Health Problems – The Agony in Waiting – What’s wrong with my Thyroid?

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It’s been months since sleeping on my back was comfortable on my throat, at first I just attributed it to being my weight for too long. I didn’t think much of it and just had to figure out how to sleep on my side more.

Then came the being able to handle my blankets or sheet touching my neck, it was strange, but I’ve had issues with having clothes being too close to my neck.. and wearing necklaces hasn’t been comfortable for a couple of years. I just thought it was an anxiety thing, but blankets hadn’t really bothered me. I typically tucked them up under my chin in the super cold months.

It was just four weeks ago, roughly, that I noticed a range long lump in my throat, right where I knew my Thyroid was. Now, they’ve taken the very general test where they test various things in your blood including TSH. One of the things used to check your thyroid, they check it when you’re depressed and keep checking it to see if maybe that’s why. They also checked it when my massive fatigue and constant pain started happening. It’s never looked off though.

Still, I made a doctors appointment because it was becoming hard to sleep even on my side with this awful lump on my Thyroid. 

My doctor seemed pretty surprised I even knew where my thyroid was and what it does. I tend to pay a lot of attention when I am at any doctors appointment for me or the kids, and latch on to any information given because… I guess just because I like knowing things?

She could see it just by looking at me, and was really surprised to feel it too. So she ordered a bigger round of just thyroid blood tests, and an ultrasound. I almost fainted trying to give blood that day because that’s what happens when I don’t drink enough water (thanks body.) Even though I thought I had enough, I clearly didn’t.

I did manage to give blood the next business day (so Monday) and have my ultrasound the next day. Though she didn’t… couldn’t? say anything, I could tell the ultrasound tech was rather concerned while she was taking 53 pictures of my thyroid.

My left lobe of my thyroid was almost completely taken over by the large nodule that I could feel and was causing me breathing and sleeping issues, it was both cystic (fluid filled) and solid, meaning that it wasn’t just one of those simple ones they could just “ignore.” The right thyroid lobe had multiple nodules, all bigger than the “worrisome” size and all… completely solid.

I got a call the next day (Wednesday) blood tests are fine, ultrasound doesn’t look fine and now I need biopsies done. Shoot.

I knew from reading (perhaps too much reading in my worry) that solid nodules tend to be … bad. Plus the biopsy I was originally schedule for was one that meant I had to be put to sleep, and was extremely expensive. So now I had to stress what was wrong and how I am going to pay for it.

A couple of days later the nurse calls (she’s not very pleasant on the phone, but is nice in person? What even?) and says “now you’re going here and need to bring $100 because we’re doing a different biopsy.” When I asked why she was just blunt “because this is what I am told to tell you.”

Gee… thanks.

So suddenly my biopsy was two days sooner than planned, I needed money I didn’t know if I could get right away, and had even less time to prepare for needles being shoved into my thyroid.

Still.. I was lucky enough to have my parents come along with me to the biopsy, and my mom in the room. The numbing was the worse part of the procedure, and “just a bee sting” is not how I would describe it AT ALL. I was able to watch them biopsy the left nodule via the ultrasound screen. Which sounds scary, but was fascinating to be honest. I also spent some time looking at the face of the doctor performing the biopsy, he liked to curl his tongue out of the left side of his mouth as he focused. It was adorable and relatable, it helped me calm down a little.

They were able to remove 20cc of fluid from the mixed cystic and solid nodule on my left thyroid lobe. Sadly, it’s a little over a week later and it’s coming back. They did say the fluid might just come back again. So I am not too surprise, just a little bummed.

I was told my results would be ready by Friday, and my doctors office would call me.

It’s Wednesday the following week…

I haven’t been given results. I called yesterday at about 12:40PM and left a message to my doctors nurse, and it’s 2:25PM the next day and still haven’t heard anything.

My ability not to be too panicked is… dwindling.

Thyroid Biopsy marks

Here’s my neck about 14 hours after the thyroid biopsies were done. They checked the big one on the left (it was the only one on the left) and the largest one on my right lobe. I wasn’t allowed to take a shower for at least 12 hours after the procedure. I had some gel from the ultrasound making my neck still feel kind of gross and some had gotten in my hair. It was so nice to shower. I also wasn’t supposed to move my head or lift anything heavy for two days. That’s hard when you have a four year old who wants to be picked up and big kids who really need to learn how to clean up after themselves better.

Thankfully I can move my head again. My neck is getting sore again like it was before the biopsy and fluid removal. I am not sure what they’ll do now. Since no one is talking yet.

I know that the entire point of the biopsy was to check for cancer. No one has said as much from my doctors office, but the folks doing the biopsy did say so. So.. that’s fun. No.. no it’s not fun. Waiting around to know if you have cancer is scary. Waiting for results 5 days after you were told you’d hear results by… for me, is agony at this point. I’m doing everything I can to distract myself, but each time my phone rings I hope it’s my doctors office, just so I can know. At least if I know I can understand what’s going to happen next, I can prepare, I can.. be ready.

Do you know the signs of Thyroid cancer?

Many people don’t actually GET symptoms, surprisingly enough. Sometimes a tiny lump is found by surprise during a check for something else or a routine checkup.. and then low and behold…

From here are some signs and symptoms…
  • A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • A constant cough that is not due to a cold

Hopefully I hear from my doctor soon. Once I do, and am able to process whatever the heck it is, I’ll let you all know.


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