Thursday, July 3, 2014

Not Radioactive Man...Just a Mild-Mannered Reporter

Found out this morning that I won't need to be Radioactive Man after all! 

My endocrinologist said the pathology report stated that the encapsulated nodule removed during my thyroid cancer surgery was much smaller than I had thought previously, meaning I won't require radioactive iodine treatment. So I won’t be driving my wife Michelle nuts from my worries about this anymore!

Things have really gone way better than I had anticipated in the past month! 

- Mike

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Looking Back and Looking Forward--A New Hope

Like Luke Skywalker when he stared into the binary sunset on his home planet of Tattooine in Star Wars, it's amazing when looking forward how much things can change in a short period of time.

One month ago today, I was driving back to Tennessee with my boys after an extended weekend in Chicago. My endocrinologist appointment was scheduled for the following day, and that was on my mind. My biggest fear then was that I was going to get poked with needles in my neck for a biopsy on my enlarged thyroid.

When I was in Chicago, my parents assured me that the biopsy for an enlarged thyroid was no big deal. My mom had it done twice--both times with benign results. Back then, I hadn't really noticed the enlarged thyroid, which externally looked like another Adam's apple on my neck, just below my actual Adam's apple. To me, the position of the "extra" Adam's apple reminded me of the extra sun on Tattooine.

The nice thing about Blogger is that I can backdate posts, and since my blog is new, I plan to write in detail what happened on particular days. To give you a quick summary of what happened, my endocrinologist said I had a two percent chance of having thyroid cancer. I left the appointment feeling pretty confident that I wouldn't have thyroid cancer. However, three days later, my endocrinologist received the biopsy results back early, and I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Two weeks after my endocrinologist appointment, I had a total thyroidectomy (TT), which removed the cancerous nodule as well as my thyroid gland. The surgery was a success, and I'm doing well.

Now I have to take a thyroid hormone replacement pill daily for the rest of my life. And I have an appointment tomorrow to determine whether I need to have radioactive iodine treatment (RAI), which is a one-time pill that will ensure that no trace of the cancer is left.

And I wasn't the only one with an unlucky month in June. Six days after my diagnosis, my wife Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer. She just had her MRI yesterday, and we are meeting on Monday to discuss what's next.

The journey is not over for either of us. But things look good for us. Both of our cancers were caught early. It's literally "A New Hope." Check back for backdated posts about the recent experiences from both me and Michelle, and look forward to new posts regularly.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Enlarged Thyroid? I've Got a Bad Feeling About This!

It's been a couple of years since my last checkup with my doctor. I thought I was going to get the regular spiel from my doc: My cholesterol is a little high, I should lose a little weight...yada, yada, yada.

So around the end of my checkup, my doctor checks my neck. I've never given this too much thought. My doctor usually gave it a quick check and that was that. 

However, this time was different. "You have an enlarged thyroid," my doctor said. 

While I've always heard of the word thyroid, I really am unaware what it does. I'm even more unaware of what an enlarged thyroid means, but as Han Solo would say, "I've got a bad feeling about this!"

The next step is a trip to the nearby hospital in a couple of days to get an ultrasound. I hope they don't find an alien in my neck!