Hey friends I thought I’d jump on the blog and give you a health update and share about my appointment that I had today with an endocrinologist to finally get an answer as to what to do about my thyroid nodules. That dreaded appointment has been hanging over my head like a massive weight for a couple of months!
But first I’ll backtrack a bit and fill you in. About five years ago I had a really bad cold that I couldn’t shake. I coughed so much that my neck was really hurting badly and so I went to the doctor. It must have hurt a lot because I try and avoid anything to do with doctors as much as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I do all the sensible required check-ups but anything medical always sends me into a real panic. Anyway, the doctor felt my neck and told me should could feel nodules on my thyroid. At this point, I really regretted having gone to see her because she wasn’t meant to find anything! My very thorough doctor sent me for scans and then when she got the results she suggested I get a fine needle aspiration just to check that one of the nodules… nodules…she said nodules!!! Not one, but multiple!! She wanted to rule out cancer. Well, that was the last time I went to see her! (dumb right, I know).
A long while later I went to see another doctor who told me what I wanted to hear. Let’s just monitor them and see if they grow. Yes, let’s.. that’s perfect! I’m down for monitoring instead of biopsies. Excellent! So for the next couple of years, I monitored and worried…. a lot. Instead of ruling out cancer with a simple fine needle aspiration. I just worried and consulted Dr Google…great plan.
Fine Needle Aspiration
Two years later the follow-up scans showed that something in one of the nodules was a bit suspicious and I really should get a fine needle aspiration. I cried, prayed and hyperventilated, I had a panic attack in my car. But I went ahead and had the FNA and the result came back. No cancer….phew! So I was sort of relieved but not really because the nodule at the front of my neck was bigger and obvious.
Two more years passed and one ultrasound later showed that the nodules had indeed grown slightly. Sigh! Then one day I was talking to a work colleague and she said “Hey what’s that tumour on your neck?” Holy cow! Not really a great thing to hear. And I really think that maybe some people need to remember to be less blunt!
Those words “Hey what’s that tumour on your neck” sent me into a spiral of incessant worry and self-consciousness. Every time I looked in the mirror there was the nodule. Every time I walked past a window and caught my reflection there was the nodule. Whenever I was talking to someone I would put my hand over my neck or use my hair to discreetly cover my neck. Some days I was just so tired and fed up feeling constantly worried, obsessing and feeling self-conscious. I got to the stage where I thought why don’t I just go ahead and draw a couple of eyes and a smiley face on my nodule, give it a name and introduce it to my friends as my new twin growing out of the front of my neck!
I’ve spent so long hiding my thyroid nodules that I didn’t have a pic to show you. So I snapped a quick one. See that guy in the middle of my neck? I think it looks bigger in real life.
I Got Brave……Finally!
Then one day this year I finally had enough! So I got brave and went ahead and made an appointment to see an endocrinologist. I waited a couple of months because the doctor was fully booked but finally, today was the day of my appointment. The doctor was efficient and I felt comfortable and confident that he would finally give me a solution. He checked me, asked questions and did an ultrasound on my neck. To my surprise, he told me that the obvious nodule at the front of my neck is not the problem!
Nope apparently I have many nodules but there is no cancer. I loved hearing those words ‘no cancer’. I could almost breathe again when I heard him say them. Even though I had been told that the nodules were benign a couple of years ago. Hearing this from the endocrinologist was extra comforting. But he said that I do have a large cyst on my thyroid and that’s the problem because it’s going to continue growing and never going to go away. He said it will cause pain and problems, especially when I get a cold or a cough. Apparently, coughing can cause the blood vessels to burst and make the cyst bleed internally. Ugh!
So he recommended that I have my thyroid removed. Yep hasta la vista thyroid! And do you know what? I have never felt so relieved in my whole life! I have been worried for so many years that now even the thought of surgery doesn’t feel as bad. Crazy right? My husband was with me and he was looking at me all shocked and I was like YES! Let’s do this asap!!
So I have an appointment to see the surgeon on the 14th of June and then have surgery on the 15th of June. Both are the first available appointments and I jumped on them! I know that as the day of the surgery gets closer I’ll be shaking like a leaf. The thought of going under anesthesia makes me feel uneasy. I haven’t had surgery since I was 4 when I had my tonsils removed. I am scared.
But today for the first time in years I am not worried and I’ll take that and run! Today I know that soon this will be behind me. And today I know that I can be brave even if it takes me years! Oh yes, and I should also be thankful to my work colleague. Maybe if she hadn’t said what she said I would still be worrying!
I am also holding on to this verse
Thanks so much for reading today and I hope you have a wonderful day!
14 thoughts on “Thyroid Nodules-Health Update”
My step father just had his thyroid removed (well 1/2 of it anyway; though after biopsying the mass they recommend he remove the rest of it now– his cyst was the size of a grapefruit!!) but he actually said the surgery wasn’t bad at all and he felt great within just a day or two. I was surprised at how relaxed I was when facing my hysterectomy; I just kept reminding myself that while this was huge for me I was in the hands of competent professionals who literally do surgery and anesthesia every day. Plus I had waited and obsessed and was in pain for so long that the surgery was actually a relief and something I began looking forward to. I am wishing you all the best with your surgery and recovery!!
Thank you so much Joanne. I honestly never thought that I would feel relieved about having surgery! But I really am!!
I’m so glad to hear that it wasn’t cancerous Ruth. I love that you are staying positive and I pray that you will have a speedy recovery after the surgery! 😘
Thanks Lucy 😘
Wow, I’m glad you are happy with the solution and that it will be taken care of!
Thanks Dara 😘
Aw, thank you for sharing all of that! It has not been an easy time worrying, and I’m so pleased to hear “no cancer”. Of course no one wants to have surgery, but if you have to, it is nice to be looked after. I find OR nurses to be the very best at making you feel comfortable and cared for, it almost makes me want to cry. It is also nice to have an actual excuse for taking it easy and not feel guilty about it, as I know many of us do. Take all the time to recover you need and don’t rush yourself.
Thanks Sarah, my husband said the same about taking time not to rush back to work etc. I’m going to listen to both of you 😘
I wouldn’t have noticed the nodule if you hadn’t have pointed it out, you have done a good job of hiding it. What a worry you have had, it’s fantastic news that it’s not cancer and brilliant that you are feeling so good about the surgery. Wishing you all of the best. x
Thank you Kim 😘
I’m so impressed they you finally bit the bullet Ruth,that the news was positive and all the best for June 15!!!a speedy recovery.
I am also in the bad habit of avoiding doctors-I always think-why is it that if my boys mention any ache/bump/anything…I am ready to go and see a doctor…but when it comes to me-I don’t want to know…
Thanks so much Alex! I’ll sure be glad when it’s all over! Xx
Well done for being brave Ruth and getting surgery. I totally get where you are coming from because I get so stressed when it comes to anything medical.
Craig had his thyroid out and was absolutely fine afterwards. Sending lots of love and hugs. xx 😘
Thanks so much Jayne. So happy to hear that Craig was well after the surgery 😊