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#1 Aug. 18, 2017 10:35:55

swhited
Registered: 2014-11-01
Posts: 18
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Good luck! I'll be sending good thoughts your way on the 16th. All of you “old timers” were so supportive when I joined this forum three years ago when I first was diagnosed and I'm thankful for all the support and information this forum provides. Wish you the best and hope you're feeling more yourself soon.

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#2 Aug. 19, 2017 07:27:06

barbra
From: Hagerstown, MD.
Registered: 2013-05-23
Posts: 148
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Hi everybody,

TT is all done and I seem to be back to my old self, well aside from the rough gobs of glue on my neck.
Everything went as planned on the 16th. The cut across is 3 1/2 inches long and had a drainage tube protruding out of it on one end.
The doctors said that my thyroid, or what was left of it, was a mass of dead scar tissue due to the radiation 4 years ago. The para thyroid was left intact. Everything else (scar tissue, goiter, nodules) is gone.
The first day was painful (swallowing, moving my head) and sleeping almost impossible. The main discomfort came from the tube and all the tape that held it in place. Some nausea and dizzyness. But I only needed strong pain meds twice, after that it was Tylenol. They kept me overnight at the hospital. After more bloodwork, mainly to check calcium levels, they let me go at 7 pm that evening.
I got prescriptions for Percocet, Tylenol, Calcitriol and Tums (yeah, really Tums, 1000 mg) and 100 mcg of Synthroid.
After another night with hardly any sleep, although feeling better with much less pain overall, I took my Synthroid waited about an hour and had my customary 2 cups of coffee. No breakfast. After a while my hands started shaking, heart racing, blood pressure up. I was dizzy, nauseous and weak. I already had an appointment that morning to have that irritating tube removed. I didn't trust myself to drive so my son took me. Turns out that the increased dose of Synthroid together with the coffee brought on the reaction I had. As a result they lowered the Synthroid to 75mcg and my coffee to one cup (the second one I can have in the afternoon). Also, I have to eat 3 meals a day because of the Tums. I'll be looking like a blimp in no time at all.
Now to the fun part - the tube. After removing all the tape the doctor said to count to 3 and she pulled out the tube. What I had thought to be maybe an inch stuck in my throat turned out to be 6 inches of flat looking tube. Seriously, folks, it looked like a tapeworm! She put a bandaid over the hole and we were done.
Since then the pain is gone, I am good to go. My neck looks like crap. I asked my son if my neck looked all gnarled up and he said yes and there's the scar there too. When I came out of recovery he looked all shocked and said: “What did you all do to my mother? You cut her throat? I brought her in for a broken ankle!” He really had them going for a moment. (I can't take him anywhere)
So, all in all, I seem to be doing well and am pain free. Also, without that tube I slept all night. We'll see what the scar is going to look like when all that glue comes off.
Test results on the goiter, nodules etc. should be in by Tuesday.

I want to thank you all for your good thoughts and well wishes.
I'll keep in touch and hope you all will too.

Hugs.
Barbra.



I'm a little wounded, but I am not slain; I will lay me down for to bleed awhile. Then I will rise and fight with you again.
J. Dryden

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#3 Aug. 19, 2017 19:47:59

emmtee
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 110
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

I'm glad you're doing well after your surgery. I've always wondered what happened to the thyroid after RAI. It didn't seem logical that it would just “disappear.” So it just dies, and scar tissue is left then?

It sounds like your incision is about the same length as mine. I took a photo of a tape measure taped to my neck, so I'd have a record. :-) Mine's a little under 3 1/2 inches end to end, but it isn't straight. It mostly falls within the crease in the skin, but it misses the mark a bit on one end. I think over time, my skin will form a new crease to match my scar.

I didn't have a drainage tube for my thyroidectomy, but I had a drain years ago when I developed an abscess following an abdominal surgery. It really is shocking how long the tube is. Mine wasn't flat, though. I remember it was curled up into a spiral, and that's what kept it from falling out.

My neck was a little bruised around my incision for a week or so following my surgery (also covered by steri-strips) so I didn't take a lot of photos, and now I wish I had. It would have been nice to have more photos to look back on to see how much progress I've made in healing.

