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Second Surgery in a week

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

I am home from my second surgery in a week for thyroid cancer. I have multi-tumor papillary carcinoma with follicular components. The surgeon removed my right lobe containing a 1.8 cm benign tumor and four smaller malignant tumors in the first surgery and then went back to remove the left lobe. I am awaiting the pathology results. I felt okay leaving the hospital but am now feeling pretty depressed. I am pretty uncomfortable and tired. I am also feeling very restless. Is this normal? I have also noticed some tingling and some very mild jerks (I am concerned about my calcium level at this point), I was 8.3 leaving the hospital. Does anyone have any tips for keeping my spirits up? My husband and three children have been wonderful. I feel guilty putting them through all of this.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2005

I also had 2 surgeries in a week, this was 5 weeks after having my baby. I had a 2.5 cm tumor removed with the right lobe which turned out to be cancer and then they went back to remove the left lobe and found one spot of cancer. What helped me get through it is the fact that this is the best cancer to get if you are going to have a cancer. It is the most curable and less then 1 percent die from it. I told myself I am going to see my baby grow up and the doctors reassured of that also. My doctor told me his aunt had it and died 45 years later from something else. It is a scary thing to hear the word cancer but knowing the cure rate and I just finished the RAI treatment makes it much easier to deal with. I can't help you on the body jerks and calcium. My calcium was fine when I left the hospital. I was very tired when I first started the Cytomel, I noticed when I was off of it for the treatment I didn't feel terrific either. Hang in there. Everything will be fine. Keep me updated.

Rustifox's picture
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2005

Do watch the tingling and jerks, Sherri. These can be signs of your parathyroids/calcium balance acting up, particularly this close after surgery. If the tingling is around your face/nose/mouth, I would definitely see my PCP/GP to have my calcium levels tested. Here is more info on this, so that you can watch for the symptoms:

Sometimes we need calcium supplements, sometimes we also need magnesium - so it is best to watch this carefully.

The depression is very, very normal, both as an after effect of the general anethesia as well as the trauma/stress your body is under right now. This can get more severe if you are going 'hypo' (off hormones) for radioactive iodine treatment or scans, too - it is a normal physiological response, but can be quite distressing.

Keep in touch with your family doctor about this issue, as well. As Linda mentioned, you will definitely feel better once you are on hormones, but this can be a difficult time. There are some links that might help a bit on my 'personal web page' here on CSN, and this link might help you, too:
Hope these help a bit. All the best to you.

Posts: 12
Joined: Aug 2005

After my goiter/rightlobe was removed in April, 2005, it came back as cancer. The next week the right lobe was removed and it was beign. I was sent home on Cytomel. I felt the same as you--tired, depressed, tingling continued in my hands, legs, pitting edema in my legs. The surgeon also told me to take Tums--2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch, 2 at dinner, and 2 at bedtime. Reason--since I had two surgeries back to back, the parathyroids were "paralyzed" and not totally functioning due to surgeries. I continued having my calcium level checked and the Tums were decreased. Now, I really don't take any unless maybe one at bedtime. After reading info from various places, it seems that calcium affects the thyroid hormones. So, that's why I take my calcium at bedtime. What thyroid hormone are you taking? Don't be discouraged! Be thankful you are as well as you are! :) It's going to take some time, and don't be afraid to continue knocking on your doctor's door until you get better. The only way to get help is to let him know that you need help. Take care!

Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007

I have 5 nods and it is recommended that the left side be removed because the aspiration is inconclusive on whether it is cancerous. It sounds like many of you have had surgeries for the same things, and then had to have the other half removed. Knowing what you know now...would you rather have just done it all at once? This is what I have to decide.

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