Re: Papillary Thyroid Cancer
I'm so sorry about your diagnosis. I had the same thing, 4.5 years ago, and the good news is, I'm fine.
First, you don't have to worry about timing. My surgeon was pretty booked, and I was planning a vacation, so mine was scheduled for after the vacation, and my surgeon, a thyroid specialist, thought it was fine, as thyroid cancer, especially pappillary is very slow growing. Mine was scheduled about 7 weeks from the date I met my surgeon, it took from october of finding nodule, to february to having my surgery.
If pappillary does spread, it's usually in the neck, but it's likely yours hasn't. Whether it spreads to lymph nodes, or other structures (my 2.5 cm had spread to the muscle long before without my knowledge) you treat it with the same RAI treatment after surgery that you do if it hasn't spread. And with pappillary it's very effective, and it's curable.
The main thing is to have a great surgeon, and an endocronologist with a lot of thyroid cancer experience, and you should do great. Ask about having thyrogen with your RAI treatment so you don't have to go without medication, and make sure that afterward your TSH is kept suppressed at a low number with medication so that you don't have to worry about a recurrence.
Best of success with your surgery---mine was pretty easy.