I totally should be taking a shower right now, but I realized I haven't blogged in so long, and there's a lot to cover. So, I passed on my shower (for now, relax ;-] ) to update all of you in webland.
Last post, I mentioned that my Aunt Gracie (my mom's youngest sibling) was having biopsies of nodules in her thyroid. Well, those biopsies came back inconclusive, so she went in for surgery to remove her entire thyroid yesterday morning. Her (well, the family's, except me) endocrinologist stated that, considering our family history (which sucks at this rate), she should get her thyroid out. When we were on the phone after her appointment with him pertaining to her results, she said, "Dori, to be honest with you, I'm relieved. I want it out. Just take it. I'm already on Synthroid as it is." I agreed with her. I'm so proud of her attitude. We find out within the week if her thyroid tests positive for papillary thyroid cancer, or another type. That would certainly turn the tables, or at least knock them over.
On November 2, the whole lot of us (me, Mom, Janina, Aunt Rea, Aunt Gracie, cousin Melissa, cousin Jeanne, and her daughter Adrianna) all participated in a study that Johns Hopkins is conducting to find the genes responsible for thyroid cancer. When the family's endocrinologist told him about us, he was "very amazed" and said that our "case is so interesting." The doctor conducting the study said a lot of things that surprised me, yet made sense. 5% of thyroid cancer is the type that my family has, which is a familial cluster. He also told us (much to my dismay and disapproval) that the prognosis is "worse" for familial papillary thyroid cancer. Woo. One thing that definitely didn't surprise me, but it did reaffirm my suspicions, was that it takes "many years to spread," if there is spread. So, that pretty much means that me and Janina had it for a long time before it was discovered.
At any rate, they took blood work and information from us, as did the study from Ohio. Hopefully this will help further along the progress. I'd rather have my family get blood tests than ultrasounds every few years. Gross.
I finally have an update for you all! When we were at the study, we happened to be at the office across from my endocrinologist's office. She stopped by to say hi, then came back and told me there was a conflict with my appointment with her in late December (which would already have been about 2.5 months late). She asked if I could get my ultrasound done that morning. Well, duh! So, I got my ultrasound done, and when my endocrinologist came in, she said that they both saw something suspicious right above my second incision (the one along my neck crease in the middle of my neck). She said she wasn't sure if it was scar tissue, but she wants it biopsied and my blood work checked. I got my blood work done that day. My appointment with my surgeon for my very late follow-up (supposed to be in April; oops) is on Monday, and my biopsy is Wednesday. Hopefully my surgeon can give me a little bit more detail on what it is. Who knows.
At this point, I'm hopeful for the best, but expecting the worst. I can only think about the here and now, and that's the most important thing.
I hope that everything is well with you and yours. Many blessings of love, happiness, and -- most importantly -- good health.
Like Daughter, Like Mother: Our Thyroid Cancer Journey
Behind the Blog
Adelina is a full-time wife, mother, practice manager, and medical transcriptionist. After receiving an ultrasound and countless biopsies, she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer on December 11, 2009. She successfully underwent surgery on December 29, 2009, and had her first radioactive iodine treatment in February 2010. Following treatment, Adelina now sees her doctor once a year for follow-up. She has been doing well, and refuses to let cancer slow her down.
Dori is 26 years old. She was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 17 on June 1, 2006, just three days prior to her high school graduation. Dori endured two radioactive iodine treatments and two surgeries to remove her complete thyroid and 39 total lymph nodes from her neck. She is now under close watch by her doctors, and only time will tell if the cancer stays at bay.