Sorry it has taken me a few days before I could write this, I had a lot of processing to do and also I've been busy getting ready to go to Mexico!
My biopsy came back positive for more cancer. Like I mentioned in my last post, this means more surgery, another radioactive iodine scan, and possibly more radioactive iodine treatment. I'm disappointed and frustrated but I'm trying to remain positive. We knew that the recurrence rate for this type of cancer was high, and my thyroglobulin never got below 0.9 so we knew that there was always some cancer remaining in my body. However, I know I can get through this all again with the incredible support system I have!
I have a consult set up with my surgeon at Virginia Mason on April 17. He is only in on Tuesdays and since I'll be in Mexico for the next two Tuesdays and I'm not about to change my vacation, I'll wait until the following Tuesday. This is the same surgeon who did my thyroidectomy and dissection last year, and I really trust him.
The biopsy was a terrible experience because the tumor is behind my carotid artery and they couldn't figure out how they were going to get to it. I was lying on their table, all prepped, while the doctors argued about how to get around the carotid and to the tumor. They had to decide the route they were going to take before they gave me my IV sedation. The attending warned that if they hit the jugular they could probably stop the bleeding, but it would be bad if they hit my carotid. I nearly jumped off the table and said to forget the biopsy - I would rather not bleed out on their table! But I had an IV in my arm and decided I'd rather just get this over with and trust that with ultrasound guidance they would be able to pass by the artery. They were considering aborting the procedure and asked me accusingly who authorized the biopsy. I was livid because they had the ultrasound report and could see for themselves what they were here to do but obviously they hadn't read it before prepping me. Finally they were able to put enough pressure on my neck to separate the veins and get to the tumor, and at last gave me my IV sedation, and the procedure was over before I knew it and I was safely on my way to recovery.
Knowing the challenge they had in getting to the tumor with the biopsy makes me nervous for the surgery, but I really trust my surgeon. After my consult I will know more about what to expect and schedule my surgery date.
Now, off to Puerto Vallarta for some sunshine and relaxation, and all the margaritas I can drink! I'll be back on the 11th.