forgot to mention I would get a bloody nose afterwards. It didn't happen right after the procedure like you would think. It happened 40 minutes later when I was sent down to the lab at the hospital to have some blood drawn for other tests he wanted to run. I bent over the admins desk to hand her my insurance information and it gushed out like Niagra Falls. The woman behind the desk freaked out. Geez, gush a little blood on someones keyboard and they act like you just killed baby Jebus...
It's 1:00 A.M. and I'm currently fasting for the hospital test I'm going for tomorrow morning. I will be drinking barium while they take xrays to find any blockages between my throat and stomach. As soon as my surgeon has the results back from all of the tests, I'm supposed to go back to his office to discuss all the results and make a "plan of attack" with him as he puts it.
So, I guess think happy thoughts. With rainbows and unicorns dancing on a candy covered lawn. Or throw back a few shots for me. Ya know, whichever feels appropriate to you. I'd choose the shots if it were me. Just sayin...
Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat. I make no promises at this point.