Hi Karen, Thanks very much for your response (you too Reece ). I've been feeling pretty good since the surgery - just a little tightness around the incision and neck area.
Meanwhile, I've been doing some research on the American Cancer Society's website (cancer.org), which has made me contemplate not having the second surgery on Tuesday. From the information I've read, it appears that since the ultrasound was negative for cancer in the lymph nodes and based on my age (37), I am a Stage I case. If I was over 45, I'd be considered Stage III. The strategy for treatment is based on what Stage you fall into.
I think the main reason the second surgery is being recommended is because of the size of the nodule (5.5 cm), but the pathology report stated that it was encapsulated (although it also said with minimal vascular invasion, which from what I understand means blood vessels). I think that is the part that is causing the concern, so I have to learn more about that.
So, my new question for anyone that has had a second surgery is whether they had spreading to the lymph nodes and if they were over 45 at the time? Also, what is the follow-up/monitoring procedure for people that do not have a thyroidectomy and RAI that have thyroid cancer? Do I get ultrasounds every six months?
Now this is just what I am passing on from a man at church that has dealt with this. He had his thyroid removed and a year later it showed up in a lymph node and I guess he hadn't had the second surgery. I can ask my Mom more about it as he is a friend of hers. I know it was not a big concern though. It seemed like they treated it pretty lightly. I also have a neighbor who had advanced thyroid cancer and it showed up all over when they did her scan but the rai kills all the cells as she explained it. Like if you have cancer in another part of your body it is still thyroid cancer which is killed off by the rai.
I am sorry you are dealing with this. My mother in law and I were just talking about how we wish we could just get ours out because we both have these nodules and you just don't know for sure. Just like what happened with the secretary of defense...........( his name escapes me ). He had been told for years they were benign and then he had it out and it was cancerous.
Thanks for the information. I'm going ahead with surgery tomorrow at 7:30 a.m! I'll probably won't get home until Wednesday or Thursday....looking forward to it being over! All this researching and worrying takes up a lot of energy (hahaha)!
You'll have to fill me in on your situation. How come you and your mother-in-law can't get your nodules removed?
All this talk about "nodules" - I never even heard the word before all this started!