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Paralyzed Vocal Cord(s) & RAI

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Old 07-16-2008, 09:10 PM   #1
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Paralyzed Vocal Cord(s) & RAI

Hi all! Still pretty new here, but thought I'd ask: anybody have any experience to share with having paralyzed vocal cords and going through RAI?? I'm 14 weeks post op of TT with some pretty serious complications. I have stage 3 papillary cancer. There were several foci on both lobes of the thyroid, along with 5 out of 15 lymph nodes coming back cancer, and the "sacrifice" (as they called it in the surgical report) of the right laryngeal nerve (it was encased in cancer).

This has left me with breathing/swallowing/speaking issues. I am getting better, but due to the complications (my vocal cords are stuck at about midline, so the swelling after surgery almost landed me with a tracheostomy), when I had my nuclear medicine consult, that doc consulted with my endo and they decided to postpone the radiation to give the vocal cords longer to heal. The nuclear medicine doc explained the chemistry of the RAI to me and that when the RAI enters the cancer cells, the RAI causes the cancer cells to swell. Therefore, it's conceivable that if I have several cancer cells in my throat, when the RAI hits them, I ***could*** end up in breathing trouble.

It's a balancing act though, as they don't want to wait too long to give me the RAI. So - it's scheduled for the first part of August. I am going into this as positive as I possibly can and realize that the RAI, given the stage of my cancer, is critical. I just don't want to end up in {tracheostomy-land} if I can help it ! So - just wondering if anyone else has had the RAI with the vocal cord issue and how did it go?

Oh yea - if I hear one more time "you're not the norm" I might - just ***might*** scream

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Old 07-17-2008, 05:53 AM   #2
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Re: Paralyzed Vocal Cord(s) & RAI

In the meantime, tell your endo. you want the tsh suppressed, so you don't have to worry about additional tissue growth, and don't worry, you'll get your treatment when all the swelling goes away, it took a long time for the cancer to get there, you have plenty of time to get your RAI.

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