Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thyroid Post-Game Show Part 2

Last Friday, about a week-and-a-half or so after having my thyroid taken out, I started my Levothyroxine regimen. My primary care physician and I will work on determining the correct daily dosage. I was surprised at how little was actually required. Right now each pill contains 25 micrograms of the active ingredient. Makes you wonder what's in the rest of that 1/2 gram pill. I will be on this drug for the rest of my life.

Yesterday was my last visit with my surgeon. The final result of my biopsy was in and he needed to do his standard post-op check up. The main reason my thyroid was so enlarged was goiter however the biopsy turned up two small cancerous nodules (measuring 3mm and 1mm) one on each side. The guidelines for what to do next are pretty clear. Do nothing. My surgeon and the pathology report both indicated the tumors were completely contained and there is no indication that the cancer has advanced outside the thyroid. These tumors can almost be considered "pre-cancer" and basically they are nothing to worry about. So I'm not going to worry about them. The only alternate course of action is radioactive iodine treatment. Unless my primary care doc thinks it's worth doing, I'm going to skip it. These types of tumors are actually quite common and usually pose no threat. Later in life there was a chance that these tumors could have evolved (devolved?) into something really nasty but we won't know. Those little bastards are sitting in some pathology lab getting ready to be incinerated or whatever they do to incorrigible organs after they are separated from their owners, chopped up, and analyzed. The biopsy contained some other good news. There was no parathyroid tissue found in the sample so it looks like my surgeon did a good job keeping those calcium regulating babies intact.

So the $64,000.00 question is was it worth taking out my thyroid? Unfortunately I'll never know. I probably could have treated the enlarged thyroid with drugs but there were those tiny tumors in there which later in life could have blossomed into a real problem. If given this information I probably would have taken the same course of action.

This is probably all I'm writing about this unless some really big news comes up. I hope these posts are helpful for anyone facing the same choices. I found it extremely comforting to talk to other people who went through this experience and I'd be happy to converse, publicly or privately, with anyone who's been diagnosed. You know how to reach me.

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