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Cancer: Thyroid Message Board
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: FL, USA
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My dilemma...

It all started with a enlarged lymph node in my neck that I mentioned to drs for the last 2 years. They never thought it was anything and for me to let them know if it felt like it had gotten larger.

A 3 weeks ago I mentioned it to a physicians assistant that was filling in for my reg dr. She sent me right upstairs for an ultrasound.

This past monday I got a call from the clinics nurse telling me I have many nodules on my thyroid plus a very enlarged submandibular lymph node. She had already made me an appt with an endocrinalogist for the next day. So Tuesday I went to that appt. I had thyroid bloodwork done on Tuesday and they made me an appt for this Monday for some kind of radioactive scan at the hospital.. Then this coming Thursday I will have a fine needle biopsy of the thyroid and the lymph node.

I am a 52 yr old student getting ready to start my 2nd semester Jan 14th. I know all this is going to take some time, especially if I need surgery as my dr suspects. One of the thyroid masses is large enough that regardless of cancerous or not she thinks it may need removed.

I have to pay for my upcoming semester of school and drop with my money returned by the end of the first week. I don't know what to do. I want to just carry on with school and hope it all works out.

Looking at the worst case scenerios... Did any of you work or continue going to school during treatments, surgery and so on?

I know I am getting way ahead of myself but I am the type that likes to think out all the options. Right now I am not worried or stressed about this except about how I will handle school. I worked many years slowly taking my pre-reqs, waiting until all 4 of my kids finished high school, and preparing to get accepted to a very difficult to get into program.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by mod85; 12-17-2012 at 07:33 PM.

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: My dilemma...

It depends. Nothing with thyroid is emergency. You could wait until the next semester is over. Or you could wait for certain things to come out at a better time for you.

First, I don't know why they sent you for nuclear scans---they are really of the past. It's really almost irrelevant if you have cold or hot nodules in terms of size. If your blood work is okay, it's more important to get a needle biopsy on any larger ones.

If you decide you need thyroid surgery, it is an overnight deal (because they have to monitor your calcium levels). If you are on thyroid meds already, it's not a big deal. If you aren't there might be some blood work adjustment period.

It's good to baby yourself for a week or so after surgery. So right before a break is a good time to schedule it. If this proved to be thyroid cancer, which I doubt, and you determined you needed RAI afterward, you could delay that for the summer, so if you had to be out a week or so you could do that easily.

I had an fna that was positive for thyroid cancer, and I scheduled my surgery for 2 months later because I had a vacation scheduled---it didn't impact anything.

Take your time to find a really great surgeon, don't panic and rush. Do what you need to do.

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Old 12-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Re: My dilemma...

I was suppose to have the I-123 done on Wednesday but they did not get the med in. The hospital changed it to Monday (tomorrow), but today I got the call saying they did not get it in again.

I am frustrated now because I am concerned that means my endo will push the biopsy back. I am tempted to just show up at the endo's office Thursday for the biopsy appt. They only do them on Thursdays because they move the ultrasound machine from their other offices.

I was going to call them tomorrow to tell them the problem I am having with the hospital but while writing this I have decided not to. I will just show up for the biopsy. They may not like it but oh well. The worst they can do is make me wait a little longer.

Old 12-17-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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Re: My dilemma...

Is it possible for you to see an ENT surgeon instead of the endo? They are also very good at evaluating nodules. That's who I used.

Tell them since it's been so difficult, you don't want a scan for now. You just want an fna.

Last edited by Reece; 12-17-2012 at 04:58 PM.

Old 12-20-2012, 07:21 AM   #5
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Re: My dilemma...

My Doctors and myself ignored a 2 inch lymph node in my neck for SEVENTEEN years. Yes, you heard that right. I would feel it every day to see if it was changing. Even my surgeon did not think it was anything. The reason it was addressed was because I did get a goiter, but the thyroid only had "clouds" of cancer.

I put off my surgery because I had tickets to some events. In most cases, thyroid cancer is slow growing and you could put off your treatment to coincide with your vacations between semesters. If you lived in Canada, it might take a year for them to fit you in for your RAI!! That's how seriously they take thyroid cancer!

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