About 7 years ago my step daughter and I were in a car accident while I was driving her to school. As a result, I ended up with two herniated discs in my neck. I went to physical therapy for a while, and stopped when I reached maximum improvement. That was their term, not mine.
Fast forward, six years…
Early last year, my neck muscles seemed to morph into re-bar, so I started PT again. They sent me for an MRI, to see if there was further deterioration of the discs. When the results came back I was told that there were a couple of spots on, or in my thyroid gland, and referred me to my GP. They suggested that I go right away.
My GP looked at the MRI and said there was something there that wasn’t supposed to be. He sent me for some blood work and an ultrasound. The tests revealed that I had 2 tumors in my thyroid gland.
My family doctor then referred me to an endocrinologist. He tells me not to sweat it; nodules (tumors) are very common in the thyroid. He will have to biopsy them, but the odds are very small that they are malignant.
He took eight needle biopsies and sent me home. I don’t want to skip the part about how it felt. He said it wouldn’t hurt at all, only pressure. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the guy, but what he told me
A week later, I went back for the results. When the Doctor came into the examination room, he sat down, shook his head, and started talking.
“What I have to say isn’t exactly bad news, its gray.”
“Gray? What the heck does that mean?”
“Gray means that all eight biopsies came back inconclusive.”
“Okay, now what?”
“You need your thyroid removed.”
“I thought you said the biopsies were inconclusive?"
“They were, but we don’t want to take a chance, the tumors could be malignant.”
“So it’s not really gray news after all, is it? It’s bad news!”
“They probably aren’t, but if they are, we want to get your thyroid out right away.”
“How is this not bad news?”
“Even if it is malignant, if you have to get cancer, thyroid cancer is the one you want. The odds are very much against it being malignant. Once they take it out, a full biopsy will be performed.”
“That really makes me feel a lot better," I lied.
He must have noticed my sarcasm, because he left me with the following information.
"On the scale of complicated surgeries, if brain surgery is a 10, and removing a cyst from your butt is a 1, thyroid removal is only about a 6 or 7."
Part 2 coming soon...