Thursday, October 25, 2012

a new doctor

hello and happy autumn...

today I met with my new endocrinologist at Virginia Mason that my surgeon recommended. Great news: I really like her! She spent over an hour with me reviewing my history, doing an ultrasound right there, and making a plan. She was very thorough and relaxed, and I felt like she really listened to me. She comes from UCSF and is very up to date on thyroid cancer and treatment. She praised my surgeon again and again with his ability to resect my tumor from my nerve. She was amazed that I am still able to talk, and said that even the best surgeons at UCSF probably would not have been able to leave me with a voice.

one thing that I loved about her was that when I told her I am vegan she exclaimed how great & healthy that is, and agrees that it will help with healing. It was nice to have such an informed doctor. I was disappointed to hear that the weight gain I've experienced since my thyroidectomy is just my body's reaction to not having a thyroid, and that the only way to reverse it is to change my medication dose, which we can't do because we have to keep the cancer suppressed. Can't I have a thyroid transplant? I miss my thyroid so much! ;-)

on the ultrasound she did find a small nodule next to the nerve again. It is too small to operate on at this point, so we will watch it carefully and if it grows then consider our treatment options. She ordered some lab work and a full neck ultrasound, which I will do on Monday. If that confirms what she saw today, we will do a repeat ultrasound and labwork in 4 months to monitor it. Ultrasound is better at detecting these recurrences like this, whereas surgeons prefer the CT (like I had a couple of weeks ago) is better for surgeons for planning their surgerys, hence why my surgeon ordered a CT instead of an ultrasound, and why this doctor wanted to do an ultrasound as well.

so, for now, more healthy living, fresh veggies, and I will update you after my ultrasound results next week.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Happy Autumn, my loves! It has continued to be unseasonably warm and sunny here in Seattle, but the days are getting progressively shorter and there is a briskness in the morning air.

I had my CT scan yesterday and met with my surgeon today to discuss the results. The great news is the scan was normal and there's no evidence of the tumor that was resected in April! The surgeon was incredibly honest with me, and said that no one really has any clue what will happen in my future. He says that external beam radiation really is only effective if done in the first 6-8 weeks post-op, and since I am now nearly 6 months from surgery, he recommends waiting at this point, and saving it in our "bag of tricks" if I have another surgery. He is not very convinced that I will never have to have another surgery, but reassured me that even if he has to take out a piece of my carotid, he can do a vein graft, and patients can do very well with this. If he has to take out the vagus nerve, however, I would have some significant quality of life issues. For now, he says we will "watch it like a hawk." He also set me up with a new endocrinologist at VM that he speaks very highly of. It will be wonderful to have all of my care in one place and for my doctors to be able to easily confer with each other. I have an appointment with her on October 25.

So, the good news is there's no bad news!

Back to work now...xoxo

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Or, not waiting.

Hi lovelies,

I discussed my plan with my surgeon, and he does not feel comfortable with my endocrinologist's plan of waiting and seeing. He is ordering a CT scan now to check. I do trust him, as he has been in there and seen exactly what the cancer was doing. He says he remembers me well, so I think it's smart to go ahead and have this scan. I will let you know the results when I know....