Jan 01, 2010 - 4:51 pm
In Dec. 2003 I found a lump in my neck under my collar bone, purely by chance. It was an enlarged lymph node and I had it removed. I was then diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy, then the RAI treatment. For the next two years I did the low iodine diet and uptake scan, and I was clean. The following year my doctor let me skip the scan because my TSH levels had been undetectable. I saw my doctor every six months and had blood tests the whole time and had been fine. Six months after skipping the scan I went for blood tests and my TSH levels were rising. They put me on the diet and did another scan. Not even five minutes after I left, they called me on my cell to ask if I could come back. They wanted to do something else. I was thinking, what the hell? I went back and they did another scan. When the results came back, it showed uptake in my left posterior hip. Next, I had another RAI treatment in the hospital to take care of the reoccurence. After, I had another scan and it showed I was clean. Six months later, I had another blood test and my TSH levels were even higher, so they ordered a PET scan. The PET showed the same spot in my hip. The RAI didn't absorb into the bone, so it was ineffective. I had surgery a few months later to remove the dime sized spot on my bone. Post surgery, my TSH levels hadn't changed, but they weren't concerned. Six months later, my blood tests showed my TSH levels were even higher so I had another PET scan. It was clean and they sent me on my merry way. I just had another blood test in Nov., and after three weeks my doctor called to tell me my TSH level were FOUR TIMES higher than before, in only six months. I totally freaked out. The PET scan showed nothing but my TSH levels are jacked way up. Now, I'm on the low idodine diet yet again, and they are going to do both a PET scan and and low-dose RAI scan to see if anything shows.
Truthfully, I won't be convinced this time if the scan is clean. I'm going to seek out another doctor for another opinion. I don't care where I have to go, or what tests I have to have done, I won't be satisfied. My TSH level is 121. Back in May it was 29. When my level first started to rise, it went from 2, to 4, then 9. My doctor didn't even tell me my TSH was elevating until it went up to 9. I felt betrayed and told him that I had the right to know. He said it wasn't that high so he wasn't too concerned. The bottom line is it should be zero and when it was rising he didn't tell me. Post surgery my level was 15, then 29, now it's 121. So if the scan says I'm clean, I'm not going to believe it.
I'm very frustrated, but have kept upbeat this entire time. I admit, I've had my bad moments, but I'm not going to let this beat me. The hardest part is the initial diagnosis was so promising, and here I find myself with my second reoccurence in two years, and it just makes me so angry. They paint this rosey picture. They told me thyroid cancer is 99% curable and very treatable, yet I find myself in this situation.
I'm 49, I was 43 when diagnosed. I have an 18 year old daughter in college and a 16 year old son in high school. I plan to live a long, happy life, long enough to be a pain in the butt to my kids. Hey, what goes around, comes around, you know?
I just hate the waiting part, and there is always a seed of doubt in the back of my mind. Is it gone, or still there, lurking, waiting to rear it's ugly head again?
It's hard, but I'm so happy I've found this place for support. I'm sure it will make all the difference in the world.
No matter what your doctors say, don't settle for an answer. If you're not happy with what they're telling you, get a second opinion or as many as you need until your satisfied.
Hurthle Cell cancer is a very tricky disease. It can come back, so you should always follow through with tests, and don't ever think it's totally gone, because chances are somewhere down the line it will come back. It's just a matter of when and where. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but it't the truth.