Discussions that mention synthroid

Cancer: Thyroid board


Hi Indo,
I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer about a year and a half ago at age 23. My Dr. just happened to feel around on my neck during a physical and felt a nodule on my thyroid. I went in for a scan...found out it was a cold nodule and then had a fna biopsy which turned out "suspicious". I didn't find out it was malignant until they removed half of my thyroid. I then went in for a 2nd surgery to have the rest of my thyroid removed. I've had 2 Radioactive Iodine treatments since then(to kill residual thyroid tissue in my neck) and I'm now doing well. I have to have annual scans and blood work done every 3 months or so, but I'm back to my "normal" life again. Honestly, the hardest part was adjusting to not having a thyroid. I've had a difficult time finding the right dose of synthroid(thyroid hormone replacement), but I'm thankful that thyroid cancer is so treatable.

Like Ruth said, thyroid cancer is HIGHLY curable. I know how scary it is to hear you have cancer - no matter what type of cancer it is. It will get easier once it sinks in that this type of cancer is so treatable. Once your thyroid is removed, they will probably give you a Radioactive Iodine treatment. This treatment is highly effective and has little to no side effects. Even if your cancer has spread...this treatment will "kill" it no matter where it is in your body.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have. I would also recommend posting over on the "thyroid" board. There are a few others on there who have gone through this, too.

(((hugs)))
Hilery
Indo,
Do you know what type of thyroid cancer it is? I'm assuming it is probably papillary since it was in your lymph node. More than 80% of all thyroid cancers are either papillary, follicular or a mixture of both. Both of these types are almost 100% curable.

You'll most likely be under general anesthesia. I had 2 surgeries because they didn't know if my tumor was malignant or not before my first surgery. I went back 2 weeks later to have the rest of my thyroid removed(once the path report came back saying it was malignant). My first surgery went really well. I didn't even have to stay overnight in the hospital. My surgery was at 8am and I was able to go home around 5pm. The surgery itself doesn't take long at all...I spent most of the day in recovery. I did experience some nausua and breathing problems post-surgery due to the anesthesia. I was pretty sore for 3 or 4 days and it was hard to cough, swallow and turn my neck. My 2nd surgery was a little bit worse since I was still recovering from the 1st one. I had to stay in the hospital for 2 days the 2nd time. Again, I was sore for a few days, but I was given pain medication which helped a lot. Overall, neither surgery was as bad as I expected. I think most people have to stay 2-3 days in the hospital following a total thyroidectomy. It depends on your surgeon. Do you know if they are going to do a neck dissection(removal of the lymph nodes) as well? I didn't have to have this done, but it isn't uncommon for them to do this, too.

As for life with Synthroid...
I've had a difficult time adjusting to it. I've been on several different doses so far and I'm still having a lot of hyper symptoms(fast heart rate, feeling anxious, weight loss, etc.). The goal of treatment with synthroid(for thyroid CA patients) is to suppress your TSH, so most post thyroid cancer patients have to be a little hyperthyroid. From what I've read, most people don't have as much trouble as I am adjusting to this med. My Rad. Onc. told me most of his patients feel well again within 6-8 weeks after starting synthroid.

I wish you the best of luck. I know you'll be just fine. Make sure your surgeon is experienced...ask lots of questions.
I'll keep you in my prayers :angel:
Hilery
Indo,

I consider myself young at the age of 39. In May of '04, I went to see my ob for my initial visit to her due to being pregnant. She felt my neck, thought it was swollen a bit, sent me for an US. Long story short....I was diagnosed with papillary cancer. I had the surgery when I was 18 weeks pregnant and now have a 3 month old healthy baby boy (my 4th child). I have a lot to live for and this cancer is not going to stop me. Since I couldn't be treated at that time due to being pregnant, I am now off my synthroid in preparation for the RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment. The surgery, for me, went better than expected. Looking back, I don't know how I didn't see how swollen my thyroid (neck region) on the left side was. My tumor was growing up towards my ear, so my scar runs along across my throat and up towards my left ear. I had a neck dissection and about 12 or so lymph nodes were positive for the cancer. My surgeon said that if it does spread to the lymph nodes, the prognosis wasn't any worse, just recurrence is at a higher percentage. My surgery was to last 7 hours, it only lasted 5. I had to stay in the hospital as long as my drainage tubes were still in, which was 2 nights. The surgery wasn't bad for me, just the fact that I was there, dealing with something I just found out and missing my kids were the hardest thing to me.

Like a poster said earlier, don't start changing your goals/plans/dreams in life. You must go on and don't let the cancer change anything!! I remember shortly after being diagnosed, I was watching a newscast where I forget who it was they were interviewing, but he was diagnosed with some type of incurable disease and the interviewer asked how do you go on with your daily life..and the man with the disease replied that it's not what you do at the time of your diagnosis, it's what you do after you've been diagnosed is what matters most. I know it takes time for everything to sink in. Also, for me, I was at a healing mass where a woman stood up and she had a testimony for the person who was praying over people..(unfortunaley rules prohibit me to share the man's name). She was diagnosed with some type of stage IV cancer that originated in her stomach and had spread...the last thing she said is that you have to be proactive in your treatment. You just can't sit there and let it take over you. Of course, she is completely healed of her cancer. My endo said it's more of a bother than a threat.

Let us know what your plan of treatment is and your diagnosis. My prayers are with you and God will sustain you through it all. Believe me, I look back and can't believe how I've made it through so far. You have to keep on going and don't let it get you!!! Take care and God Bless You!