Friday, April 1, 2011
New bumps: part 3
The schedule went something like this:
Wake up, drink coffee, eat, then head to the hospital.
I had the biopsy under ultrasound guidance around 10:30. Basically they stuck 6 needles into each of the two nodes and moved them around a bunch. This was after they numbed me sufficiently with lidocaine. The funny thing was the docs kept asking me yes/no questions while the needles were in my neck, a situation where I'm not supposed to move or talk. Anyway, they got lots of tissue.
Unfortunately we still don't have a definitive answer as to what is going on. But, the absolute great news is that the thing causing the lymph nodes to be big is definitely NOT what I feared most (anaplastic thyroid cancer, aka poorly-differentiated). Again, what I have in these nodes is NOT that. Yeah!!!
Now the weird news:
-If it were the same kind of thyroid cancer as I've had this entire time, they would have been able to tell that easily. But, they couldn't.
-One of the things prominent in the biopsied tissues is a lot of lymphocytes. Some of them are atypical (normal english translation= white blood cells responded to an infection or inflammation). But, there were a lot of lymphocytes and a cancer of the lymphocytes, aka lymphoma, could not be ruled out. That being said, they need to put a bunch of stains on the tissue to see if the cells are all the same (clonal). If so, then I have lymphoma. Then they need to figure out what kind. If not clonal, then I have some kind of weird viral infection with no other obvious symptoms.
But, there still is a chance that this could be inflammation due to my old friend, papillary thyroid cancer...and that those particular cancer cells are in those swollen lymph nodes.
So, more waiting.