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Number 5. Always thought 4 was my lucky number

BellsAngel69
Posts: 102
Joined: Dec 2009

Yup. I'm on my 3rd recurrence of Hurthle Cell cancer, surgery number 5 coming on May 4th. Long story short, diagnosed with HCC Dec. 2003. TT Feb. 2004, followed by RAI. Subsequent check ups for three years, fine and dandy. 2007 scan showed a recurrence. Had another dose of RAI, but it didn't work. A year later had surgery for a lesion on my left posterior hip. Easy surgery, outpatient, 1 1/2 hour surgery (or procedure, as they like to sugar coat it). Subsequent blood tests showed my thyroglobulin was still rising. Subesequent PET scan in May 2009, clean. Blood tests in Nov. 2009 showed my thyroglobulin had quadrupled since May. Subesequent PET scan in Jan. 2010 showed spots near my stomach. An endoscopy, CT scan and liver biopsy later, metastasis to my liver. Liver resection in March 2010. Subesequent blood tests were clean until Nov. 2010. Thyroglobulin rising again, from undetected below .2 to .3. Blood tests in Feb. 2011 showed elevated thyrglobulin up to 4.5. PET scan showed another metastasis, to the same spot in my left hip bone, just behind the previous disection and bone cement.

If you can believe it, I was actually relieved when my doctor told me it was in my hip bone again. Why? Well, a hell of a lot beter than being in my liver again. That was a really tough surgery. Also, it's basically the same surgery as 2008. He can use the same incision spot, so just will be the same scar. Recovery time is only 3-4 weeks.

Am I happy to have another recurrence? Hell no! But I just thank God it wasn't my liver again. The truth is, I'll never be cured of this cancer, NEVER! I look at it as a nuisance, if you can ever think of any kind of cancer as being a nuisance. It's a disease that's not curable.

So, I will carry on, keep the smile on my face to hide the aggravation and pain, and know it's always 5 o'clock somewhere. I just want to be there, at 5 o'clock, always and forever, whether in reality or just my mind, it will always be happy hour.

To all my sisters and brothers fighting HCC or any kind of cancer, I salute and support you. Though our paths may not be the same, they are parallel.

Hugs, Patti

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 256
Joined: Oct 2009

i will be thinking of you and wish you a successful surgery and and uneventful speedy recovery. i too have mets (papillary thyca) and just try to live each day knowing i am an incubator. i am going for a WBS on the 13th and actually hoping i light up because if i do it means they can try to treat my lung mets with RAI. they suspect i am no longer iodine avid. i am curious to know if you had any symptoms for your bone and liver mets - or were they caught on a PET scan?

living with cancer is a nuisance, to say the least. i totally understand that line of thinking. like you i figure each day i am still here, feeling good and able to share time with friends and family it's a bonus.
very best to you.
eileen

BellsAngel69
Posts: 102
Joined: Dec 2009

Surgery went well, except the prep. They told me to come in early because they were moving my time up only wait 3 hours because the surgery before mine ended up taking longer than expected. I wasn't happy with being left in a room waiting and wondering, and it took them three times to get an IV in my arm when I've never had an issue before. My arms are all bruised up, as are my hands. When I finally did get someone in the room to attend to me, they kept telling me I was staying overnight when to my knowledge I wasn't, nor was I planning on it. The anesthesiologist said my blood count was low and I might need a port in my neck, just putting more worry and stress into the mix. I didn't like her, she was as personable as a piece of lint. However, her assistant was very nice and took all the worry away and was very reassuring.

The strange thing was the MRI didn't show where the lesion was, so my doctor had to remove the old cement and go in and make the resection bigger all the way around and recement it. He said if the MRI had showed something he would have had a better target, maybe wouldn't have had to remove the old cement, just go right to the spot and put more cement in. It just makes me wonder if he got it because he didn't see a lesion when he was in there. I guess only the pathology report will tell for sure.

I had no symptoms for any of my mets. My rising thyroglobulin was the key, and then the mets showed in the PET scans.

I just wonder now if I'll need another PET scan to see if my surgeon got the lesion or if they'll rely on blood tests for a follow up. I have my post-surgery appt. the end of this week. I'm not even sure if my endocrinologist will want to see me but I would think he'll want to follow up with at least blood tests since nothing showed on the MRI, only the PET scan.

BellsAngel69
Posts: 102
Joined: Dec 2009

Surgery went well, except the prep. They told me to come in early because they were moving my time up only wait 3 hours because the surgery before mine ended up taking longer than expected. I wasn't happy with being left in a room waiting and wondering, and it took them three times to get an IV in my arm when I've never had an issue before. My arms are all bruised up, as are my hands. When I finally did get someone in the room to attend to me, they kept telling me I was staying overnight when to my knowledge I wasn't, nor was I planning on it. The anesthesiologist said my blood count was low and I might need a port in my neck, just putting more worry and stress into the mix. I didn't like her, she was as personable as a piece of lint. However, her assistant was very nice and took all the worry away and was very reassuring.

The strange thing was the MRI didn't show where the lesion was, so my doctor had to remove the old cement and go in and make the resection bigger all the way around and recement it. He said if the MRI had showed something he would have had a better target, maybe wouldn't have had to remove the old cement, just go right to the spot and put more cement in. It just makes me wonder if he got it because he didn't see a lesion when he was in there. I guess only the pathology report will tell for sure.

I had no symptoms for any of my mets. My rising thyroglobulin was the key, and then the mets showed in the PET scans.

I just wonder now if I'll need another PET scan to see if my surgeon got the lesion or if they'll rely on blood tests for a follow up. I have my post-surgery appt. the end of this week. I'm not even sure if my endocrinologist will want to see me but I would think he'll want to follow up with at least blood tests since nothing showed on the MRI, only the PET scan.

ksblack
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2009

Patti,
I just received my blood work for my thyroid check-up and my ultrasensitive TSH is up to 40.60 and has always been perfect (Undetectable) and I am really concerned with it. Did you ever have a change like this and what does it mean? I also wanted to let you know that I love your attitude and wish I could be more like that. I wish you luck and will keep you in my prayers for a speedy recovery. This site is a true blessing since relatives get tired of hearing about your "cancer". I believe you have to experience this before you actually can know what it is like. The fear of it coming back and where and how bad. I am 58 but want to live forever or at least a while longer.
You are a true inspriation to me.

You take care and keep us all posted.

God Bless You,
Karen Black

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