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#4 Aug. 19, 2017 20:28:46

barbra
From: Hagerstown, MD.
Registered: 2013-05-23
Posts: 148
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Hi emmtee,

My doctor said that on one side there was very little of the thyroid left and what was there was scar tissue. On the other side the thyroid was still the original size, just all scar tissue. So, evidently, over the years the tissue does disappear. Don't know where it goes, though.
I'm glad it's all done. I hope the scar will someday only be a thin line, like the doctor said.
I am signed up with a Patient Health Portal from the hospital and the doctor posted the surgery report. That is truly interesting reading - a blow by blow account of everything done in the operating room and how it was done. Fascinating!

Hugs.
Barbra.


I'm a little wounded, but I am not slain; I will lay me down for to bleed awhile. Then I will rise and fight with you again.
J. Dryden

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#5 Aug. 22, 2017 16:59:57

barbra
From: Hagerstown, MD.
Registered: 2013-05-23
Posts: 148
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Hi emmtee,

I had an appointment this morning with the surgeon so I asked her again about the disappearing thyroid and she said RAI shrivels it up over time and that's how it gets smaller.
She peeled off some of the glue and what I can see so far looks good.
She also had the pathology report of the goiter, nodules and thyroid tissue. They are not sure about their diagnosis and did not commit themselves one way or another. So, they are sending everything on to Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania. In another week or so I should know something.
I feel fine, no pain and no effect from the dosage change of Synthroid.
I hope it stays that way.

Hugs.
Barbra.


I'm a little wounded, but I am not slain; I will lay me down for to bleed awhile. Then I will rise and fight with you again.
J. Dryden

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#6 Aug. 25, 2017 06:02:40

emmtee
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 110
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

My surgeon gave me a copy of her report, and in the hospital she showed me photos of my thyroid. I was really interested in them, so she she put several of them on a disk for me. She wanted to use one of the photos for a paper she was going to write. Apparently I had perfectly formed “Zukerkandl's tubercles”. (It kind of an appendage on the side of the thyroid that not everyone has, or some people only have them on one side).

Good luck with your pathology. I imagine that this is a really unusual case - a thyroidectomy after RAI, so it's good that they're checking everything out thoroughly.

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#7 Aug. 28, 2017 08:36:19

barbra
From: Hagerstown, MD.
Registered: 2013-05-23
Posts: 148
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Hi,

Good news.
I just got the result from the pathology department at Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
The diagnosis is: Follicular adenoma, oncocytic (Hurthle cell) type.
Which translated evidently means it's benign.

Saw the Endo this morning and everything looks good. Keeping an eye on the calcium level. Still taking Tums 1000 mg 3 times a day.

I am feeling well, normal and good as new.

I wish you all the very best and hope you find your “normal” very soon.

Hugs.
Barbra.


I'm a little wounded, but I am not slain; I will lay me down for to bleed awhile. Then I will rise and fight with you again.
J. Dryden

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#8 Aug. 28, 2017 10:42:33

Kimberly
Online Facilitator
Registered: 2008-10-14
Posts: 3991
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Hi Barbra - So glad to hear that the surgery is behind you and that you got good news from the pathology report. Definitely keep us updated on how you are doing!


Kimberly
GDATF Forum Facilitator

…through nature's inflexible grace, I'm learning to live…
– Dream Theater

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#9 Aug. 28, 2017 11:23:26

flora
Registered: 2013-03-28
Posts: 130
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Just chiming in to say how happy I am for you, too, barbra! All over and done with - good for you!

All the best,
flora


… there was a star danced, and under that was I born.

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#10 Aug. 29, 2017 00:08:23

emmtee
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 110
Profile  

After a long absence, back again!

Congratulations on your benign diagnosis. :-) It sounds like you had the same kind of tumor that I did, but my pathologists worded it a little differently: “Hurthle cell adenoma, 7.0 cm in greatest dimension, benign.”

This is a type of tumor that's “encapsulated” - it grows inside of a capsule of tissue that isolates it from the rest of your thyroid. As long as all the hurthle cells stay inside the capsule, it's considered benign. If they escape, that's when they start calling it cancer. The pathologists have to examine all the tissue of the perimeter of the capsule before they can issue a diagnosis, and that's why it takes so long to get their report. It's not like other cancers where they can diagnose them based on a biopsy.

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