Today is one of the scariest days I can remember. I have been waiting anxiously for this doctor’s appointment for a while. I feel great, and my meds are regulated and working, now it’s just time for the moment of truth- did everything work?
Before I tell you guys the results (because I’m sitting in the waiting room) I wanted to share the events around my diagnosis. It’s kind of a crazy story (at least for me).
It was a normal day, going to all the usual doctor’s appointments over the summer and what not. So I went to my lady doctor (ew gross) and was sitting in the room waiting for her. Now, this doctor isn’t very warn and friendly to begin with, so I already feel increasingly comfortable with the situation. This time she came in and with no real warning she grabs ahold of my neck and starts “palpating” my neck. Okay let’s be real, she was chocking me. Face red, eyes watering, coughing kind of chocking- I’m not exaggerating. After which, she proceeds to tell me (with a matter-of-fact kind of tone) that I “have a few lumps and I’ll need to get an ultrasound right away”. That’s a little scary to hear, but I wasn’t that worried. The human body is lumpy and with my medical history of weird things, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a lump. After my appointment, my mom confirmed by suspicion- “we have lumpy necks”.
I went to Newton Wellesley the next day for my neck ultrasound in the Women’s center. I get all dressed in my Johnny and take a seat in the private waiting room. No clock or phone on me. I made it half way through a magazine, sitting alone in this room, before someone stuck their head in and looked surprised to see me. She told me she would get someone for me. I finished my magazine and started and just finished an interesting article about whales and whale hunting when someone finally came to see me. 20 minutes of sitting alone.
The ultrasound was quiet. It’s a very weird feeling to get all that gooey gel in your neck. The technician was a student supervised by a superior and both were very quiet. They told me to lay down and relax while they looked over the results. I was in that room for 45 minutes- again, all alone. By the time I was released, my mom was ready to come find me!
The next day, I’m back at work with the Tobin kids. I received a phone call from my doctor and figured it would be a “hello, we have your results and I would appreciate it if you called me back” kind of deal. No. She said “they found suspicious nodes on your thyroid and you need to come in for a biopsy right away”. Here I am… In the bathroom… At work. She sounded so intense that I actually freaked out, left work early, and called my mom crying. I remember my coworker saying “these things happen all the time, You’ll be okay. I’ll see you on Tuesday when you come in healthy”.
After battling with the surgeon my obgyn booked, we were able to make an appointment with an associate of the endocrinology department at Mass General. First off, someone was finally telling me what was going on and why they were doing it. Secondly, he was nice. That’s important. Now, neck biopsies are not very fun. Kristin saw one that my surgeon did, so she can second that opinion. My endocrinologist needed to do a few of them. This inloved novicane and two biopsy needles that are I stabbed right into the node and literally wiggled around in order to collect as much as possible. Novicane helps with the needle puncture- NOT the wiggling! After looking like I made friends with Edward Cullen, he sat me down and told me “I want to let you know now, that I’ve seen this before and I’m 95% positive this is papillary thyroid cancer.” I remember the feeling the most. Kind of like when something terrible happens and you’re stomach cringes. I remember hearing the word cancer and immediately almost splitting in two- my emotional side and my rational side. My objective reality grabbed hold of the situation much faster than my subjective (like how I’m applying Soc vocabulary professor Cowan?). I looked at him and smiled and said “okay”. He told me he would call me with the results in a few days to verify. I shook his hand saying “thank you so much”. I walked out of his office and down the little hall to my parents. They stood up, we walked out and I told them he said it’s probably cancer. John: “T is this a joke?”. No, this is not a joke.
And here I am, 6 months later, after treatment.
Here is my ultrasound! Weird right?
Alright people, here it is! My ultrasound looks good, but I have antibodies attacking my thyroglobulin. They need to get an accurate reading either here or by shipping my blood work out to CA. Home stretch people!! I’m a little bummed to have to wait a tiny bit longer, but I feel good and it’s gonna damper my spirits!