Jun 20, 2009 - 9:46 pm
Hi, everyone! I just found out 3 days ago that I have papillary carcinoma in my thyroid. I am so stressed and upset...and scared. Just wanted to talk to others about their experience and maybe get some positive support. Here's my story...
I am 38 years old, mother of four great kids, a wife, and a nurse. I have had an "underactive" thyroid since I was very young...about 5 years old, I think. When I was 20, my doctor felt some nodules on my thyroid and sent me to an endocrinologist. I was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter. I believe I had some type of radioactive scan at that time that was fine. I was then monitored for a few years with ultrasound and lab tests, and nothing grew or changed, and basically the doctors thought, okay, everything is fine. I went on with my life, having kids, going to school, etc. No problems. When I had my last child, almost 7 years ago, my OB/GYN had my thyroid levels tested as well as a thyroid antibody test, which showed I had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. He then sent me to an endocrinologist who basically said it's an autoimmune disease that will eventually kill my thyroid. So, we just need to monitor my levels and treat accordingly. I believe that I probably had a thyroid ultrasound during that time that was fine.
Well, my life these past few months has been very stressful. Sometime in mid-April of 2009, I had an incident where I was laughing really hard and I just started coughing and coughing. After that, I had a "tickle" in my throat that wouldn't go away and I would have these dry coughing spells every 2-3 days. Went and saw a nurse practitioner who said she thought it was just allergies and gave me some samples of meds. Well, in the meantime, I had hysterectomy surgery scheduled May 13 to remove a large dermoid cyst on my only remaining ovary. These coughing spells were still occuring at my pre-op appointment, and the surgeon put me on an atibiotic just in case.
Well, I had the surgery and went home the next day. But the day after that, I was very lethargic and just sick. Doctor sent me to the ER where I was admitted for pneumonia. Stayed in the hospital for almost a week.
When the coughing first started, I didn't know what was causing it. Being a nurse (which may be a bad thing), I am always worried about worrisome symptoms. So, knowing my thyroid history, I thought, well, maybe I have thyroid cancer and it's gone to my trachea...resulting in my cough. So at that time, I thought maybe I need to have another ultrasound done on my thyroid.
So, I got through my surgery and pneumonia and am on the road to recovery. Then I had my thyroid ultrasound a few weeks ago. It showed a 1 cm nodule on the right lower area of my thyroid. I had very recently got a new doctor who was following up on my pneumonia who set me up for a biopsy right away, which I had this past Wednesday. I wasn't worried. I knew I had a multinodular goiter. I knew that it would come back benign.
Well, I got a call from my doctor the next day who told me that I had papillary carcinoma cells in the nodule. I was shocked. He was very positive...it's only thyroid cancer. They'll take it out and I'll be fine. Well, it's sunk in for a few days. I'm still in shock, but now I'm more scared than anything. I have an appointment July 1st with an ENT for treatment. Waiting is horrible. So, I have a few questions for all of you:
1- Has anyone had the coughing symptoms as I mentioned where the thyroid cancer had spread to the trachea?
Well, thanks for listening. Please post with any advice and encouragement you may have. I really need it.