You might want to look over my Thyroid care and concerns post part 7. This is a blurb from the first or second page that I thought might be reassuring.
There are 4 major types of thyroid cancer -- papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic. Differentiated tumors are highly treatable and usually curable. The common types of differentiated tumors are papillary or follicular. Treatment is a TT with follow up RAI.
The prognosis for differentiated carcinomas (75% of cancer is papillary or 15% is follicular.. papillary is the least aggressive of the thyroid cancers
) is better for patients younger than 40 years without extension of the tumor beyond the thyroid. This is you. Your cancer was contained small and never out of the proverbial box..
So you got the bugger out earlier than later.. good for you and your MDs. Age appears to be the single most important prognostic factor, the younger you are the more aggressive you can be in treatment and thus the better your chances. Ages over 70 have issues with RAI and surgery complications.. so don't start panicking at the age of 50. Once a TT and RAI have been performed you should monitor your Tg levels every 3-6 months. An elevated serum thyroglobulin level after a TT and RAI correlates strongly with a recurrent tumor when found in patients with a previous history of differentiated thyroid cancer.
So all in all the statistics on long term studies show you are going to be hypothyroid for life. Gotta love the MDs and there statement of the obvious. I guess having a TT and RAI is nothing.. but then you have to tell the patient, "I am sorry you are going to be hypoT now.." is the worst, DUH!
My MD cracked me up this past Friday, she did the, "I am sorry, with your autoimmune issues you are going to be hypothyroid for life.. it is just taking its time to get there.. I know it is a hard pill to swallow and adjust too.." I busted out with giggles at this point and told her, "Actually the pills are quite small and go down real easy. You are just dependent on them.
" It helps to keep it light. You can live well hypoT as long as you have a good MD that stays on top of your levels and medication needs.
But back to the point at hand, two bulk studies tracking long term post cancer TT patients showed on average 99% of papillary cancer patients in a similar state of progression to you had no re-occurrence of thyroid cancer in 20+ year post surgery studies. Basically once it is out it is out. Thus the odds for a long and happy.. thyroid supplemented life are in your favor.
As to telling your parents. Well wait until they get back from their trip. Meet them for dinner and let them know the facts. Be up beat and let them know that all is well and the bad stuff is gone. I am glad that your surgery went so well and I wish you and yours the best.