Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Here is my neck before ultrasound and after ultrasound. The marker is my tag for the next 24 hours. The surgeon will use them tomorrow to know where he is going to make his incision.
The next photos we'll upload will be after the operation (which is Wednesday July 2nd)! I'm quite nervous and definitely feeling like I'll be lucky to get out of the surgery without any complications. Each of the two prior surgeries makes this third one even more difficult. The first was in March of 2005 and involved removing my thyroid and 52 lymph nodes from my neck and mediastinum, 48 of those had papillary thyroid cancer in them. The second was in August 2006 (a week after I took my MCAT) and involved removing 13 lymph nodes. I think all of those had cancer in them.
Now there are 11 lymph nodes...which leaves a few questions that have been on my mind.
1. How many freakin lymph nodes are there in my neck?
2. Has the cancer been controlled the last 3 years or did it grow?
The surgeon that is doing my surgery said that almost no matter what, I would have needed multiple surgeries because there were so many metastases. However, if he would have done my first surgery he would have taken out every single lymph node he could find. That would often be ~80. This is all a lesson in the fact that world class medical centers across the country often have different schools of thought or philosophies of doing things. I was treated a little bit parsimoniously with regard to surgery and very aggressively with radioactive iodine. There was nothing wrong with this treatment, it just didn't work well for me.
So the answers to the questions above are: lots (>80) and it has probably been the way it is now since right after my second surgery. So it probably has not gotten worse.
ok, bye bye.