Saturday, October 9, 2010

Keeping My Chin Up

Yesterday I learned that I have three nodules in my thyroid that need to be biopsied. I won't lie, I am scared to death that I have cancer. This all started when I was pregnant with Clara and when I went to an Urgent Care clinic for a massive headache. The nurse practitioner examining me asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked. "No" I said, "Why?". "Well it seems a little larger than normal" she said. "Great", I thought, another thing to worry about. My head hurt so bad I thought I might be dying of a brain tumor and now my thyroid was enlarged. So I followed up with my OBGYN who said that my thyroid felt fine and that if I was concerned after I had the baby, I could get it looked at.

Months went by and all I have been hearing about on TV (Dr. Oz), in magazines (People) and seeing around me is thyroid awareness because thyroid cancer is on the rise in young women. I heard somewhere that women are 12% more likely to get thyroid cancer than they were in the 90's and this is a cancer that doesn't care about age. Many young women are being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. So I finally scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician last Monday. I told him about my concerns and I also showed him a lump on the back of my neck. He too did not seem alarmed. He said that my thyroid felt fine and that the lump on my neck was likely a calcified lymph node (which is pretty common). He ordered an ultrasound to put me at ease and off I went with my ultrasound order.

I was seen at an imaging center on Thursday and received my results on Friday (yesterday). I have three nodules in my thyroid. On a more positive note, the lymph node in the back of my neck appeared to be normal tissue. The nodules in my thyroid are of varying consistency, one is solid, one is cystic and one is soft. The solid one is 1.5 cm (right side) and the other two are 1.6 cm and 1.1 cm (left side). The solid one is of biggest concern and the cystic one may contain solid elements. My next step is to sit for a consultation with a surgeon and then schedule a biopsy which I hear is a horrible experience. I have a co-worker who had this happen to her and she ended up with thyroid cancer. She was at a routine doctor visit when they discovered her lump (visually). She was only 25 at the time... yikes.

Of course I've done my research already and I know that only 5% of thyroid nodules are cancerous and that if you have more than one it is actually more favorable than just having one. I was also told by my doctor that " I can tell you until I'm blue in the face that these are not cancerous, but we wont know until they are biopsied". Another thing is that if this is cancer, it is supposedly the type to get because it is slow growing, can be completely removed if caught early enough and doesn't require chemotherapy. My concerns are that they are all of different consistency and that I do still have that swollen lymph node in the back of my neck. What if one of them is cancerous and it spread? The fear of the unknown is the worst ;o(. So I guess I wait.

As long as this remains a sappy post I might as well also mention that I think I am finished nursing Clara. I am really sad about it. I don't know why it has been hard for me to stop nursing both times, but it really has been an emotional decision. Maybe it is because I feel like I would keep going if I could, but I am just not producing enough milk to keep going... I blame work for that. I am allowed enough time to pump at work, but the stress and varying times that I can pump play a huge roll in my supply. So with Aiyana I nursed until 8 months and Clara 9... if Our Heavenly Father blesses me with another baby some day maybe I'll make it to 10 months nursing.

1 comment:

tbsomeday said...

oh amber...i'm so sorry you have all this going on right now
i will hope and pray you get in quickly for your biopsy and that the news is great and gives you peace after all these health worries you've been stuck with

try not to focus on the worst--because i promise it does not make it any more less likely to happen and it only steals your joy from today
i know it's hard--i tend to think thinking the worst will somehow "help" and "make it easier" if it does happen
but from experience--it does not

i know that's easier to say than to do

and good for you for nursing clara for nine months--that's a lot longer than most babies get

give yourself somea(a lot) credit-feel good about how much you gave her instead of bad for not going longer